I like listening to live hip-hop. I really love a cypher — with free style spittin’.

Hip-Hop is a true art form — it comes from the people; it comes from the streets. Hip-Hop is about life and about living. There are musical elements and spoken word elements. There is rhythm and there is rhyming.

I see the MCs and the DJs as the heart of hip-hop. The term “MC” (Master of Ceremonies) was brought to the United States from Jamaica; it has been interpreted to mean “microphone controller,” “mic checka,” or “music commentator.” A DJ mixes and plays recorded music from existing sources like cassettes, vinyl records, CDs, digital audio files, or laptops.

I know that there’s a whole lot more to hip-hop than an MC and a DJ. Lately, I’ve seen hip-hop shows that feature MCs backed by live bands. That lends a greater energy, and maybe a different element of artistry.

There are some hip-hop requirements that are difficult to identify and to measure — I just have to know it when I see it, and appreciate it when it’s good. The shared affection and respect among performers and fans is something I feel; and it’s a good feeling.

“9 elements of Hip-Hop: Originality, MCing, DJing, Dancing, Graffiti, Peace, Love, Unity, and Having Fun.” https://powshadowz.bandcamp.com/