Then, the four most infuential rap albums of all time are discussed, chosen primarily based upon their influence in redefining the genre as it existed prior to the album. Some of the largest names in the rap music business are discussed and analyzed with particular respect to their technical and artistic merits, as well as their social impact upon the world.
Since its conception in the early seventies, rap music has been more than just a genre of music. It has become a street culture with elements that promote self expression and participation. Whether you call it rap or hip hop, it is the medium for urban-based creativity and expression of culture. This paper discusses the history and influence of rap, offering insight into a genre that is highly publicized on a global level but often ignored.
The beginning of hip hop has often been discussed and debated among those in the music scene. On one hand, it seems to be widely accepted that the birth date of rap was 1979, when Sugar Hill Gang released Rappers Delight, but the hip hop scene more likely began to form in the Bronx in 1971. The founder of hip-hop was rapper and first break-beat deejay Kool Herc. Sugar Hill Gang seem to be used as a starting point as they hold the title for the introduction of rap music on vinyl, the youth cult for rap music had established itself many years prior to 1979. Soon after the conception of rap as an idea, Grandmaster Flash invented scratching; spinning a record back and forth creating a scratching sound. These innovations made by Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa and other like- minded DJs of the era were the spearhead of an underground cultural movement that is now recognized as hip-hop.
Hip hop quickly became recognized as a form of urban based creativity and expression of culture, the turntables enabled artists to be creative with musical sounds. The turntable is an instrument that gives artists control over mainstream music, by proffering a "simple tool to make their art," (Byi, 1998) constituting a sense of rebellion through scratching and distorting a track. Not only does deejaying give artists a sense of upheaval, but also liberation and freedom, the DJ, Q-Bert explained this phenomenon in an interview, "the art of scratching is like a miracle- how you grab any recorded sound and manipulate it to say whatever you wantI wanted to speak the universal language of music, so I chose the musical instrument of the future: the turntable" (Byi, 1998)
In the beginning, hip-hop was mainly seen at parties where a DJ would loop samples from records and allow people to battle over these tracks; from here hip-hop culture grew. Deejays often used a microphone to engage the crowd. Over time, individuals other than the Deejay joined in, delivering a message in a catchy rhyme form. By drawing attention not only to the message itself, but also how the message was conveyed, these individuals became performers in their own right, taking a place alongside Deejays and B-Boys; the emcee was born.
People were rapping on the streets, and battles could be seen in warehouses on a Saturday night where budding rappers would get on the stage and rap against each other in a knock out style competition. It was the lack of financial resources that prevented this music from being