Written by Mr. Smith from the BeatSeekhaz
Radio DJ on Lick FM Marbella – The No.1 Urban Radio Station In Marbella Spain
Urban music has been dominating the pop charts of the world’s music industries. With a commercial dominance that trumps other musical genres such as pop and EDM (electronic dance music), urban music is definitely the world’s most recognizable sound.
Urban music or less popularly known as urban contemporary is considered to be the umbrella term for a wide range of different sub-genres. Among these are hip hop, RnB, dubstep, soul, as well as Caribbean music such as reggae and dancehall. This musical genre was coined in the 1970’s by New York DJ Frankie Crocker, who pioneered the radio format of urban contemporary, where DJs could take beats from disco and funk to create their very own spins of popular songs.
Though the term covers a long list of music from African-American origin, the genre is heavily associated with 2 distinct sub-genres, and these are hip hop and RnB.
Hip hop is also known as rap music and is characterized by a stylized rhythmic music accompanied by a chanted speech. The music sub-genre is part of the hip hop culture, which contains 4 elements: MCing or rapping, DJing or scratching, breakdancing, and graffiti writing.
Hip hop was born in the 70’s from bloc parties held at the Bronx. Due to the birth of sampling technology and drum machines, DJs then had the ability to play percussive beats during these parties, where rappers would start MCing .
DJ Kool Herc, the father of hip hop, is credited for forming the basis of hip hop music through his experiments with instrumental breaks from RnB, soul, and funk souls.
RnB is short for Rhythm and Blues, which has its origins in the 30’s. The sound is characterized by its “rhythm” of 4-beat measures and a backbeat, with depressive or “blue” lyrics, and thus “Rhythm and Blues.” During the 40’s and 50’s, elements of jazz music as well as the use of brass instruments and woodwinds such as the drums and piano were primarily used. With a heavy influence on jazz, RnB has a steadier and mellow beat.
RnB have evolved from its humble beginnings as a way for African-Americans to sing out the “blues” during the era of The Depression and well into World War II. Today, RnB consists of sensual beats, deep vocalizing, and bluesy guitar sounds.
Whenever you turn on the radio or any music channel on TV, urban music can be found everywhere. From the ballads being sung by divas, to aggressive gangsta rap, to contemporary RnB artists fusing their sound with electronic music and rock ‘n roll, urban music is truly dominating the world stage.