the hip hop diary

blog image

What are the Ten Elements of ATL Hip Hop?

ATL Hip Hop| Culture| History| News
March 17, 20235 min read

The History of the Original Five Hip Hop Pillars

You are going to login into Chat-GPT and do research on Hip Hop and this is what the Computer is going to tell you.

The creation of the 5 hip hop elements cannot be attributed to a single person or group, as they emerged organically as part of the cultural movement of hip hop in the Bronx, New York in the 1970s. These elements were developed by the hip hop community as a way to express themselves and showcase their creativity through various artistic mediums. Over time, these elements became an integral part of hip hop culture and are now widely recognized as the core components of the genre.

Unfortunately People, this is wrong.

Not just wrong, but it is DEAD wrong, way off-basis, and a grand example of FAKE NEWS.

Before we move on, notice the Chat-GPT defined the 5 Pillars/Elements of Hip Hop and PURPOSELY left out the “Mental” aspect of Hip Hop.

And it was programmed with the Prejudices and Biases of its Creators.

For those who have Ears, please hear what I’m saying without ACTUALLY saying.

Here’s the TRUTH People.

The Original Five Pillars of Hip Hop were formulated by Bam (Afrika Bambaataa) of the Hip Hop Collective Zulu Nation.

What are the Original Five Hip Hop Elements?

  • MCing (Oral): This involves the art of speaking rhythmically and poetically over a beat or instrumental. MCing is usually done by an MC (Master of Ceremonies) or rapper who delivers the lyrics with rhythm and flow.

  • Beatboxing (Oral): This involves the art of creating rhythmic sounds and beats using only the mouth, lips, tongue, and voice. Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion that is often used in hip hop music to create a beat or rhythm.

  • DJing (Aural) : This involves the art of manipulating and creating music using turntables, mixers, and other equipment. DJs are responsible for creating beats and instrumentals that the MC can rap over.

  • Graffiti (Visual): This involves the art of creating visual designs and artwork using spray paint or other materials on walls, trains, and other surfaces. Graffiti is a form of artistic expression that is often associated with hip hop culture.

  • Breaking (Physical): This involves the art of performing acrobatic and athletic dance moves such as spins, flips, and freezes. Breaking is often performed to hip hop music and is a form of self-expression and competition.

  • Knowledge (Mental): This involves our connection to Infinite Intelligence (The Creator) and proper usage of Cosmic Intelligence (Gnosis), Spiritual Intelligence (Intuition and Instinct), Soul Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Streetsmart Intelligence, Common Sense, and Personal Intelligence to ensure Hip Hop delivers us into the Age of Aquarius (Christ Consciousness).  

Evolving The Five Pillars

The Five Pillars have been wonderful for the last Forty Years, but they became outdate and limited in their scope, and that’s fine.

They served their purpose, now it’s time for the next Chapter in Hip Hop.

With the advent of Technology and the Internet, I have taken it upon myself to update the Five Pillars and expand them out into Ten Pillars for ATL Hip Hop Culture.

The Ten Pillars for ATL Hip Hop Culture

Bam’s Original Five Pillars were designed for Personal Usage, and at that time, it was a genius move and it encapsulated our “Hip Hop Experience.”

But after Forty Years, I find the Culture has shifted and losing a lot of its identity and therefore, it’s not only time to update the Five Pillars, but expand them to “capture” the “Collective Consciousness” of ATL Hip Hop.

Therefore, I expanded Bam’s Original Five, added Five More, and designated them into two branches, Personal and Communal.

For ATL Hip Hop Culture, I am certain this designation captures our Culture completely.

The New and Updated Ten Pillars of ATL Hip Hop are listed below for your convenience.


Personal (Oral)

  • MC/Emcee

  • Rapping (not Rappers)

  • Beatboxing

  • Finger Drumming

  • Table Drumming

  • Oral Percussion

Personal (Aural)

  • DJ Culture

  • Music Culture

Personal (Physical)

  • Dance Culture

  • Yeek Culture/Yeeking

Personal (Visual)

  • Graffiti

  • Tagging

Personal (Mental)

  • Personal Development

  • Knowledge/Wisdom

  • Aesthetics

  • Semiotics

  • Scholarship

Communal (Slang Culture)

  • Joning

  • Cool Points

  • Southern Dialect and Slang

Communal (Fashion Culture)

  • Five Points Prep (Specialized)

  • Prep Culture

  • Hip Hop Fashion Culture

Communal (Tech Culture)

  • Hardware/Software

  • A.I.

  • The Web (Web 3.0 and beyond)

  • Tech Gadgets and Devices

Communal (Business Culture)

  • Online Business

  • Online Courses

  • Monetization

Communal (Scholarship Culture)

  • Cultural Studies

  • Mythical Studies

  • Narrative Studies

  • Education Studies

  • Environmental Studies

  • Health and Wellness Science

  • Aesthetics Science

  • Mental Science

  • Heroism Science

  • Transmedia Science

  • Creativity Science

  • Knowledge Science

  • Storytelling Science


Infographic (Mind Map)

10 Pillars of ATL Hip Hop


Homework Questions

  1. Why does Chat-GPT list the Five Pillars wrong?

  2. Is it the app’s fault or the Programmers?

  3. Is it just “like that” and no one is to blame?

  4. Who created the Original Five Pillars of Hip Hop?

  5. What group was he/she affiliated with?

  6. What is his nickname?

  7. Can you name two Oral Pillars of Hip Hop?

  8. Can you name an Aural Pillar of Hip Hop?

  9. Can you name a Visual Pillar of Hip Hop?

  10. Can you name a Mental Pillar of Hip Hop?

  11. Why did MB decide to expand on the Original Five Pillars of Hip Hop?

  12. What are the two distinct categories in the Ten Pillars of Hip Hop?

  13. Can you name five of the Communal Pillars of Hip Hop?

  14. Under what Pillar Category is Dialect and Slang?

  15. Can you name four Sub-Pillars under Scholarship Culture?


😍 Click here to JOIN the Hip Hop Digest Mailing List 😍

Miquiel Banks is the Power behind his Educational Site, The Hip Hop Evangelist. His site is dedicated to cultivating and preserving ATL Hip Hop and Yeek Culture.

Miquiel Banks

Miquiel Banks is the Power behind his Educational Site, The Hip Hop Evangelist. His site is dedicated to cultivating and preserving ATL Hip Hop and Yeek Culture.

Back to Blog

© 2023 The Hip Hop Evangelist. All Rights Reserved.