photography to get your kid out of the house

I was having a hard time with my oldest son wanting nothing to do with anything other than video games. He is only 15 years old and I knew that if I didn't do something to encourage him to get out of the house a bit that he would spend all of his time playing those games. For his birthday, I bought him a really nice digital camera. I signed the two of us up for classes to learn how to use DSLR cameras to capture images that were works of art. This blog contains many of the tips that we learned together.

Think You Know Hip Hop? Think Again


Many have misconceptions about hip hop. A common mistake is to conflate rap with hip hop. However, hip hop is a cultural form that includes rapping. There is also a distinctive style of dress, with linkages to clothes popular with youths in large American cities. In hip hop, the rhythm is just as important as the lyrics. This characteristic differentiates it from rap music where artists often go on verbal rifts in which the music plays a secondary role. Most importantly, hip hop includes four performers: M.C., DJ, dancer and graffiti artist.

M.C. (Master of Ceremonies)

This artist usually performs the song lyrics. They either rap or sing along with the beats. In the early days of the genre, New York City M.C.s usually told stories about their lives in the Big Apple. Soon, others began pushing certain political agendas, usually related to the needs of inner-city populations. Social inequality was a major theme of politically-conscious M.C.s, especially in the 1990s.


The "disc jockey" provides the sounds. Initially, DJs played a general beat and then at certain points moved an album back and forth on the record player (turntable). Known as "scratching," this sound became a form of art. DJs even stage scratching competitions to crown champions.


Dancing remains central to hip hop culture and is one of the main differences between it and rap music. Hailing from the streets of New York, the earliest hip hop performances included break dancers spinning on their backs and even heads.

Hip hop tunes, in general, still encourage dancing. In contrast, rap, by itself, often has slower rhythms and is more often intended for listening while sitting or driving around town.

Graffiti Artist

Graffiti is a street art that represented a certain defiance of authority in the earliest days of hip hop. "Tagging," the act of spray painting graffiti in public spaces, infuriated many a New York politician.

Hip Hop Appreciation

Today, hip hop is the most listened to form of music in the world. This versatile art form is capable of incorporating so many styles that everyone can find something about it that resonates with them. In fact, other disciplines incorporate forms of hip hop; for example, there are ballet troupes that employ the strong bass beats of hip hop in their performances.  

It is obvious that hip hop is here to stay. As such, it is important that people appreciate this influential musical style born on the streets of America and now popular everywhere, especially in Canada. For more information on hip hop and its style of dance, contact a company like Dance Classes at The Studio School of Dance.


5 January 2016