Rap music is an expressive form of rhythmic vocal delivery, incorporating spoken word, rhythm, and street vernacular in a generative manner, normally over a background beat or other musical accompaniment. The components of rap music include “content”, “rhythm”, and” Delivery”. The more content there is in the song, the less formal or formalized is the delivery. Most common elements of rap music are the following: rhyme, subject matter, and performance. In short, the rap artist wants to create something of his own, with his unique twist or style, that is characteristic of the times (rap is back! ).
Rap music genre is the latest music genre to emerge from the mainstream in North America, although it has been around since the mid to late 90’s. Hip hop, soul, jazz, pop, country and many other music genres have evolved into rap songs. The evolution of rap has created new standards for rap vocals. In particular lyrical content and delivery have reached a new level of complexity that showcases both lyricism and rapping skill in their entirety.
Rap music, like hip hop, continues to evolve with time. With the use of the computer and innovative equipment, rappers are able to create rapping beats on the spot. Early hip hop and rap songs incorporated sample beats, but the process of creating a rap beat remained essentially the same throughout these genres. Rap artists took advantage of freestyle rapping to create their signature sound. They combined their samples and vocals into complex arrangements that still involved repeating a basic beat.
Influential hip hop and rap artists of the late 1990s would include Big Daddy Kane, Jay Z, P Diddy, Eazy-E, Rakim, Pharrell Williams, and many others. During this time period, rap music gradually became more popular, especially with younger listeners who tended to imitate the sounds of their favorite rap artists. Rap songs were always about issues that were topical at the time, such as politics, race, and religion. Some were also about fashion, which was more than ever with the release of “White And Nerdy” by rap artist Lil Kim in 1997. Rap artists addressed issues that were topical in society at the time.
The popularity of rap music and rap artists reached a different level following the success of “YO!” by hip-hop artist Outkast. A barrage of rap songs were released in response to the chart topping single, which was nothing more than an uptempo, danceable tune. Thanks to the chart success of Outkast, rap artists were no longer just representing themselves but were now popularizing music and putting out independent labels.
The birth of the hip hop genre was sparked by artists such as Kanye West and Jay Z. With their influential work ethic and talent, these artists helped define the genre’s modern look and feel. Their influence eventually influenced rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Common, and other artists from the Westside Connection and alike. Nowadays, even people outside of the rap music world are able to listen to some of the classic rap and hip hop hits.
The rap music and hip-hop culture continue to evolve. There is no certain timeline to determine when the genre will reach a level of popularity where it will no longer be discussed. There are certain factors though that have indicated that the mainstream audience is starting to get a little more into the rap music and are willing to listen to artists like Kanye West. Other rappers are still able to tap into the fan base even if they haven’t yet reached the mainstream rapping level.
In modern times, rap music has been used to address social problems. Artists such as Kanye West have used their music to speak about issues such as social injustice and the issues of the urban environment. By using the word “rap,” a rapper can now talk about issues that directly affect the minds and lives of the people. Even if the people of the audience are not aware of the underlying message, they usually enjoy the rapper’s perspective on social problems.