Lesson 1: Learning “Hip Hop Hooray”

Aim: What are the basic building blocks of hip hop?

Students will learn the hook to “Hip Hop Hooray” and learn about key elements in hip hop songs.

Musical Explorers CD or online audio


b-boying/b-girling, beatboxing, DJing, graffiti, hook, knowledge, MCing

Sing “Hip Hop Hooray”

Explore the History and Five Elements of Hip Hop

  • Ask students to turn to SG22 and use the page as the basis for a guided discussion about hip hop. Some of your students likely already know about hip hop, and this will be their opportunity to share that knowledge while putting it in a broader context. Here are some examples of questions you might explore:
    • What can you tell me about hip hop music?
    • Who are your favorite hip hop artists?
    • What elements of hip hop on SG22 do you recognize?
    • What elements of hip hop don’t you recognize?
    • One thing that makes hip hop special is that it has a message; it tells an important story. In what ways do hip hop artists tell their stories?

“Hip Hop Hooray” is a famous hip hop song recorded by Naughty by Nature in 1992. Basik Lee grew up listening to this song. He took the hook and underlying beat from this song and adapted it, adding his own lyrics.

Hip hop musicians often take the beat and hook from songs that already exist and use them in their own way.

Hip Hop Hooray

Hip hop hooray hoooo, heeeey hoooo
Heeeey hoooo, heeeey hoooo (x2)

Verse 1:
You know I love this Hip Hop culture in every
single way (Hey)
I connect with this movement like every single
day (Hey)
I say just what I mean and yo I mean just what I
say (Hey)
My name is Basik Lee and yo this is how I play
With the beats & the rhymes complete & on
This is how me and the DJ combine
Then the B-boys and B-girls hit the floor
Showing off their dance moves and giving you
much more
The graph writers outside tagging the wall
Creating beautiful mural for one and all to see
Just showing off this small part of we
This beautiful Hip Hop community
It can’t stop won’t stop
At least not today
I give props to Hip Hop so Hip Hop Hooray


Verse 2:
This is how we show love for one and all
For those bringing hate trying to get involved
Hip Hop doesn’t need that energy
To know what it’s about just check out my
5 elements keep this art intact
What I’m showing you right now is the Art of
A poetic use of words for you to start
Showing people how you feel down deep in
your heart
The B-boys and B-girls they be the dance
Doing crazy moves to put you into a trance
If you think you can do it too, here’s your
To get down to the beat and make people clap
their hands
Now I just showed you two but there’s a few
Elements left to let you know how we do
Now this is how we get down
It’s such a lovely display
I give props to Hip Hop so Hip Hop Hooray


Verse 3:
We started with two now here’s the other three
Elements that’ll help complete the team
When all together they complete the scene
That makes the people say yes
& guess who’s next
The DJ who’s like the heartbeat
It’s where the other elements in the art meet
Started with a break that became a song
That became a mix to keep the party going on
The graph writers were the first to show
The art of the culture & how it could grow
Choosing to use paint cans as their tools
To create amazing art that would break the
Started on walls and trains we thought were
To create beautiful art some called insane
Luckily, nowadays that thought has changed up
Because once it was taken down but now it
stays up
I said there were three left here’s the last
But this is the one that you need to have
It’s called Knowledge, the more you get the
more it helps
and hip hop can help grow Knowledge of self
It doesn’t matter east, west, north or south
To have love for this movement and show what
it’s about
It’s just a love of the culture that we do everyday
I give props to Hip Hop so Hip Hop Hooray

(Hook) (x2)

The Five Basic Elements of Hip Hop

Graffiti: This is hip hop’s visual art form. Graffiti artists paint images with social messages in public spaces for people to see. Graffiti started in outdoors, public, off-limits spaces, especially on the sides of subway trains inNew York City.

DJing: DJs make the beats, which are the core of hip hop music. They use turntables as instruments, “scratching” the vinyl records, and use digital equipment to change, loop, and layer sounds.

B-boying/B-girling: B-boys and b-girls are hip hop dancers; they’re sometimes called “breakers.”The “b” in b-boy and b-girl stands for “break.” In hip hop, DJs take instrumental breaks from songs and alter them by looping them and mixing them with beats; this is when b-boys and b-girls traditionally dance.

MCing: MC stands for Master of Ceremonies. The MC is the rapper. When MCs began rhyming messages and stories over breakbeats at parties, rap was born. MCing has many different roots, including Jamaican dancehall music, where a vocalist would rhyme over a DJ’s beat, spoken word poets who rhymed without any background music, and even West African storytellers telling stories over drum beats.

Knowledge: This is the abstract, all-encompassing element of hip hop that helps define the culture. Sometimes called “overstanding,” it is ultimately about knowing who you are and how you can bring that to the other four elements of hip hop. Iconic hip hop artist KRS-One says, “Rap is something you do. Hip hop is something you live.”

Many hip hop beats are made from samples of other songs, so knowing the history of hip hop and where the samples come from is important for any aspiring hip hop artist!

Explore Beatboxing with “Hip Hop Hooray”

  • Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion in which you imitate the sound of percussion instruments using just your mouth.
  • Listen to the basic drumbeat, Track 13.
  • This basic drum beat uses a bass drum sound and a snare drum sound.
  • In beatboxing, we can make the sounds of the drums with our mouths.
  • The bass drum sound is made by saying the word boots. The snare drum sound is made by saying the word cats. Learn the “boots and cats” beatboxing pattern using beatbox demonstration, Track 14 and SG23.

    Investigate other sounds your students can make with their mouths to add to these two basic sounds.
  • Using the “boots and cats” pattern, as well as any additional sounds the students have created, beatbox along to “Hip Hop Hooray,” Track 11.

Learn to Top Rock

  • Top rock is the first dance step that all b-boys and b-girls learn. Once your students have learned to top rock, they can try combining it with beatboxing.

Creative Extension:
The Human Orchestra

  • Using the beatboxing activity as a foundation, brainstorm other instruments that can be mimicked through beatboxing. For example, describe what a bass or a triangle could sound like with sound only coming from your mouth (e.g., a low-pitched “doom doom,” a high-pitched “ting ting”).
  • Decide on the different “sections” that will perform the various sounds from these instruments. Divide the class up accordingly. Select a “conductor” who will bring in each section. Begin with a steady beat, starting with “boots” and “cats.” Then, have the conductor gradually bring in and take away each section, creating a human orchestra!

Musical Word Wall

Add the words b-boying/b-girlingbeatboxingDJinggraffitihookknowledge, and MCing to the Musical Word Wall.

PDF Downloads

SG22 ↓ Download File

SG23 ↓ Download File

Musical Explorers Audio Tracks

Go to Lesson 2: Learning “Time of Grace”