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History of Rap

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Fran King

W. History 10 H


History Of Rap

The most widely excepted definition of rap music is spoken words with a rhythm of bass, drums, and keyboard sounds. The words are spoken over the music and the accents and emphasis on words is important. Hip Hop is defined as the accompanying background music but is often used as a synonym to rap music.


Influences on rap music started as early as the 1940's when Rhythm & Blues and Jazz included many of the elements that make up rap music. Rap music became its own genre of music in the 1970's when DJ's from New York, such as DJ Lovebug, DJ Cool Herc and DJ Hollywood, began manipulating, or scratching, records to make rhythms, beats, and other sounds. As this took place the rapper would speak over the music using rhymes. The rapper would use emphasis and accents with their lyrics. In 1979 the Sugar Hill Gang marketed the first rap single with their hit "Rapper's Delight". This forced the world to acknowledge that rap was a force in the music industry.


In 1982, with the release of the single "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, rap music took on a new purpose. The song stated the hardships of living in the "ghetto" of New York as is shown in the chorus of the song. "Don't push me, cause I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to loose my head, It's like a jungle sometimes, It makes me wonder, How I keep from going under."

In 1986 sampling was developed. Rap artists would use beats, rhythms, background music, and sometimes exact lyrics from previously recorded songs and incorporate them into their recordings. They often used a machine, known as a sampler, to replicate the existing sounds and tracks. Sampling led to problems, however. Musicians whose music was used in other songs saw no profit from the sampling. This led to many lawsuits. Also, fans felt betrayed that the rappers didn't come up with their own music as they had in the earlier days of rap.

Considered the "Fathers of Hip Hop", Run DMC pioneered rap music in the 1980's. The group consisted of three men. Joseph Simmons (Run), Darrly McDaniels (DMC), and Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) made up the most influential rap group of all time. They were the first rappers to have a gold album, a platinum album, a multi-platinum album, a music video on MTV and the first rappers to appear on many popular television programs and magazine covers.

The late 1980's also saw an emergence of white rappers. The Beastie Boys were the first recognized white rappers. They had many hit singles during the 1980's such as "Fight for Your



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