contrary to most of the shit posted here, i have supplied the ACTUAL definition:
Rapping is one of the elements of hip hop as well as the distinguishing feature of most hip hop music. It is a form of rhyming lyrics delivered rhythmically over a musical backdrop of sampling, scratching and mixing by DJs. Originally, rapping was called MCing and accompanied DJing.
Rapping (as a self-conscious artistic school) began as a variation on the toasting found in reggae, funk and dub music, mixed with influences from jazz-related performance poetry (Langston Hughes's album Weary Blues being an important example; the Beats also notable), radio DJ patter, and the tradition of playing the dozens. Among other predecessors were talking blues records and the work of artists such as James Brown and Parliament. The original rappers probably can be said to have been The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron with their recordings in the latter 1960s and earliest 1970s (such as Scott-Heron's famous "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and "Whitey on The Moon"), but, slightly later, MCs (from "Master of Ceremonies") would improvise rhymes over the beats created by dancehall and club DJs. Early raps were frequently merely a sequence of boasts, or attempts to upstage the other MCs. See roots of hip hop music for earlier forms that also contributed to rapping.
The first contemporary hip hop song released on a major label was 1979's "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" by the Fatback Band (featuring the rapper King Tim III). The Sugarhill Gang followed the same year with "Rapper's Delight" (based on Chic's "Good Times") which became a major hit and opened the floodgates for the nascent genre. In 1980, Blondie became one of the first acts to feature a rap sequence in a pop song, resulting in the #1 hit "Rapture."
Descendents and influence
Rapping is one of the four elements of hip hop: MCing (rapping), DJing (mixing, cutting and scratching), graffiti (tagging), and breakdancing. However, in the course of rap's history, new musical styles developed that use rapping - especially rapcore, also known as rap/rock or rap/metal, first introduced by crossover pioneer Run-DMC's collaboration with Aerosmith in 1986. Some alternative rap has musically very little to do with mainstream hip hop music. Often consisting of bizarre soundscapes and vivid lyrics, abstract hip-hop has developed, largely in the underground.
Music outside of the United States has taken the rap style and blended it with completely different elements. Japanese dance music, for example, often uses rapping to complement or break up the singing parts, with lyrics containing upbeat themes set to energetic rhythms and clean, warm synths. Rap was instantly popular in the United Kingdom, perhaps building on the great popularity of dub and reggae toasting. MCs also became a fixture at Jungle and UK Garage events, whilst a recent offshoot of garage, dubbed Grime, has focused on rapping, making stars of rappers such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley.
The importance of rhyme
Undoubtedly, the most important element of rap lyrics is rhyme. In other forms of poetry, rhymes that span many syllables are often considered whimsical but in hip hop, the ability to construct raps with large sets of rhyming syllables is considered a sign of intelligence and achievement. For the same reason, rap music is sometimes referred to as "street poetry" or "street rhyme". To accomplish rhymes of this sophistication, rappers can use single rhyming words (intellectual/ineffectual) or they can use multiple words whose constituent syllables rhyme (octoroon/Doctor Dooom). Rap lyrics often contain long series of lines each of which rhyme with each other. Occasionally, entire songs are composed in this fashion where all lines rhyme with each other. Of course, the more intricate the rhymes are, the more abstract the song becomes. This is because the more focus given to impressive rhyming, the harder it becomes to write coherently. Battle raps can be written with complex rhyming techniques easier than raps that tell a story or convey a message because a battle rap can employ a vast array of metaphors to conjure images of rapper to rapper combat.
Rhyme is also integral to Freestyle battles. These contests pit two rappers together to lyrically insult and intimidate each other with impromptu lyrics. The ability to construct clever rhymes to insult the opponent "off the top of the dome" (dome being slang for head) is a critical skill to winning these contests.
Different types of rhymes
Not all rhymes used in rap are clear cut. Often, consonance, assonance, half rhymes, and internal rhyme schemes are employed. Making a distant word with similar sounds at some points sound like a rhyme is sometimes considered a sign of a good rapper. An example of a rapper who makes heavy use of assonance is Eminem.
Importance of various techniques
Although rhyme is the essential required element of all raps, there are other literary techniques that are often employed. To use many of these techniques while still maintaining a meaningful rhyme is considered by most rap listeneres to be signs of a good rhyme.
Cadence is the overall balance of a rhyme in relation to the beat, as far as emphasis and speed (and in some cases, changes in melody). It is also known as "riding the beat". Cadence plays an especially large role in the raps of West coast hip-hop. Many hip-hop listeners find Snoop Dogg to be an example of a rapper with varying -- but always strong -- cadence in his raps. He is seen this way because of his ability to ride slow, fast, melodic, or hardcore beats equally well.
Unlike many other forms of poetry, rappers typically don't think about metre and feet very heavily. Instead, the goal is to unconciously develop a flow. A good flow is a metre that doesn't drag along, but rather, draws the listener into the words. Big Boi of OutKast is considered to have a good flow by many fans. It is important to note that rappers sometimes do use forms such as iambic pentameter.
Speaking clearly is important because rap is said outloud unlike many other forms of poetry. Enunciation in rap is sometimes exaggerated to a cartoonish level, which is actually a sign of skill. Ludacris is considered an example of a good enunciator.
Style, voice, tone, attitude, and soul
These terms are essentially the emotions carried by the rapper in his music and lyrics.
To some, the speed of a rapper's words are an example of skill. A rapper who can rap quickly and coherently is considered skillful. However, rapping slowly doesn't necessarily mean a lack of skill, nor does rapping fast mean quality; some raps become incomprehensible when performed at a high tempo. An example of a fast rapper is Twista, who is considered both fast and skillful in his rhymes.
