The History of Rap: The Most Popular Genre in Our Time

Recitative forms in music have been used by musicians all over the world. The spell of the shamans. Songs of the Northerners. However, recitative had an auxiliary role in them. This was due to the too simple rhythm of such music. The very first deviations in this direction occurred when Richard Wagner introduced his opera Areosa. It did not, however, contain sound-holding techniques such as rhyme or alliteration. It was a free recitation of the text. If we talk about the history of rap, Jamaica can be called the cradle of this trend. At dub parties, DJs started to overlay a bouncy recitative with simulated drum parts. That's how the term MC - master of ceremonies appeared. This performer would get the crowd going with his little verses. Then with the advent of the MC Dozens battle, the volume of couplets grew noticeably. It was revered to rhyme a lot of lines on the fly. The MCs started to rhyme and added rhyme inside the line. That is, rhyme became a musical tool. One of the clearest examples of this is the legendary track from Grandmaster Flash The message with Furious Five. It features new rhyming styles that were borrowed from Dozens' battles

African music has given rap its dominant form, which is responsible for rhythm. Before Rakim, no rap artist had used so many internal rhymes in his lyrics. He complicated the technique of complicating rhymes. Rakim was the first rapper to use compound rhymes. It was he who introduced the use of single-line rhyming, later developed by Notorious B.I.G. and Nas. 


Rakim was one of the first to go beyond the beat line, ending a line on the first or second beat of the next measure. He changed hip-hop completely, turning it into a true art form. Rakim's contribution to rap deserves real respect.

If we talk about the history of rap, it reached its peak in the 90s. Names like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Public Enemy, 2Pac, and Notorious B.I.G epitomized that era. The more the authorities tried to restrict artists' auditions, the more public interest was fueled. Back then, rap singers talked about the realities of life. Murder. Poverty. Depravity and homelessness. All people, except the elderly and children, were left to the streets. The West and East Coast War introduced even more strife into the rap game. 


In those days rap was very politicized. It was the music of blacks, and their lyrics were not only gangsta rap, but also hurt the prejudice of the upper class. Rap for African Americans was the only weapon that carried weight.

Unexpectedly in 1999 Dr. Dre finds a future star. A white rapper, who would later with his album put himself on a par with the mastodons of the rap game and perform on a par with black people. That discovery was, of course, Eminem.


In the noughties rap began to become commercialized. It was now a lucrative business for producers and for artists. The emergence of a new sound contributed to the birth of new stars of the genre. The real success was achieved by Jay-Z, who got noticed back in the 90's. The Blueprint album, released in 2001, became a benchmark of quality for years to come. 

Three years later, hip-hop duo Outkast are releasing unparalleled work, even by today's standards. The double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was over two hours long. It won the Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year. It is a historic achievement in rap history.

The next segment that made a significant contribution to rap was Kanye West's fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Yeezy is an amazing character. Through his example, he showed that rap can go beyond gangsta boundaries. Brutality and scathingness can be replaced by melody and singing.

Then A$AP Rocky with his album LONG.LIVE.A$AP created a new genre and paved the way for other artists. Everything Rakim wanted to say fits into one line: "Pussy, money, weed / That's all a nigga needs". With this album A$AP Rocky opened not only his creativity to the world. With him came a new genre of cloud rap. 

Nowadays, unfortunately, audiences are not as pedantic about their music choices. Nowadays rappers are more concerned with making money than with the quality and message of their music. 

Adrian - Nov 5, 2021, 2:26 PM - Add Reply


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