Posted by: martinworster | August 13, 2007


Move over running man, funky chicken and crunk hop, it’s time to get HYPHY…

Apparently the next big thing in Hip Hop is the Hyphy – a loose word applied to a style of dancing, electro hip hop music and car culture that exists in Oakland, California. Hyphy is an amalgan of ‘hyperactive’ and ‘fly’ and the movement is characterised by meetups where the homies get together, drink, smoke, thizz (take ecstacy) race cars, listen to music and dance.

It’s interesting to see how in a country so homogenised as the US that hip hop manages to still throw up regional variations in it’s youth culture. Last year it was crunk, a kind of slow fried southern drawl hip hop that originated in Houston, Texas. With hyphy, the music has a similar electro ‘less is more’ production value. Simple beats and three note synthesiser lines coupled with trademark rhymes and boastings. Often, stripped of their lyrics, the tracks wouldn’t seem out of place in a late 80s warehouse rave, what with their bleeps and bass aesthetic.

At the meetups, the cars race and do doughnuts (skidding around in circles at speed, leaving doughnut tyre tracks). Participants ‘ghost ride the whip’ – as their cars inch forward, they open their door and jump outside dancing alongside and waving their beer bottles in the air.

Like all youth movements in their infancy, the authorities want to clamp down on its rebelliousnous and some of its more nefarious facets. Despite this, I’m it won’t be long before we see ‘Best Of Hyphy Vol II’ in our records shops as the movement hops into the mainstream and we all ‘ghost ride the whip’ around the M25. Watch this space.


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