Research Paper On Rap Music

1541 words - 7 pages

In America there are many cultures and sub-cultures. I believe that I am part of the Rap music culture. Rap has been an uprising musical form of art in the United States for over 30 years now. In my research, I will be exploring the origin of rap, the evolution of rap, the components of rap, including unique dress codes, messages sent via lyrics, rivalries among artist and a comparison between old school and new school rap. This culture is important to me because of my background; I am an African American, because of my demographics and it is widely followed trend.
From my superficial knowledge of rap, I believe it was originated from the basement of a building in Bronx, New York. After reading articles and watching historical documentaries on rap, I’ve learned that the origin of rap goes far beyond just a basement in the Bronx. An article by Joann Wood on Rap Music stated that “Rap and hip-hop music as we know it today actually began thousands of years ago in Africa with the “Griots”, who were village story tellers who played a simple handmade instrument while they told stories of family and village events.” So here we see that rap music travels all the way back to the mother land of Africa. This theory was also confirmed by a couple of other sources. Rap music had a very interesting journey before landing in the United States.
There is a unique connection however between the “Grios”, slavery, and the music form we now know as rap. “While rap's history appears brief its relation to the African oral tradition, which provides rap with much of its current social significance, also roots rap in a long-standing history of oral historians, lyrical fetishism, and political advocacy. At the heart of the African oral tradition is the West African idea of nommo. In Malian Dogon cosmology, Nommo is the first human, a creation of the supreme deity, Amma, whose creative power lies in the generative property of the spoken word. As a philosophical concept, nommo is the animative ability of words and the delivery of words to act upon objects, giving life. The significance of nommo in the African oral tradition has given power to rappers and rap music within many African-American communities.” This article helped me get a better understanding as to how and why rap was introduced in the United States of America. There is more to rap music than a catchy beat or a tempo that will urge you to move your body. We should take a closer look at the message and doctrines that the rappers try to get across to the audience.
There a many forms of rap, slaves used rap as a form of worship and language, preachers also use a form of rap when they say a line and then the congregation responds with something corresponding to that line. This form is called the “Call and Answer.” As slaves worked the fields, often time a leader would sing out a line from a song and the rest of the slaves would respond by singing the next line. This trend travelled into the churches when slaves...

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