“The Roots and Stylistic Foundations of the Rap Music and Tradition” Hip-Hop as well as many other artistic cultural forms we practice today can be related back to African culture and various traditions. Author of The Roots and Stylistic Foundations of the Rap Music and Tradition, Cheryl Keyes, discuss’ the spirit, style, tradition, emotions, culture and the delivery of music. Keyes says that many of these practices can be traced back to the West Afrikan Bardic Tradition in particular. When asking many old-school, and culturally involved hip-hop artists about the roots and origins of rap/hip-hop music many of them will refer to Africa.
In our culture hip-hop is considered a form of art and it is important that we know its origins
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One must know his or history in order to have an understanding of what is to come. Later on in the text Tricia Rose discusses the importance of the relationship between cultural forms and context as many of them have contributed to the development of hip-hop in some fashion. In brief she specifically points out a few cultural forms ie. Cultural tradition, related current and previous practices as well as the way practice is shaped by technology, economic forces, race, gender, and class. These forms have all contributed to the development in many ways, and have a large impact on the art forms economic and cultural state. In particular the cultural traditions which we can instantly relate to the WABT as it correlates to hip-hop music and we can instantly relate that to race, gender, and economic forces due to its male dominance in both hip-hop as well as African culture. These traditions are what allow the West African Bardic Tradition to still exist in society today. Removing cultural forms such as tradition and race would take away the origins and symbolic history from rap music as it means so much to the African and African American culture.
In chapter one of the text, Keyes specifically discusses the West African Bardic Tradition as it deals with Call and Response oral story telling. During storytelling (every Friday of the month) the grandfather/griot would sit down all of the immediate children and