Rap artists DJ Stavros, Shara Crow, and Shawan Na
Our three rap artists return to the Captn's Lounge Studio for this Rational Alchemy episode with Nigel to talk about their recent tour.
Produced T.G. Lewis for the CiT NETWORK.
History of Rap
The history of rap music is a fascinating journey that originated in the African American and Latinx communities of the Bronx, New York City, in the 1970s. Rap is a genre of music characterized by its rhythmic and rhyming lyrics, often delivered with a strong emphasis on wordplay and storytelling. Here's an overview of the history of rap:
1. Early Influences (1960s):
The roots of rap can be traced back to African and African American oral traditions, such as spoken-word poetry and "toasting" in the Caribbean, where performers would speak or chant over beats and rhythms.
2. Birth of Hip-Hop Culture (1970s):
Hip-hop culture, which includes rap, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti art, began to emerge in the South Bronx during the 1970s.
Parties in the Bronx, often hosted by DJs like Kool Herc, played a crucial role in the development of rap music. DJs would isolate and repeat the "break" section of songs, allowing MCs (Master of Ceremonies) to rap over them.
3. Early Pioneers (Late 1970s):
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa, and The Sugarhill Gang are some of the early rap artists and groups that gained recognition.
The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" (1979) is often considered one of the first rap songs to achieve commercial success.
4. The Golden Age (1980s):
The 1980s saw the rapid expansion of rap music. Artists like Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Public Enemy became prominent figures.
The use of drum machines, samplers, and synthesizers played a significant role in shaping the sound of rap during this era.
5. Gangsta Rap and West Coast vs. East Coast (Late 1980s to 1990s):
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of gangsta rap, with artists like N.W.A. and Ice-T addressing social and political issues, often with explicit lyrics.
The East Coast-West Coast rivalry, characterized by conflicts between artists and labels from the two coasts, came to define this period. Notable figures included Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
6. The Global Spread (1990s to 2000s):
Rap music transcended borders and became a global phenomenon, with artists from various countries incorporating their cultural elements into the genre.
Hip-hop's influence extended to fashion, language, and cultural trends.
7. The 2000s and Beyond:
The 2000s saw the rise of artists like Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, who brought new styles and themes to rap music.
Rap continued to evolve, with the emergence of subgenres like trap, mumble rap, and conscious hip-hop.
8. Mainstream Dominance and Diverse Styles:
Rap music has become one of the most dominant and influential genres in contemporary popular music.
It encompasses a wide range of styles and themes, from socially conscious and political rap to party anthems and trap music.
9. Social and Political Influence:
Rap has been a powerful tool for addressing social and political issues, providing a platform for artists to express their perspectives on issues like racial inequality, poverty, and systemic injustice.
The history of rap is a testament to its ability to reflect and shape culture, challenge the status quo, and provide a voice for marginalized communities. It has evolved over the decades, while retaining its core elements of lyrical expression and rhythm. Rap music continues to be a significant force in the music industry and a vital medium for storytelling and self-expression.