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Rap Music Presentation

A brief history and characteristics of Rap music with a few examples.
by

Elly Cowan

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Rap Music Presentation

Elly Cowan
&
Robert Scott Rap Music Thanks for listening! - Rap developed as an component of hip hop culture that developed during the early to mid 1970s amidst deprivation and poverty in the South Bronx in New York City (Unemployment, increased crime, and other hardships made the area a national symbol)

- Late 1960s and early 70s militant black poetry collectives such as the Last Poets in Harlem, New York and the Watts Prophets in Watts, Los Angeles had combined their poems with jazz or African-style percussion as a way of reaching a broader audience

- First recorded Hip-Hop/Rap song: Rapper’s Delight (By The Sugarhill Gang) October 1979*. It went multi-platinum and was the first rap single to appear on the Top 40 charts Late 1970s - 1983 - The 1984 release of Run-D.M.C.’s self-titled debut album moved away from the funk, soul, and disco rap of the early days and embraced a harder, minimalistic, rock-influenced sound full of forceful rhythms, especially prominent beats on drum machines, and powerfully sung vocals

- With the success of Run-D.M.C.’s partnership with Aerosmith for “Walk This Way” (1986), hip-hop videos became an even greater part of MTV broadcasts

- Russell Simmons founded Def Jam Records with Rick Rubin, which released many key recordings by artists ranging from teen phenomenon LL Cool J to the group Beastie Boys, whose debut album, Licensed to Ill (1986), became the first rap album release to top the Billboard charts 1984-1990 - The violent tone and profane language of gangsta rap lyrics provoked calls for restraint from within and without the hip hop community-Rap rhymes and the actions acted out in music videos gave strength to the voices of censorship including Tipper Gore’s Parents’ Music Resource Center, a variety of politicians, black church groups, music retailers and the police

- Gangsta rap remained the most profitable style in this period which had lost its rebellious edge and became the backbone of the commercial rap industry

-Bitter rivalry flared between rap scenes on the East and West coasts of the United States. Artists represented the rival groups such as Sean “Puffy” Combs and Suge Knight who traded vicious threats and insults through the lyrics of their records

- This war of words concluded wit the fatal shootings of two of rap’s biggest stars, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., which plunged hip hop into a mood of crisis 1990-1999 Development of rappers & Rap's fame - Increasingly, MCs, or rappers, were hired by DJs to help with crowd control and to present a more exciting and professional show

- After the release of “Rapper’s Delight” many rap groups and soloists released recordings

- Sylvia and Joe Robinson’s Sugar Hill Records in New Jersey, and Bobby Robinson’s Enjoy label in Harlem dominated the first era of rap recordings

- Artists outside of hip-hop also began to release rap-like singles such as Blondie’s “Rapture” (1981) "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang Explicit Lyrics - Def Jam also launched the career of rap nationalists Public Enemy, whose music and lyrics delivered an intense assault upon institutionalized racism, counterbalanced by the court jester of the group, Flavor Flav

- With the album By All Means Necessary (1988), KRS-One similarly used rap music as a platform to express black rage and articulate Black Power. X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers, Ice Cube, and Paris followed suit. These “raptivists” spoke truth to power, composing lyrics that engaged with black history, promoted black liberation, and critiqued anti-black racism in singles like Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” Run DMC Female Rappers -A number of female rappers emerged during this time ranging from the playfully sexy trio Salt-N-Pepa to hardcore lyricist MC Lyte, Afrocentrist Queen Latifah, Mia X (“Un-Ladylike Diva”), and Lady of Rage

-Female rappers were not as relevant as male rappers in terms of sales or popularity up until Nicki Minaj Styles of Rap - Despite the success of pop rap, the medium was changing from party music to a serious way of expression for young African-American musicians

- Regional styles also started to assert themselves as rap spread from the New York boroughs to other states
- Gained ground particularly in Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Canada, and Japan

- The hardcore street narrative of Schooly D, Kool G Rap, Boogie Down Productions, and Ice-T paved the way for Gangsta Rap, the most explosive, controversial and influential subgenre in rap history Gangsta Rap - In 1988, the influential group, N.W.A. (Niggaz With Attitude), released their debut album Straight Outta Compton featuring provocative accounts of gang life in Compton, Los Angeles-This propelled the careers of several members, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre

- As a form of social criticism, gangsta rap addressed important topics such as gang violence, black on black crime, drug trafficking, and police brutality

- Gangsta rap attracted not only fans, but upset critics because of its ultraviolent tales "It's Tricky" by Run DMC "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa First high-profile solo white rapper - The decade ended with the rise of Eminem who was the first prominent white rapper since Vanilla Ice who only experienced short-lived success in the early 1990s

- The Slim Shady EP (1999) and The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) won Grammy awards for Best Album

- Backed by producer Dr. Dre, Eminem balanced skill and humor, parodying various representations of whiteness on singles such as “My Name Is” (1999)

- He received criticism that he was imitating or stealing black culture

- Harsh criticism about his music’s violent imagery only seemed to reinforce Eminem’s image as a rebellious artist, further bolstering his popularity and sales "Not Afraid" by Eminem Rap since 2000 - Old school rap has made an appearance again with the interest in recordings particularly made from the late 80s to the late 90s

- Artists such as Nas, Mobb Deep, and Cypress Hill have capitalized on fans’ desire for classic material from rap’s past by recreating their best known material in live concerts

- This affection for old school rap mirrors the curiosity about rap’s history and development

- Instead of going back to the old ways and songs, some rappers have remade themselves. For example, Ishmael Butler found a new audience as the co-leader of the group Shabazz Palaces

- Much rap today still leans towards the heartfelt, such as Drake who has attracted attention for his emotional, soul-searching lyrics

- There has been one constant in rap throughout the years and that is that it has remained primarily a “young person’s” genre

- Despite claims that rap music’s best days are in the past, the early 21st century has proven to be rap’s most diverse and creative period based on the sheer number and diversity of its artists "Straight Outta Compton" by N.W.A. Surprise! Rap can be found anywhere these days, even Rock Island! :)
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