a genre of music that is all too often stereotyped for being highly materialistic and confused with Hip Hop
Rap stands for Rhythm and Poetry, not Retards atempting Poetry (and this is for all the urban dictionary drones who copied the first acronym into their definitions).
Ignorant people often mistake rap for guys rhyming about cars, houses, drugs, sex, etc. This is what you'd call "Commercial Rap", that is, rappers who have signed on to huge record labels only to lose control of their self respect, waving their money around in the face of their lower-class counterparts. Commercial Rappers are completely unaware that they are ruining rap's good name by spoiling the lyrical styles with materialistic garbage. Old school rap and new non-crap rap music is called Underground rap.
Ignorant people also confuse rap and hip hop. Here's the difference: Rap is focused almost completley on the lyrics, usually telling a story or expressing one's self in such a way. Hip Hop is focused on the beat/melody, where the hip hop artist, NOT the rapper, is simply adding rhyming phrases to his or her music. Hip Hop is in no way a variation of rap. Occasionaly, a rapper might do a collaboration
to a hip hop song, but rarely vice versa.
Examples of good rappers are Tupac Shakur
, Nas, Mos Def (the old school rappers), and examples of the Commercial rappers are 50 cent, Lil Wayne
, and any rapper/rap group who talks more about what they have than what they could be doing for society, like the good rappers.
Also, this is America: a grossly capitalistic nation, in which our economic advantages and ignorance seep into all kinds of musical genres, unfortunatly Rap the most. The real problem with rap today is that youngsters who want to be rappers aren't influenced by the good old school Tupac-esque rappers anymore; the only thing they hear on radio stations these days is the commercial garbage rap, and thus they want to become a commercial rapper. Tupac would piss all over these fake rappers if he were still alive.
Lastly, rap is not just for black people. Rap music is for EVERYONE...no race can ever "own" a genre of music. Examples of skilled non-black rappers are Eminem
, Paul Wall, Cyprus Hill, Daddy Yankee, etc. Hopefully, this definition got through to someone.
Rap is good. Commercial rap sucks. Therefore, Tupac is awesome, 50cent is lame.