Wordplay include double entendres, alliteration, and all forms of playing around with your words. Wordplay is subjective -- whether it's done well or poorly is up to the listener.
There are several other techniques used in rapping, such as: enjambment and hyperbole.
Wordplay shows skill, but the message of a rap is more important. A rapper who talks about nothing with excellent wordplay doesn't show as much skill as one who has a message, because his or her creativity has no frame around it. The message can be about one's life, about politics, about philosophy, about bragging, and anything with meaning. It can tell a story or show imagery that occurs in the rappers everyday life. Nonsense or dadaist rappers such as Aesop Rock are often looked down on by the purist HipHop fans for not having a real soulful message, and for "watering down the sound of the ghetto" (Kool Keith).
In many traditional cultures there exist lyrical forms that could loosely be described as rapping. Examples of these include:
Mor lam in Laos
Chastushka in Russia
Tsiattista in Cyprus
Enka Slamta in Ethiopia
Tassou in Senegal
Rhapsody in Ancient Greece
Gstanzl in Bavaria and similar traditions in Austria and Switzerland.
Urdu Rap from Pakistan
Kuai ban in China
rap is good stuff to listen to
Rap is a music genre.Its hated by many people that believe in the stereo type that only blacks make rap and its always about shooting cops, drugs, money and sex. Which leads to another stereo type that says all blacks like rap...more...
1.Not all blacks like rap.
2.Rap's not only for Blacks.
3.Not all rap is about money drugs and sex...
4.Not all people who like rap are black
People who don't like rap, usually say
"Rap is crap that has artists like 50 Cent."
These are people who know nothing about rap, and judge it by what they see on TV.
If you REALLY know what rap is then you'd know 50 Cent sucks balls and isn't a good rapper at all.See the people who like rap, and actually understand rap know 50 Cent is not a good rapper.Rap is poetry, despite what any other person says. Rap is like poetry with attitude,poetry with a bit of gangsterism. Look at Mos Def. That is a real rapper. Somebody like 50 Cent or Cassidy has nothing on somebody like Mos Def.
Most people say that rap degrades women. I don't really think so, because people need to realize..
A bitch is a bitch.
A hoe is a hoe.
A whore is a whore.
And a lady is a lady.
Rap has something called a beat to it, something that sounds catchy and something you can dance to.For instance Tupac's California Love is something you can dance to. And anybody that tries to say thats not a good song...well isnt there a rock song that goes "I've got 2 tickets to paradise, pack your bags we'll leave tonight."
Some people say rap...
I will say this first. I listen to punk rock and not rap. the rap i have seen was on mtv or vh1 and therefore cannot judge it. However, those of you who are judging it need to listen to at least 5 minutes of 6 differnt rap artists before you can say anything about it. if you still hate it after doing this then shut up, keep your thoughts to yourself, and be tolerant. just like in punk rock most of the stuff that is played on mtv and vh1 is PROBABLY media garbage. the music that is underground probably has more meaning to it. for those of you that say rap is only about having sex with women, and shooting people than you you haven't heard other good rap songs(eminem's mockingbird and many others). So before you judge anything look into it not just the what you see from its cover.
a punk rocker, a rap fan and a poser are at a concert. rap rapper is opening for a punk band.
(poser): what the hell is this??!!
(rap fan): hey its called rap, you got a problem with it??
(poser): all rap is garbage. it has no meaning to it. so why dont you go and listen to your half a dollar and get raped.
(punk rocker): dude have you even listened to rap??
(punk rocker): no i didn't think so, and if you think that you look cool by making fun of rap and pretending to be punk, then you should know that you only look stupid.
75% of the word "crap"
Retarded people listen to rap cause they stupid.
A form of music in which a person swiftly rhymes poetry, over a beat. A subgenre of pop music. Rap is mostly influenced by hip-hop or hip hop. And this is to all the people who can't stand rap because they've never actually heard real rap:more...
There is no rule that talent is needed to make a song. Though talent IS needed to make rap, all of you racists just listen to a little bit of gangsta rap (i.e. G-Unit, N.W.A.) and assume that rap is all about gats, hoes, money, pimps, and gangstas! Ok you people are abosutely correct! Well....partially correct, you are correct when you say that rap is just about all about gats, hoes, money, pimps, and gangstas. *NEWS FLASH* That is NOT rap! That is GANGSTA RAP! There is a difference. If you go and listen to a rapper that was never born and raised in the urban streets, never been a gangsta, then you won't hear all that shit! Try Kanye West! Or Eminem! Even 2Pac! Though 2Pac called himself a "G", he wrote poems about love, he read books, he wasn't stupid! In high school he was an excellent actor; he was a thespian. 2Pac showed lots of love in his songs, and he WAS a gangsta. And he is the most influencial emcee in hip-hop history. Think of that. I don't really care how much the fuck you want to diss rap, as much as you classical rock people want to! Rap is music, and no one gives a fuck about what all of you people sa...
see also Hip-Hop
A genre of music spawned in the early 70's in various ghettos throughout the U.S. The name allegedly derived from people saying "That's a rap!" after performing with a DJ. A rap can usually consist of ryhmes and a beat, although sometimes done acapella. Often accused of being about nothing but sex and drugs (not dissimilar to metal), usually depicts daily life in the black ghettos or other assorted issues faced by the poorest of us.
Some Rap artists include: Eminem, 50 Cent, Run DMC, Mac Dre, Brotha Lynch Hung, Grandmaster Flash, etc...
Shittiest excuse for "music" ever created. Nobody knows why people even listen to it. Played at "parties," especially at parties thrown by some of my older cousins because they think they're "cool".
Rap? More like... CUH-rap!