What is rap, rap history
Back in 1972, the popular Italian actor, singer and composer Adriano Celentano presented for the first time to the audience a composition with the amazing name "Prisencolinensinainciusol". The song had not only a strange title, but also content that was filled with meaningless fictional words. In addition, the performance of the composition itself was unusual, since the singer did not sing the words, but pronounced to the music. At that time, no one even meant that in ten years such a performance would be revived in America, at first for fun and pleasure, and then it would become one of the important components of not only super popular hip hop, but also other musical genres.
What is rap?
In English, the word rap has several interpretations and can be translated as knocking, hitting or speaking. However, it has another meaning - it is a rhythmic recitative: a technique that is used in the compositions of many musical genres. Rap can be read to any music, be it a gentle romantic melody or a quick and rough beat. True, at the present time, the entire background music on which it overlaps is called a beat, although in fact this word means the drum and bass part of the backing track that defines the rhythm.
In percussion for rap play an important role: the bass drum is a low-pitched percussion instrument and the snare drum is snare. In addition, it is possible to use various elements, such as whistles and chains, in weaker beats, that is, in bebits of rap songs. You should also pay special attention to two specific components of rap musical design - this is "scratching" (the needle at the player is specifically pushed so that it scratches the record and makes a squeaky sound), as well as "sampling" (matching and combining short segments of previously composed melodic compositions).
Texts of rap are very diverse, as they cover any subject from love to politics. They are all taken from everyday life and narrate about human joys and sorrows, successes and failures. Rhyming in rap has several varieties, among which it is worth mentioning:
- verbal rhyme;
- accent (on consonance);
- double (double frames);
- triple (triple);
- full-line (pantorithmu);
- tight rhyme
A performer who reads rap is called a rapper or MC - an abbreviation that stands for "master of the ceremony."
- "U Can't Touch This". This song belongs to the best hits of the popular American rapper, the nineties superstar Ms Hammer. Despite the fact that the composition was recorded in unusual conditions, namely in the mobile studio, it gained such success that it helped the third studio album of the artist to disperse circulation of more than 10 million copies, and the Hammer himself to rise in many world charts to the highest line.
"U Can't Touch This" (listen)
- "Lose yourself". The composition of the famous American rap musician Eminem, which appeared in 2002, was originally the soundtrack to the film-drama" 8 Mile ", in which the singer played the main role. After some time, the song released by the single, became one of the best hits of the singer and won a large number of awards, for example, the next year, as the “Best Soundtrack”, she won an Oscar film award. The composition is a kind of record holder, as it lasted in the charts at the first position for more than 2 months.
"Lose Yourself" (listen)
- "Lollipop". This single opens the sixth studio album of American musician Lil Wayne, who today is probably the most popular rap artist. The composition immediately began to enjoy great success and was sold in such large numbers that it was awarded platinum status several times. received a Grammy Award.
- "Power". The creation of this song from the successful American rapper Kanye West took 5000 hours and this is no accident, as he set himself the goal of creating something that will inspire the audience. Westu succeeded. The song, performed with soul singer Dwele, immediately She received positive ratings from various publications and ranked high in various charts as the best composition, and besides, she subsequently became platinum twice in the USA.
Since the rap style is one of the most popular from the moment of its appearance, it is quite natural that in the process of its development an incredible variety of different trends arose, each of which has its own history, characteristic features and performers. Sometimes it is difficult for an uninitiated listener to determine what type of composition this or that is, but devoted fans understand this very well. Here are some of the musical types of this genre.
- Alternative Rap (Alternative Rap) - for the performers of this type of genre is not characterized by strict adherence to standards of style. In their compositions, they successfully synthesize rap with elements of such popular music trends as jazz, soul, reggae and folk. Among the most famous performers worth mentioning are Kanye Omari West (Tyler, the Creator), Jan Bevitz (Aesop Rock), as well as the groups "Outkast", "Gorillaz", "Flobots".
- British rap (British Rap) - this subgenre appeared in the UK and then Europe has never spread. Initially, the British took as a basis the sound combinations of the American group Public Enemy (Public Enemy), whose compositions were distinguished by texts on political subjects. Then the performers began to add claps and very low bass sounds to the music. As a result, a style emerged that was more difficult to perceive than its American progenitor. Artists: Dizzee Rascal, Roots Manuva, Lethal Bizzle, Riz MC. Groups "Massive Attack", "Young Fathers".
