Skip to Main Content

Rap Music: About

Rap History

Rap Defined

Rap is a musical style in which rhythmic and/or rhyming speech is chanted (“rapped”) to musical accompaniment. This backing music, which can include digital sampling (music and sounds extracted from other recordings), is also called hip-hop, the name used to refer to a broader cultural movement that includes rap, deejaying (turntable manipulation), graffiti painting, and break dancing.

Rap, originated in African American communities in New York City and came to national prominence with the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” (1979). Rap’s early stars included Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, Public Enemy (who espoused a radical political message), and the Beastie Boys. Continue reading from Encyclopedia Britannica

Watch Rap Music History

Check Out a Book on Rap Music

Link to How to Rap by Paul Edward in Freading
Link to The Anthology of Rap by Adam Bradley in the catalog
Link to Dilla time : the life and afterlife of J Dilla, the hip-hop producer who reinvented rhythm by Dan Charnas in the catalog
Link to Chuck D presents This day in rap and hip-hop history by Chuck D in the catalog
Link to Chamber Music by Will Ashon in the catalog
Link to The roots of rap : 16 bars on the 4 pillars of hip-hop by Carole Boston Weatherford in the catalog
Link to Decoded by Jay-Z in the catalog