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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Rap music

Rapping is a rapid mix of singing and talking performed over a backing track, The words are spoken with rhythm and in the text there are rhymes.

The concept of the "Rap battle" has existed since the 5th century, where poets would engage in "Flyting", a spoken word event where poets would insult one another in verse.

The Vikings engaged in rap battles, trading poetic insults until a winner was chosen by the crowd.

Hip hop music is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the 1970s which consists of rapping accompanied by a stylized rhythmic music. Its roots come from ancient African music rituals of call and response and from groups of singing poets who traveled from town to town spreading news and messages.

Hip hop music involves MCing/rapping and DJing/scratching with turntables. The hip hop culture is also defined by a style of dressing called "urban" clothes (baggy pants, oversize shirts, gold chains), break dancing, and graffiti writing.

The scratch' was invented by a DJ who was trying to hold a spinning record in place in order to listen to his mom, who was yelling at him.

Many believe that August 11, 1973 represents the birthplace of hip hop. DJ Kool Herc was the disc jockey on that day at his sister's back-to-school party in the west Bronx, New York City. He extended the beat of a record by using two record players, isolating the percussion "breaks" by using a mixer to switch between the two records. Herc's experiments with making music with record players became what we now know as breaking or "scratching."

Herc spins records in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx at a 28 February 2009 event 

Rap as a musical style started in the streets of New York City in the mid-1970s as rhyme spoken over an instrumental track provided by snatches of music from records.

Soon numerous inner-city high-school students were chanting crude incantations over rock records customized by reversing the turntable and distorting the amplification.

The 1977 New York City blackout resulted in numerous looters stealing DJ equipment from electronics stores, resulting in the hip hop genre, barely known outside the Bronx at the time, which grew at an astounding rate from 1977 onward.

The first rap records were made in 1979 by small, independent record companies. On September 16, 1979 The Sugar Hill Gang released the first commercial rap hit, "Rapper's Delight," bringing rap off the New York streets and into the popular music scene. "Rapper's Delight" was the first rap single to become a Billboard Top 40 hit.

By Source, Fair use, Wikipedia

Rap music slowly spread across the US, breaking into the mainstream by late 1980s with the popularity of such musicians as RUN-D.M.C. and MC Hammer.

In 1985 Ice-T's "6N' Da Mornin'" was the first nationally successful West Coast rap single, and is often considered the beginning of modern gangsta rap.

Ice T's 1987 debut album Rhyme Pays was the first hip-hop album to carry an explicit content sticker.

Rap resided at #1 on the US album chart on March 7, 1987 for the first time, when Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill jumped from #2 to #1.

In the 1990s there was a rivalry between the two big record labels "Death Row Records" from the USA's West Coast and "Bad Boy Records" from the East Coast. The rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. were both fatally shot following drive-by shootings by unknown assailants. This rivalry was called "the West Coast – East Coast beef.

During the mid-2000s, hip hop secured a place in the mainstream, due in part to the crossover success of artists such as OutKast and Kanye West. The latter received early acclaim for his production work on Jay-Z's The Blueprint.

. By U2soul - Watch the Throne: Jay-Z & Kanye West,

Today's rap musicians usually express themselves in a poetic way using graphic lyrics about society and reality. Their themes often include contempt for authority and rebellion against society as well as braggadocio rhymes about their wealth and jewellery. Many criticize hip hop rhymes for being obscene, sexist and glorifying drug-taking, but fans see it as a true portrayal of life on the urban streets.

Hip hop music has influenced musical theater. Lin Manuel Miranda's 2015 production Hamilton included rap and achieved huge box office success. The cast recording of Hamilton made a number one album on the Billboard rap charts. The success of Hamilton shows that hip hop can have a key role in musical theater.

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