Netflix recently released an original documentary series called Hip-Hop Evolution. Already intrigued by this topic, I devoured the entire series in one evening.
Hip-hop and the spontaneous order of free markets are inseparable: a fact that was reinforced after watching the series. It was born out of the unregulated exchange of ideas. And it has become what is arguably the most organically libertarian musical genre existing today.
Hip-hop was built upon taking someone else’s art, putting your own spin on it, and creating something new. In other words, it is the antithesis of intellectual property.
The most obvious example of this free exchange of intellectual property is Grandmaster Flash. From a young age, Flash was obsessed with anything that spun: washing machines, bicycle wheels, and most of all, record players.
He began “scratching” by finding breaks within song tracks, a place where there was a natural pause in the music. He would then “spin” the record, making his own melodic remixes. Marking the exact spot where these breaks occurred on the record with a crayon, he would be able to remember where these breaks occurred while DJing in a dark club on the weekends.
By taking something someone else created and literally putting a “spin” on it, he created an entirely new genre of music.