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Historical Background of Rap

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1 Historical Background of Rap
Origins of Hip Hop Culture

2 Very Early Origins “In fact, one can trace the history of rap back to the West African professional singers/storytellers known as Griots.” The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States by Henry A. Rhodes-Yale New Haven Teachers’ Institute

3 Early “Rappers” Rap is rhythmic recitation of speech over a steady beat. Traditional African-American Church culture contains rhythmic speech in sermons, call and response. Boxer Mohammed Ali “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”…rhythmic boasts- “rap like”

4 Early Names/Early Songs 3 DJ’s originating the break-beat
Jamaican born- Kool Herc (Clive Campbell)- Moved to NY in 1967 In order to distinguish himself, he concentrated on the instrumental part of the recordings, instead of the vocal, Manipulated turntables- creating sounds and music Break dancing evolved around this sound

5 Two other DJ’s Afrika Bambaataa
Founder of NY based Zulu Nation, a community service and arts organization combating drug culture, via the arts, music and dance Grandmaster Flash Website boasts “First to make the turntable an instrument”- Scratching etc..

6 Early influences continued
Other Jamaican influence- sounds produced by street musicians tapping into light poles to power their sound systems Proto-type hip hop music primarily a combination of Funk Soul R & B

7 Hip Hop is a Culture Hip Hop is music, but much more.
Fashion statements grew up around the music, in an effort to “reclaim” it from celebrities, and bring it back to the common folk. Expensive sport shoes and wear, some claim was an attempt to mock affluent surburbanite originally.

8 Elements of Hip Hop Culture
Graffiti (writing) Clothing Dance Music Rapping Djing

9 More Historical Sources Regarding Rap
Web link to paper on Historical Sources of Rap Rappers can be viewed as “oral historians” and “educators” In the words of Chuck D. of Public Enemy, “rap is like the underground Cable News Network of the African-American community”

10 Toasts, Dozens, Signifying make up part of Rap’s History
Toasts- rhythmic speech to a beat links on this site are excellent background Dozens- Insulting each other-Arsenio scene…”Your Mama is so…” Signifying…insulting as a term of endearment or to bond?

11 Run DMC Analysis of King of Rock Importance of Walk this Way ?

12 OG to OI Although there are different styles of rap music, this paper focuses on the media-driven central figure in hard core rap music videos, the "original gangsta" (OG) rappers. This image is rooted in the curious juxtaposition of the African American oral tradition of hero outlaws as described by LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka) in Blues People (Jones, 1963). The communities that created outlaws and OGs are important as sources for understanding the evolution from outlaw to OG (Washington, 1996) to organic intellectual (OI). Original gangsta rappers and blues singers are engaged in a dynamic activity that seeks a common ground with the audience through a shared attitude about the topics that affect rappers, singers and audience (Hamlet, 1998) The emerging patterns of behavior and topics within the discourse constitute the sites of conflict in rap music: economics, violence, family, social alienation, polarization of societal units, and cultural and social deprivation (Washington & Shaver, 1997).

13 Question for Discussion
Describe Gangsta Rappers in terms of being “hero outlaws”. Compare to “Cowboy” motif Use the ideas of there being spokespeople within African and African American Culture to comment about social injustice, family, politics, pain, money etc…alienation, polarization.

14 Eminem: Poet or bigot? Read and Respond What is the popularity of Eminem? What is the appeal to Rap to a larger audience these days, as opposed its original urban African American public? Is it about “honesty”, no matter what the cost? Do some lyrics nourish toxic anger or celebrate it?

15 Rap’s Images of Women Terminology Subject matter Focus Sexist?

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