Essay on History of Rap

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History of Rap The most popular and influential form of African-American pop music of the 1980's and 1990's, rap is also one of the most controversial styles of the rock era. And not just among the guardians of cultural taste and purity that have always been counted among rock 'n' roll's chief enemies--Black, White, rock and soul audiences continue to fiercely debate the musical and social merits of rap, whose most radical innovations subverted many of the musical and cultural tenets upon which rock was built. Antecedents of rap are easy to find in rock with other kinds of music. Music is often used to tell a story, often with spoken rhymes over instruments and rhythms. Talking blues, spoken passages of sanctified prose in gospel,…show more content…
Jamaican DJ's (DJ Kool Herc has been credited as the first) mixed sounds from several turntables, devices that would become a rap trademark. Although mixing from large sounds systems began to be employed at New York house parties in the 1970s, it didn't really emerge as a recorded sound until the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. While many critics and listeners shrugged the song aside as a fluke novelty hit, the early rap sound--usually composed of slangy, boastful spoken rhymes over basic bass and percussion grooves--continued to spread in the early '80s, due in large part to the efforts of the Sugarhill label itself. Grandmaster Flash's hard-hitting 1982 single, "The Message," really stands as rap's watershed mark, with a massive impact belied by its relatively modest peak on the pop charts. No longer could rap be ignored as a frivolous microgenre; here was straight up social commentary, reporting from the front lines of the ghetto with more immediacy than almost any newspaper or television broadcast. From it's inception, rap indured a lot of hostility from listeners--many, but not all, White--who found the music too harsh, monotonous, and lacking in traditional melodic values. However, millions of others--often, though not always, young African-Americans from underprivileged inner city backgrounds--found and immediate connection with the style. Here was poetry of the

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