Gangsta Rap Essay Research Paper HISTORY OF

Gangsta Rap Essay, Research Paper


Before we are able to understand the history of rap we must first understand the actual definition of rap music. According to the Rap History Homepage rap is defined as “Spoken words with an underlying rhythm section of bass, drums and keyboard sounds. Words are spoken rhythmically over the music and and the accents in speaking are very important.” Hip Hop is the “spouse” of rap. It is defined as the accompanying background music. The term Hip Hop was coined in the song “Rapper’s Delight”.

There were many influences to rap music as early as the 1940’s but it first really started developing in the 1970’s. Urban DJ’s in the Bronx such as Lovebug, Cool Herc & Hollywood started manipulating records to make scratching rhythms and other sounds. The “rapper” would then speak ofter the music in rhymes. This became known as rapping.

The first rap recordings occured in 1979. Fatback Band recorded “King Tim III” and the Sugar Hill Gang recorded “Rappers Delight”.

In 1982 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five started the first political rap, “The Message”. This started the era of using rap music to communicate strong beliefs. During the years of 1982 – 1985 the rappers were still using original music, not pre-recorded.

In 1986 sampling was developed and it had a huge impact on the rap community. A sampler is an electronic device that can replicate existing sounds or tracks. The rappers were using the samples and recording over top of the music. The sampling led to two major problems, musicians were starting to steal eachother’s music and the musicians were being replaced by the samplers. Also in 1986 they started showing rap on MTV. This gave the white audience a chance to listen to rap music as well.

In the 1990’s sampling became illegal. Due to this rappers started coming out with new harmonies and instrumentation. During this time the parental advisory sticker was developed for rap CD’s due to their extreme content. Since these times rap music has evolved dramatically, encompassing new rhythms and beats and dealing with issues such as drugs, politics, gang violencen and more.


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