The origin of rap started sometime in the mid 1970`s in communities thriving with people of African American and Hispanic descent who were music performers in New York city. During the foundation of rap, this genre of music was associated with a nimble style of dancing that is known today as break dancing. The term rap was derived from a slang word for conversation during the 1960s.
It generally consisted of song, usually spontaneous verses along with a range of well known recordings such as funk or disco music. Critics have condemned most rap music for its endorsement of violence and hatred of women; while others have recognized it as a creative exploitation of cultural expression and acclaim many rappers with an ardent social and political awareness.
Rap music has influenced several forms of popular culture, mainly the film industry, and has been increasingly incorporated in pop music. Some of the early rap groups include Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash. Some of the more well-known rap artists include the legendary Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, and Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony.
Rap music is a form of musical poetry; the beat has rhythm and the song lyrics flow to it. The lyrics to rap songs give the listener a glimpse to a certain point of view, the lyrics describes the lives of the rapper and usually tells the listener the struggles the young black rapper had to go through in his life. Some rap song lyrics also have a dark side and most people associate rap lyrics with disrespect for women and violence because many rap lyrics talks about killing rival rappers and shooting cops. In the early 1990`s the rivalry between west coast rappers and east coast rappers claimed the lives of the two biggest rappers of their era, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
The positive side of rap music consists of a lot of artistic value, but one has to look for it real hard. Take 2Pac (Tupac Shakur) for example, 2Pac might have had the same kind of sound as most of the so called rappers that are putting out album after album now a days, however, 2Pac was a true poet and lyricist. One could take some (not all) of his lyrics and find art within them. He chose rap to deliver his poetry through his lyrics, because that is what he was most at ease with doing.
To most people, the music is half the song; the song lyrics are just as equally important as the music. In the song lyrics to 2Pac`s Dear Mama he talks about how his mother didn`t always do the right thing but he still appreciated all the sacrifices that she had to make to raise him. Not all rap lyrics are about putting down women, shooting cops, driving Escalades and making money.
Today`s rappers may have catchy rhythms and lyrics to their music and many young people are impressed with the fancy cars and half naked girls in the videos, but it`s just all the same, in every song. Most of the songs and lyrics have the same or similar rhythm with semi-carefully placed keyboard melodies and pounding bass that`s good for dancing. So maybe it`s art in its own realm.
Article Source: Rap Music From the Past to the Present
Category: General English - Reading