Sunday, February 24, 2013

The World of Rap Music and Its History by Brainstormlive


The world of music is unlimited and it extends beyond rhythm and lyrics, to feel and momentum. The sign of good music is when it is enjoyable or foot-tapping and the best for today's generation is rap music. Today's rap songs have not only evolved but have also changed the world of music and have become a dominating music genre.
The history of rap music can be traced back to the West African praise singing and historical poetry by griots or djeli, antecedents of contemporary rap music. It became popular in US around 1970s but the term originates in African American slang, meaning to talk. The country performing griots and the creation of drum sequences with influences from Mexico, Cuba and other regions helped to shape this music. Rap music is vocal music that employs recitative, usually over a rhythmic foundation. Lyrics may be improvised or composed, and are usually topical, relating to contemporary events and social issues. Early rap music was influenced by disco but developments with sampling machines led to different music forms.
Rap music goes hand in hand with Hip hop; in fact, it can be said that hip hop was earlier called disco rap, which developed from basic rap music. As hip hop evolved, rap music lost its individual identity and merged with hip hop. Hip Hop magazines have a large place in rap music history, the first ever published Hip Hop publication The Hip Hop Hit List, which contained the very first rap music record chart ever. This magazine's role was instrumental in the early commercial success of rap music. Though, the subgenres of rap have developed to a great extent. Pop rap, Ragga, Reggae ton, Rap opera, Rap rock, Rap core, Rap metal, Underground rap, Conscious rap are many of the music forms that evolved with new techniques of music coming in. Pop rap is the earlier version of hip hop while Ragga, originally Ragamuffin, shares its similarity with rap in the Sampling technique which serves a prominent role for both of them. Reggae ton is predominantly Latin urban music but it is also combined with rapping as most artists recite their lyrics in a rap fashion.

A rap opera is a series of rap songs in the form of an opera, inspired by the concept of opera. Rap opera may be a purely auditory experience, or it may be associated with a musical, comic book, or other art form. It is a relatively young, spontaneous form, performed more by amateurs and non-profit groups than by professional emcees. In 2001, MTV debuted a tele-film entitled Carmen: A Hip Hopera, directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer. A Rap rock is a cross genre fusion of elements of hip hop with various forms of rock, which was introduced in early 90s and gained popularity later in the decade; but it is often confused for rap metal and rap core. Rap core is a sub-genre of rap rock fusing elements of hip hop with punk rock or hardcore punk; often confused with Rap Metal. Rap Metal is a combination of rap and heavy metal; it seeks to fuse the most aggressive elements of hardcore rap and heavy metal and became an extremely popular variation of alternative metal during the late 90s.
Rap lyrics are sung with a flow with different rhyming techniques to a musical accompaniment. Rap beats in rap music were initially drum rhythms which gradually became hard percussive beats stressed as required with different vocal and instrumental elements. While rap lyrics can vary from dreams and themes to materialism and crime, the Rhythm & Blues lyrics are very philosophical and music feels somehow inevitable. Rhythm and Blues is black pop music, while is softer than pop and rock. It is a mixture of jazz, gospel, soul and neo-soul and the singers are emotionally engaged with the lyrics.
Underground rap is all about non-commercial music of small artists with independent labels. This is a kind of alternative hip hop, deviating from the conventional, with anti-commercial or socially conscious or positive lyrics than the mainstream. Conscious rap is a form of hip hop wherein the lyrics are based on social issues. It has parallels with political hip hop and also encompasses the subjects like religion, African American culture, everyday life and the state of Hip Hop itself. This style is somewhat influenced by Jazz-rap and is often a cause of controversy due to the subjects it deals with. The development of music through technology and innovations is a fact, but it was not mutually exchanged; rather battles took place on streets to know who's the best and that is how new stuff was presented by challengers. Battle rap or battle rapping or battle rhyming is a kind of rapping which includes bragging and dissing. The rappers are not allowed to use profanities or sexually suggestive lyrics, punishable by disqualification. Rappers rap with flowing lyrics that are relevant to the present situation. The judges decide the winner of the battle as per their flow.
Rap music today has evolved like never before and has now blended with hip hop. The sound of rap would never be the same with all the technological advancements and also a blend of various cultures with different music. Rap music has indeed transformed the world of western music into culture's melting pot.
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