- Comedy Rap (Comedy Rap) - compositions of this direction are intended for amusement. They are distinguished not only by their humorous, but also their intellectual content. Artists: Biz Markie, Eminem, Hopsin. Groups: "The Lonely Island", "Beastie Boys".
- Gangsta Rap (Gangsta Rap) is the direction of rap that developed in the late 80s is particularly dark. It stands out among its fellow genres by the aggressiveness of the sound, as well as the use of obscene language in a large number of compositions. In the texts filled with criminal content, the emphasis is on violence and robbery, in general, on what is called the criminal way of life. Groups performing in this style constantly attract the attention of law enforcement agencies, and their albums are banned, but nevertheless, this trend of rap is one of the most commercially successful. Artists: Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube. Groups: "Geto Boys", "Bloods & Crips", "Young Soldierz".
- East Coast Rap (Rap Coast) - the springboard for the development of this trend was the Old School ("Old School"). With the development of style, which became very diverse, "Rap East Coast" in the 80s occupied a dominant position. He was distinguished by professionalism, not only in musical design, but also in textual content, that is, his artistic form was holistically thought out. Performers: Afrika Bambaataa, Slick Rick, Kurtis Blow. Groups: “Eric B. & Rakim”, “Boogie Down Productions”, “The Sugarhill Gang”.
- Jazz-rap (Jazz-Rap) - the direction that emerged in the second half of the 80s, was the result of a synthesis of Afro-American music born at the beginning of the century and rap - a modern style that prevails in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The rhythms of this style were borrowed from rap, and the sound texture - from the music of jazz styles. Performers: Akua Naru, Kero One. Groups: "A Tribe Called Quest", "Jungle Brothers", "De La Soul", "Gang Starr".
- Latin rap (Latin Rap) is a style dominated by recognized Latin American rhythms, and the lyrics are read not only in English, but also in Spanish. This trend is popular not only in the United States, but also in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as in the countries of the Caribbean, Central and South America. Artists: Mellow Man Ace, Kid Frost, Bands: "Latin Alliance", "The Beatnuts".
In addition to these areas of rap, there are also such types as Contemporary R & B, Dirty Rap, Dirty South, Foreign Rap, Funk, G-Funk, Hardcore Rap, Narco-Rap, Old School Rap, Party Rap, Political Rap, Pop-Rap, Ragga, Rhytm'n'Blues, Southern Rap, Underground Rap and others.
- Recitative is one of the main components of rap. This term for musical speech first appeared in opera art. The word recitare from Italian means reciting or reading out loud. Opera singers are very respectful to the recitative, because they believe that it is in him, and not in singing, that the whole intensity of passions can be conveyed.
- At the very beginning of the emergence of musical rapper styles, the performers used a simple tapping with various objects or vocal percussion, that is, bit-boxing, as a background on which the recitative was superimposed.
- Popular rappers, gathering large audiences, are considered among the most commercially viable artists. So in particular, Dr. Dre in 2012 was able to earn one hundred and ten million dollars.
- Despite the fact that rap is only a performance method that is used in various musical styles, many still consider it a separate genre. The truth is that hip-hop dance style is break dance, graphic is graffiti, so why can't rap be called the musical genre of this subculture?
- Performers of rap have repeatedly appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records. For example, in 1992, the name of the American rapper Twista was entered into her as the fastest rapper: in 55 seconds he could read a recitative of 598 syllables. Then in 2008, the name of the Spaniard Domingo Moreno got there: in one minute, the Spaniard laid down 921 syllables. However, today the most high-speed rapstar is the performer who was born in Turkey - Bilgin Ozchalkan. It was calculated that in two and a half minutes he reproduced 1267 whole words.
- Every year rap in the world is gaining more and more popularity, because rappers talk about the problems that arise in people in various difficult situations. Not all state governments like the rapid rise of this genre, for example, on Chinese television, performances by a number of subcultures, especially rap artists, have been banned. The argument boils down to the fact that people on television should not see vulgar artists with a dubious reputation and not a sufficiently high moral character.
- Topics for their compositions rap artists choose very diverse, but sometimes they are very, awkward, for example: "Blow bubbles", "Spend a weekend in the spa center", "Swim at night naked", "Try a dish that causes fear" , "Eat Strawberries".
