Roots of hip hop music

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(Redirected from Roots of rap music)

The first rap record is generally acknowledged to have been "King Tim III" by the Fatback Band in 1979 (Toop, 1991), followed by rapping's namesake: Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight (Toop, 1991), but there were many predecessors and early indicators of the possibilities of chanting rhymes over a musical background.

Hip hop, including rapping and scratching, emerged from 1970s block parties in New York City, specifically The Bronx (Toop, 1991). In the 1930's more than a fifth of Harlem residents were from the West Indies, and the block parties of the 80's were closely similar to sound systems in Jamaica(Toop, 1991). These were large parties, originally outdoors, thrown by owners of loud and expensive stereo equipment, which they could share with the community or use to compete among themselves, who began speaking lyrics or toasting.

Rap music emerged from block parties after ultra-competitive DJs isolated percussion breaks, those being the favorites among dancers, and MCs began speaking over the beats (Toop, 1991); in Jamaica, a similar musical style called dub developed from the same isolated and elongated percussion breaks. However, "most rappers will tell you that they either disliked reggae or were only vaguely aware of it in the early and middle '70s." (Toop, 1991)

Lastly, most existing hip hop acts were shocked when King Tim III's throwback to radio DJs rhyming jive and the Sugarhill Gang's appropriation of rap on their remake, not sample, of Chic's "Good Times" were released, as most DJs and MCs knew each other and many had been attempting to record (Toop, 1991). Early rap records are a mix bag of quality material by party veterans and poorer material quickly produced for a profit.

Lil Rodney Cee, of Funky Four Plus One More and Double Trouble, cites Cowboy, of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, as, "the first MC that I know of...He was the first MC to talk about the DJ." (Toop, 1991)

Earlier styles that contributed to rap

One bright day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
drew their swords and shot each other.

Individual performances that prefigured rap

While rap as a musical genre started in the 80s, there have been many black and white performers who succeeded with rap-style performances in early jazz, blues, pop, and country performances.

  • Pinetop Smith's "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" (1929) in which the "girl with the red dress on" was first told "when I say stop, don't you move a peg, when I say go I want you to shake your leg".
  • W.C. Handy's talking celebration of "Long John Dean, the bold bank robber from Bowling Green".
  • Rosalind Russell, "Swing" (1953), a "patter song" written by Leonard Bernstein for the Broadway musical Wonderful Town that's just full of rappish talk -- "Old man Mose, kicked that bucket, down in the well, well, well, well ... Fish, it's my favorite dish"
  • Ray Charles's "Greenbacks" (1953), in which he raps out a sad story of how he got taken by a golddigger, "If you wanna have fun in this man's land, let Lincoln and Jackson start shaking hands".
  • Champion Jack Dupree's "Big Leg Emma's" (1956), rhyming tale of a barrelhouse raid over slow blues piano: "I went down to Big Leg Emma's house, to get myself a drink of gin, but before I got in the house good, the law walked in".
  • Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love", (1956) a maniacal boast, "I got a tombstone hand and graveyard mind, just 22 and I don't mind dyin'".
  • Napoleon XIV, "They're coming to take me away ha-ha" (1966), just one demented rhymer, a trap set, and a variable speed tape drive. And, on the B-side, the whole thing in reverse.
  • Bob Dylan "Subterranean Homesick Blues" 1960s vocal exercise, "Short pants, romance, learn to dance, Get dressed, get blessed, Try to be a success", etc.
  • Pink Floyd's "Vegetable Man" (1968) is an unreleased song where current bandmember Syd Barrett is very clearly rapping about his clothes and the image forced on him by his band.
  • The witty, rhyme-filled boasts of boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
  • Bonzo Dog Band, "Humanoid Boogie" (1969): "Well, the humanoid boogie's gonna get to number one on the cha-cha-charts voted by the people-eeple-eeple of the record-buying publicoid".
  • Many funk songs by Parliament-Funkadelic, such as the spoken-sung call and response poetry of "Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)" (Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove, 1978)
  • Numerous novelty songs of the 50s and 60s featuring rhythmic readings of rhymed verse (often with melodic choruses), such as Larry Verne's "Please Mr. Custer", the tale of a reluctant Indian fighter; "All American Boy", the story of Elvis Presley, "Gitarzan" by Ray Stevens, "He's free as the breeze, He's always at ease, He lives in the jungle and hangs by his knees".


de:Ursprünge des Hip Hop


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