Saturday Jan 18th, 2020

The evolution of Rap

Every musical style that exists has evolved to the point of finding the "perfection". From rock to reggaeton, they have undergone many changes throughout their creation and because rap is not far behind.

But What is rap really?

Rap is the action of singing or speaking rhymed lyrics in a rhythmic way and is one of the five disciplines of hip hop, the others are: disc jockey or DJ, breakdancing, graffiti painting and beatboxing.

By moving away from the African-American influence of blues, the history of this genre takes shape in the late 70s.

One of the first acts during this era was The Sugarhill Gang, a trio originally from New Jersey that with its 1979 success Rapper's Delight, surprising for its length of 15 minutes, would mark a milestone in the history of the genre.

Lyrically it was a presentation of the members to the public, exposing their tastes and virtues with grace, verbal agility and the typical egocentrism that characterizes these poets.

Wait!, And how did rap come about?

It was August 11, 1973 and the Back to School Jam It promised to be a simple night of dancing and fun before going back to school. However, it ended up being the beginning of what is today one of the most popular musical genres in the world.

DJ Kool Herc He had noticed that when he played disco and 'funk' at parties, people danced more at times when percussion intensified: 'breaks'. Then, on that hot night, he decided to do something that for many was a heresy: throw away the rest of the song and just keep the breaks.

The technique was transgressive and involved interrupting the natural movement of vinyl by hand, to keep it in the percussion zone. This also increased the difficulty of being a DJ: it was not enough to choose music, it was necessary to be able to find breaks quickly.

During the rest of the 70s, the genre progressed clandestinely. Their only record was cassettes in which the parties were recorded, but nobody was still rapping with the intention of creating songs: the emphasis was on the live scene, not on the radio.

DJ Kool Herc in the image below.

This changed in 1979, when the singer Sylvia Robinson He perceived the popularity of the phenomenon at a party. He decided to recruit three MC (ceremony masters) to make the first rap song directed to the radio: 'Rapper's Delight', Sugarhill Gang.

Wow! Now the story is taking shape. You can listen to the song here: Link to YouTube

His overwhelming success was the beginning of a trend in which rappers became more leading than DJs, heroes at first.

With words as tools, rappers spent the 80s describing their reality. As 'hip hop' was born in slums of New York, much of its content consisted in narrating what it was like to live there.

Although in the 1980s rap became important in the musical medium, it was socially viewed with suspicion by the white society of the United States. This began to change in the mid-90s, when, without leaving its street tone, artists like The Notorious BIG y 2Pac they took over the stations and rap became one of the emblematic sounds of American youth.

With the arrival of the new century, rap, in addition to sounding on the radio and having good sales, was integrated with pop culture. This was largely thanks to Eminem, the first white rapper of massive success, who helped challenge the narrative that rap was black music. At this time also stars like Jay Z y Kanye West.

As part of the US invasion, Spanish-speaking countries also adopted this musical movement during the 90s. Mexicans Machete control They are among the most emblematic groups in the region. The Puerto Rican Vico C reflects the influence of Public Enemy y NWA Being an artist devoted to social denunciation.

In addition, when implementing certain Christian tones, Vico is known as "The philosopher of rap". The Californian group Cypress Hill It is a perfect example of the fusion of cultures by maintaining their Cuban and Mexican heritage with the mixture of rhymes in English and Spanish with a typical Charro accent.

Other rappers from Latin America are Bocafloja, Attitude María Marta y Arsenal of Rhymes. In Spain they are also White weapon y Carpe DM. Unintentionally, these musicians set the tone for what would later become reggaeton.

Eminem in the image below.

As of 1997, people began to listen more to Spanish rap to the detriment of the American, since many albums had been released and society was interested in listening to music from the land.

At this time the first famous Spanish rappers became known, as people had the possibility to choose between many artists and were differentiating their tastes and creating fame around the most listened to, the first quality differentiation between rappers was produced.

Theme suggested by: María Pérez

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