It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements, MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, while often used to refer solely to rapping, hip hop more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. Hip hops early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat. The Sugarhill Gangs 1979 song Rappers Delight is widely regarded to be the first hip hop record to gain popularity in the mainstream. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop as the genre developed more complex styles, prior to the 1980s, hip hop music was largely confined within the United States. However, during the 1980s, it began to spread to scenes in dozens of countries. New school hip hop was the wave of hip hop music, originating in 1983–84 with the early records of Run-D. M. C. The Golden age hip hop period was a period between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. Notable artists from this era include the Juice Crew, Public Enemy, & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions and KRS-One, EPMD, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Ultramagnetic MCs, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest. Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that often focuses on the violent lifestyles, in the West Coast hip hop style, G-funk dominated mainstream hip hop for several years during the 1990s. I. G. In the 1990s, hip hop began to diversify with other regional styles emerging, such as Southern rap, at the same time, hip hop continued to be assimilated into other genres of popular music, examples being Neo soul and nu metal. Hip hop became a pop music genre in the mid-1990s. The popularity of hip hop music continued through the 2000s, with hip hop influences also increasingly finding their way into mainstream pop, the United States also saw the success of regional styles such as crunk, a Southern genre that emphasized the beats and music more than the lyrics. Starting in 2005, sales of hip hop music in the United States began to severely wane, during the mid-2000s, alternative hip hop secured a place in the mainstream, due in part to the crossover success of artists such as OutKast and Kanye West. Creation of the hip hop is often credited to Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash. However, Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, and DJ Hollywood used the term when the music was known as disco rap. Cowboy later worked the hip hop cadence into a part of his stage performance, the first use of the term in print was in The Village Voice, by Steven Hager, later author of a 1984 history of hip hop
Two hip hop DJs creating new music by mixing tracks from multiple record players. Pictured are DJ Hypnotize (left) and Baby Cee (right).
MC Hero performing rhythmic rhyming known as "rapping" in Huntsville, Alabama.
DJ Kool Herc is recognized as one of the earliest hip hop DJs and artists