The Origins of Rap

The Origins of Rap

Adanya Collins, Staff Reporter

Rhythm and Poetry or Rap for short is a musical genre with origins in the early 1970s in New York City. DJs began experimenting with funk, soul, and disco songs. The MCs job was to keep the crowd entertained between the songs, often joking with the DJs during sets. MCs then began to rhyme over the beats, making them the first rappers with early songs like The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks”. Rap was dismissed as music that would never make it into the mainstream. Now rap is one of the most popular musical genres.

Rap saw a massive boom of popularity in the late 80’s through 00’s. The genre proved itself to be marketable to a mainstream audience. Rap is often overshadowed by the violence attached to it. A new subgenre grew from within, gangsta rap. Mobb deep, NWA, and Tupac are a few rappers from this subgenre. Lyrical rappers such as Nas, Lauryn Hill, and Rakim proved that rapping is an art form.

Rap was thought to be too “rough” for women. The genre was and is still male-dominated. Salt-N-Pepa laid the way down for other women in rap early on. In the 90’s, Lauryn Hill, Mc Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, and Eve were some of the only women in the mainstream spotlight. Now women in rap are branching out into different genres and making names for themselves.

Rap has diverged into over hundreds of subgenres. Some of the most popular subgenres are mumble rap, trap, gangsta rap, crunk, drill, grime, bounce, and g-funk. Rap music has now become a pillar in society. Helping to shape new genres of music and inspire the next generations of artists.

9 Most Influential Rap Songs

1.La Di Da Di- Dougie Fresh
Released: 1985
The different voices, the melodies, along with the storytelling makes this one of the greatest imaginative and creative songs.

2.Walk This Way- Run DMC
Released: 1986
The combination of rock and rap has its origins in this song with a collaboration of Aerosmith. This song was the first rap song to enter the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100.

3.Push it- Salt-N-Pepa
Released: 1987
This song was the first female rap album to achieve gold and platinum status.

4.Straight Outta Compton- NWA
Released: 1988
This song really got the attention from mainstream media on gangsta rap.

5. Juicy-Biggie
Released: 1994
One of the greatest autobiographical songs ever. This song boosted Biggie into the top of the East Coast rap scene.

6. Get at me Dog-DMX
Released: 1998
This song was the song that opened the debut for DMX to drop two number one albums.

7. Doo Wop- Lauryn Hill
Released: 1998
This was the first debut song and the first solo hip hop song to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

8.Crank That (Soulja Boy) – Soulja Boy
Released: 2007
This song began the internet rapper phase. Rappers no longer waited to get signed but instead took things into their own hands and posted their mixtapes online.

9. I Don’t Like-Chief Keef
Released: 2012
This song led the Chicago drill movement as well as showcase how to make a name for yourself online.