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Independent Rap Music

Rap is a form of rhyming lyrics spoken rhythmically over musical instruments with a musical backdrop of sampling, scratching and mixing by DJs. It began as a variation on the toasting found in reggae and dub music, mixed with influences from radio DJs and playing the dozens. The original rappers, or MCs (from "Master of Ceremonies") would improvise rhymes over the beats created by the DJs scratching records and playing drum loops. Early raps were frequently merely a sequence of boasts, or attempts to upstage the other MCs.



Gloc 9

Reality-based street life rap.

Thoro-Bread Click

Topeka, Kansas rap group.

As the genre progressed, hard-rock guitars and hard-hitting beats were introduced by Run-D.M.C., the first hardcore rap group, and the scratching techniques were replaced by sampling. With their dense collages of samples, beats and white noise, Public Enemy took sampling to the extreme, and they helped introduce a social and political conscience to hip-hop. That faded in the '90s, as gangsta rap - originally introduced by NWA, who used Public Enemy's sound as a template -- became the dominant form. By the '90s, gangsta rap, which originally was in direct opposition to such pop-oriented rappers as MC Hammer, had become smoothed over and stylish, and consequently was more popular than ever.

The first rap record was "King Tim III" by the Fatback Band (featuring the rapper King Tim III). The Sugarhill Gang followed the same year with "Rappers Delight", which became a major hit and was based on Chic's disco track "Good Times". The first rap hit by a non-black artist was Blondie's "Rapture".

Rap styles include but are not limited to hardcore rap (the Notorious B.I.G., DMX, Jay-Z), gangsta rap (NWA, Geto Boys, Capone-N-Noreaga), and west coast rap (Cypress Hill, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Ice Cube).

Independent Music From Independent Bands and Musicians

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