Rap over the years has greatly influenced the black community and the coloured at large! And in recent years it has become a culture accepted by all races. Hence it is essential we know what rap is!

Rap is a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular". It is performed or chanted by an MC, usually over a backing beat or musical accompaniment.

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The origin of Rap can be traced to Bronx, borough of New York City in the early 1970s by African Americans - having existed for several years prior to mainstream discovery. The sole aim of Hip hop origination was for revolution against social vices such as drugs and violence that was eating away the black community in the inner cities, while consisting of stylized rhythmic music (usually built around drumbeats) that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted.

The word "rap" itself is derived from the West African word "rap" or "rap-tap", which literally means "to strike" or "to beat". The word was first used in British English in the 16th century to describe quick speech or repartee. In this regard - in the 1960s, the word "rap" came to be used in African American English to mean "to converse" or "to talk".

The early 1970s saw DJs in the Bronx experimenting with two turntables to create loops and breaks in the music. This allowed them to create a rhythmic foundation for MCs to rap over. The first successful and commercial rap song to be released was "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. This song was a huge success and helped to launch the rap music genre into the mainstream.

Rap has since become one of the most popular genres of music in the world with every race and ethnic group having a dose of it. Rap is further subdivided into various subgenres, including conscious rap, gangsta rap, and alternative rap. Rap has also been used to address social and political issues and this is notable with the NWA, and it has become a powerful tool for expression and self-affirmation.

Here are some of the key elements of rap:

  • Rhyme: Rap is based on rhyme, which is the repetition of sounds at the end of words. This creates a sense of rhythm and flow in the music.
  • Rhythm: Rap is also based on rhythm, which is the pattern of beats in the music. Rappers must be able to match their flow to the rhythm of the beat.
  • Street vernacular: Rap often uses street vernacular, which is slang and colloquial language that is used in urban communities. This helps to give rap its unique flavor and style.
  • Delivery: Rap is all about the delivery. Rappers must be able to project their voice and convey their message with passion and energy.

Rap is a versatile and dynamic art form that has had a major impact on popular culture. It is a powerful tool for expression and self-affirmation, and it has helped to give a voice to marginalized communities. Rap is here to stay, and it is sure to continue to evolve and grow in the years to come.


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