- It is not strange, but rap in the USSR appeared already in the 80s of the last century. In 1984, DJ Sergey Minaev composed and performed the song "Carnival", in which he inserted elements of rap. In the same year, the Kuybyshev disc jockey Alexander Astrov and the Rush Hour group recorded their first rap album in Russian. At the present time, rap in our country is flourishing and is represented by more than one hundred performers, whose ratings grow with each released album. Among the most popular today are such rappers as Timothy, Basta, Guf, Djigan, Mot and the group "Caste".
The first musical direction, which is based on rap, appeared relatively recently. They originated in the United States in the first half of the 70s of the last century in one of the most unfavorable districts of New York, 90% inhabited by people from Africa and Latin America, namely in the South Bronx. New Yorkers were first introduced to DJs from the island of Jamaica at discos for a kind of quick recitation of the rumored text. The residents of the “black quarters” liked this style of performance and they not only picked it up quickly, but also began to intensively develop it.
Earlier in the United States, discos were only the privileges of a middle-class well-off class; ordinary young people could not afford to buy an expensive ticket to the appropriate club. In addition, racial discrimination still occurred in the country at that time, and only white-skinned people were allowed into such places. In this regard, enterprising natives from Jamaica began to organize their dance floors, which became very popular among young people in poor areas of the Bronx, and one of the first initiative DJs was Kul Gerk (real name Clive Campbell). It is important to note that in such discos a special role was assigned to a person who was called MS (Master of Ceremonies - host of the event). He acted as an entertainer, that is, he represented DJs, announced performances that sounded non-stop, and also constantly “warmed up” those present. It was at that time that the Jamaican disc jockeys introduced the American MC to the technique of reading the singing recitation, and the presenters on the dance floors began to be called Microphone Controller, Music Commentator, Microphone Commander. Here they are, in fact, were the first rappers, because during the discos they read out their rhymed texts addressed to the visitors under musical accompaniment.
A sort of DJ was Joseph Saddler, performing under the stage name of Grandmaster Flash. He, together with his group, intercepted and perfected Kula's technique, thereby becoming the founder of a completely new music that African Americans liked very much. They began to compose rhymed texts, go out into the streets and show citizens their skills, and in addition to arrange between themselves a kind of verbal fights - battles. All this was done not for commercial gain, but for the sake of pleasure. But nevertheless, soon the DJs began recording their performances on tape cassettes right during discos and selling them, not only in New York, but also in other cities of the United States. The new style of performance quickly gained popularity, although it should be noted that amateur radio stations, the so-called "black radio", also played a major role in promoting it, which received recognition from the African American population. For example, the band "Last Poets", opposing racial segregation, recorded two albums, which were then revolutionary in a new genre and often performed on the air.
At first, the rap-based style didn't have a name; nevertheless, it still appeared, and it happened after the newly organized band from Englewood “The Sugarhill Gang” in 1979 released their first single titled “Rapper's Delight "(Rapture Delight). This eleven-minute composition, which had an extraordinary success, introduced the American public to the term "hip-hop" and, accordingly, to rap. Initially, such a kind of music was perceived as a joke, and she was not predicted of further promising development. However, by the mid-80s, rap music had reached the same popularity as rock, country and pop music, although it still continued to occupy the position of the genre belonging to the criminal world. Indeed, among the varieties of rap and now there is a so-called gangsta rap, dedicated to the criminal theme, having an aggressive sound and stuffed with obscene lexicon. Without a doubt, this rap attracted and attracts the attention of law enforcement. Meanwhile, over time, rappers increasingly began to be shown in the movies, on TV screens and on the pages of fashion magazines, and commercial organizations began to attract performers of the genre to advertise various goods. In addition, in the mid-90s, due to the famous confrontation between the performers of the West and East Coast, mass media began to pay close attention to rap. The standoff was so serious that it ended tragically: in the fall of 1996, the leading Western performer Tupac Shakur was fatally injured, and in the spring of next year the same fate befell the leader of the East, acting under the pseudonym The Notorious B.I.G. Such a rivalry, which ended very gloomily, paid a lot of attention in the press and this contributed to the intensive popularization of the genre, so much so that rapper compositions began to occupy the top lines of the charts.
Today, music styles and trends, which are based on rap, are at the top of their popularity. Originated once in the poor neighborhoods of New York for the sake of entertainment of the common people, considered the music of gangsters and gangsters, they now conquer the listeners of the world's best concert halls, and from a commercial point of view are considered the most profitable.