Hip-hop continues to be a major force in cultural and an influence on other genres of music. But have you ever wondered why it’s called “hip-hop?” The answer may lie in the late 70s when a DJ named Joseph Saddler started playing parties in The Bronx.
As he spun records, his friend, Robert Wiggins, would hype the crowd by reciting simple rhymes over the beats of the records Saddler’s records. At one party, a friend who had just enlisted in the army showed up. Wiggins started teasing him about all the marching up and down the square he’d soon be doing. As the music played, Wiggins shouted “Hip, hop, hip, hop.”
That seems to be the earliest application of that term to this growing new music. Joseph Saddler soon became better known by his stage name Grandmaster Flash and Wiggins became the MC Keef Cowboy. Together with some other members, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were formed, becoming one of the earlier pioneers of hip-hop.