Hip Hop and Rap Music Essay

6200 Words 25 Pages
Hip Hop and Rap Music


Every so often a new style of music emerges that takes America by storm and comes to represent the generation that grows up with it. In the 50's it was rock'n'roll, followed by the Motown sound of the 60's. The 1970's brought folk music and disco, and in the 80's it was rap. Perhaps no other form of music has crossed as many boundaries and become a bridge between America's many cultures as rap has. Let's face it, if you listen to any current or some old rap/hip hop CDs in America there is always an intro which paves the way for the rest of the songs and gives you a taste of what the CD is going to be like. I am going to try to do that here, just like any rap CD. Although some might not know it,
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Another origin of rap is a form of Jamaican folk stories called "toasts." These are narrative poems that tell stories in rhyme (Bennet). African Americans in New York City heard this Jamaican style music, brought to them by DJ Kool Herc, in a style of using to turntables at once and as a form of a musical instrument. Herc eventually added a microphone and threw in some Jamaican toasting style-joking, boasting, and using myriad in-group references (Headbob). This new type of music spread through New York and in 1979 the first two rap records appeared and caught the eye of mainstream America: "King Tim III (Personality Jock)", recorded by the Fatback Band, and "Rapper's Delight", by Sugarhill Gang (Headbob). Eventually "Rapper's Delight" became a national hit and reached number 36 on the Billboard magazine popular music charts (Headbob).

By the 1980's, hip hop had become a dynamic culture shaped by black style, nationalism, and street smarts (Encarta). Rap's audience started to grow tremendously and gain notoriety with acts like Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Ice-T. More than 20 years have now passed and rap still has a huge following among people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Rap can and has influenced America's cultures in a lot of ways. The lyrics of some rap songs are very controversial and can contain some very vulgar language and attitudes. Throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's, rap songs got a lot of attention, not

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