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The History Of Rap and Hip Hop Pt.1

Updated on July 21, 2012

Where did it come from, and who is responsible for it?

Hip Hop and Rap have been around for over 3 decades. It has spawned a whole plethora of artists, music, and movies. But where exactly did the idea come from? Who started this music style? Let's explore this as we hop into the time machine. Keep in mind this is only of my opinion, and my findings. Some people may agree or disagree with what I am going to say.


Well first let me say what the difference is between the two. Some may not know,and feel like it is the same thing. Dictionary.com defines rap as a noun "a style of popular music, developed by disc jockeys and urbanblacks in the late 1970s, in which an insistent, recurring beat pattern provides the and counterpoint for rapid, slangy, and often boastful rhyming patter glibly intoned by a vocalist or vocalists." They define Hip Hop as a noun " The popular sub-culture of big-city teenagers, which include; rap music, break dancing, and graffiti art. " The term "hip hop" was said to be created by a cowboy that teased his friend who just joined the army buy scat singing the words "hip-hop-hip-hop" mimicking the way soldiers marched. Afrika Bambaataa is also credited with coining the term hip hop, something dj's frequently said while rhyming. Now I don't know how accurate that is, but that's pretty much the gist of it.

Think of it in terms of the health care industry. Hip hop would be the hospital, and a rapper would be the doctor. Hip Hop is the foundation for rap. It is a culture, a movement, a lifestyle. Some people live and breathe hip hop. From the way they dress, to the cars they drive. People who consider themselves hip hop artists are usually more lyrical in content. Not to say rappers don't have good lyrics. But most earlier hip hop artists didn't put too much focus on material items, and sexual content. There definitely were some, but not as big as today. Early Hip Hop groups usually consisted of members who were emcee's (mc's) or rappers and a DJ. A few examples are Grandmaster Flash and the furious five, Run D.M.C and Jam Master Jay, and Salt Pepa and Spinderella. Hip Hop birthed out of funk, soul, rock, and disco music. Many artists sampled music of James Brown, George Clinton, and Bootsy Collins.

Rap music tends to be more aggressive, and hard core than hip hop. Rap music tends to have a little more raw material. Such as profanity, sex, and drugs. Many early rappers put on music what was going on in the streets, and in their lives. Both rap and hip hop are a form of poetry, putting rhythmic tone and words, over a beat. I would say the transition from old school hip hop to rap came in the late 80's. Groups like N.W.A, Run D.M.C, and Public enemy set the tone for what was to come. Later into the 90's would come what I would like to call the Biggie-Tupac era. Although those artists are very much hip hop as well, things definitely changed.

A few of the items I mentioned in the article

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    • charevette profile image
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      Charlotte Washington 3 years ago from Atlanta, Ga

      Thanks a lot. Growing up I thought the two were the same thing!

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      Robert E Smith 3 years ago from Rochester, New York

      I think this article is excellent. In a clear presentation you convey the difference between the two genres and two terms. I loved that the best guess of where the term "hip-hop" came from a cowboy or a soldier in the army. I could follow your progression of the history and development of the music. I am an aspiring music student but know very little of music's history in any genre so this is information I found very instructive and in a style that was enjoyable to read. I voted up and interesting and useful. Thank you for this hub it was great!