Thesis paper on rap music.

Essay by kstyleCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2002

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Rap music has become one of the most distinctive and controversial music genres of the past few decades. A major part of hip hop culture, rap, discusses the experiences and standards of living of people in different situations ranging from racial stereotyping to struggle for survival in poor, violent conditions. Rap music is a vocal protest for the people oppressed by these things. Most people know that rap is not only music to dance and party to, but a significant form of expression. It is a source of information that describes the rage of people facing growing oppression, declining opportunities for advancement, changing moods on the streets, and everyday survival. Its distinct sound, images, and attitude are notorious to people of all areas, races, and cultures.

Rap artists like Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Public Enemy, Ice-T, N.W.A., Ice Cube, Salt 'n' Pepa, Queen Latifah, Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac Shakur, the Fugees, P-Funk, and many others produced a unique music genre of the urban underclass.

Given the relatively low expenses in producing and distributing popular music, black artists and producers themselves have often controlled this mode of musical production and have been able to create a form of communication, originally free of censorship and control by the dominant social groups. Rap is now a major force in hip hop culture that has become a dominant style throughout the world today.

Just as ragtime, jazz, R&B, and other black music forms entered mainstream culture earlier in the century, today it is hip hop culture and its distinctive sound of rap music that is becoming an important form of music and cultural style across the globe. Hip hop erupted from New York dance and party culture of the 1970s. Writing lyrics, producing beats, break-dancing, and graffiti art were...