RAPPING ABOUT RAP

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Rap music is on its way to becoming one of the most popular forms of music on the market today. Although rap has only been popular for the last 15 years, it can be traced back to the days of slavery and even further to the tribes of Africa. Rap is used now as it was used for the past few centuries, as a form of communication. This music has been a way for the young African-American's to speak out about their lives and the struggles they go through. Like rock-n-roll and other forms of music that achieve national attention, rap is being blamed for corrupting our youth. There is a new type of rap music out called "Gangster Rap". This form of rap music is not the same and should not be compared with rap durived from the hip hop era. There has been many attempts by people in the rap business to bring positive attention to their music. They are spending a lot of time promoting the "Stop the violance" campain and others that promote education and drug awareness.
The history of rap varies, but the most common beleif is that it comes from Africa. This can be proven by looking at the different techniqus used in making rap music and the techniques used in African music. Rap music consists of many sounds and techniques that come from different sources. As noted in Grolier Electronic Publishing, under the subject African musical styles, "One of the most common types of music-making is call-and-response singing, in which a chorus repeats a fixed refrain in alternation with a lead singer who has more freedom to improvise". This is an important part of rap music. Cheryl Keyes explains, "Audience response helps to prolong performance and helps the rapper to spontaneously execute rap formulas. The more verbal and kinesic the response from the audience, the longer the rapper raps"(146). Another technique used in rap music is the talking over pre recorded tracks. This is defined by Grolier also in the definition of rap music, "a combination of rhymed lyrics spoken over rhythm tracks and pieces of recorded music and sounds called samples, taken from other records". This has also been traced back to Africa as noted by Relin in his article, "Musical historians say the roots of rap (chanting over a rhythmic beat) reach back into African tradition of oral history"...

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