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Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins coined the term “Hip-Hop”

Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, is credited for originating the term “Hip-Hop” in 1978. Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins used the term to mock a friend named Kokomo in the US Army chanting, “Hip-hop-hip-hop-hip-hop.” The term “Hip-Hop” was a similar rhythm to marching troops. Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins later incorporated the “hip-hop” rhythmic cadence in a stage performance.

Keith Wiggins coined the term “Hip-Hop”

Though Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins is credited for originating the term “Hip-Hop” in 1978. Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, and DJ Hollywood used the term when hip hop was still known as disco rap.

Hip-Hop later began being used by disco musicians in a derogatory way to identify a new type of music being performed by MCs and DJs. But the name’s negative connotation wore off and the name stuck.

“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang, released in 1979, begins with the phrase “I said a hip, hop, the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop, and you don’t stop”.

Purchase our 100 Hip-Hop Facts (1973-2000) Book

Read: The term “Hip-Hop” first appeared in print on September 21st, 1982

Read: The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” was the first rap song to use a sample