Eras of Rap, History of Hip Hop Song for Students #3 – Rap Opera for Kids


Before 1979, there were no recorded rhymes,
but people still did emcee. If you wanted to hear rap, block parties were the place to be At this time, Hip Hop mainly existed in New
York City. DJs played funk and disco beats at live shows
while emcees on the microphones rocked a steady flow. Emcees used party rhymes to hype up everyone. Peace, love, and music – Hip Hop was having
fun. Block parties were a means for teens to express
themselves. Instead of gang culture, Hip Hop was a positive
outlet for inner-city kids. Hip Hop also meant a way of dealing with the
hardships of life in the projects. Emcees also focused on issues in society. In 1982, a song from Grandmaster Flash and
the Furious Five discussed the harsh realities. In the mid-1980s, Hip Hop shifted away from
old-school funk with the introduction of diverse samples
and machine drums. Samples were used heavily. They are the reuse of a variety of original
melodies and other sound recordings. So formal musicality was no longer a necessity. This made production possibilities infinite
based on the ability to have a good ear for music. Djs and producers sampled many genres:
jazz, funk, and soul to rock and roll. If the sound improved the song, they sampled
the audio. Even Kung-Fu shouts made it into the studio. New-school Hip Hop heavily focused on image. Mainly from New York, these Big Apple artists
like Run-D.M.C. and LL Cool J rocked Adidas shoes
along with the gold chains. In new-school Hip Hop, rappers regularly
bragged about themselves, challenging other emcees. They also rapped about politics, making commentary
about society. Their lyrical delivery was aggressive. A tough but cool style described their demeanor. Called the “Golden Age of Hip Hop,” it
gained major success as shown by many artists that came
up. Hip Hop started at the bottom – now, it made
it to the top. The Beastie Boys had the first rap album to
chart at #1 on the Billboard 200. The “Fresh Prince,” Will Smith,
in 1989 won a hip-hop Grammy Award for the first time. In the ‘90s, Hip Hop and rap had mainstream
success. By this time, the terms “Hip Hop” and
“rap” took different paths. “Hip Hop” began to refer mainly to the
culture while “rap” was a general term that described
the genre. Rap was something you did – Hip Hop was something
you lived. By the ‘90s, many rappers were living big. In 1991,
MC Hammer was the winner of the “International Album of the Year.” This was the first time that this award went
to a rapper for the highest records sales of the year, proving rap had staying power. Many at the time thought that rap would simply
fade away, but it was too legitimate to quit based on its popularity. Rap music was built on the use of samples
initially. But a court case in 1991 against the rapper
Biz Markie changed the future of Hip Hop and rap music production. Markie was sued for using music without the
permission of the original artist and mixing it into his album. Producers no longer freely sampled for fear
of punishment. Before sampling music, artists now needed
consent. Hip Hop and rap music still grew with its
influence. Even rock bands incorporated rap into their
music. Linkin Park is one of the most well-known
bands to use it. Rap music gained even greater respect with
the wild success of Marshall Mathers in 1999, marking a transition in rap music. In the 2000s, rappers from everywhere gained
fame on the rap scene. Artists from the South and the Midwest
became popular at this time like Kanye West and Outkast,
proving rappers could make alternative rap music and still succeed. Heavily sampling elements that were classical,
gospel, jazz, soul, rock, and R&B, Kanye West took rap away from what was typical. But he respected its origin by still using
sampling. However, sampling overall still declined. In 2008,
one rap song used three different samples. In contrast, in the 1990s, one rap song used
thirty. In 2005, rap sales declined too. No rap albums were
among the top ten for the first time in five years. However, a study in 2005 reported that hip-hop/rap
was the most preferred genre of music for the ages of
eight to eighteen. This indicated that the music was still
popular. Fans of the music have simply found other
ways to listen like through social media or even
illegally downloading the music instead of buying in
stores. Rappers also benefit from the internet,
using it largely to launch their careers. Chance the Rapper, a notable user of social
media, became popular by releasing his music free
to the public. This represented another shift in rap music.

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