Rap History

Rap has such an extensive history and such big roots so to really understand it we have to go back to were it all started, 1970 New York city. While disco was at the peak of its popularity hip hop was born. While everyone was discoing it up a local DJ. Kool Herc provided music for the kids of the Bronx, Kool Herc was the man who threw hip hops first party. He played soul music and in a time where disco music was the popular genre he stood out and made a name for himself and his music. The way he played was he put the same records on two record players and played the breakdown over and over again. Kool Herc didn’t pull of these amazing parties on his own though he had a partner, someone who would call out peoples names like a shout out and his name was Coke la Rock. Along with this new music culture came more people who also wanted to do this such as Africa Bambaataa who started the Zulu nation, the Zulu nation was like a gang that was made up of other gang members who wanted to straighten their lives out. What the Zulu nation did was they pushed hip hop but not as a music genre but as a culture movement, they threw great parties and helped people find out about their culture and gave them better lives. Bambaataa made hip hop a culture and a movement but there was still much to improve on when it came to the music side of things, somewhere in the south Bronx was someone perfecting this sound and his name was Grand Master Flash. Flash built his very first setup up from turn table and electronic systems he would find on the street. He used a crayon to mark the intro of the breakdown with a dot and used a line to mark where it stopped and he would play these back and forth over and over and stop and start at will and this was the birth of the hip hop repeating beat. The rhyming over the beat, which is now known as rapping, first really came up when Frankie Crocker a news station DJ would rhyme after or before a set. DJ Hollywood was the first person to ever rhythmic rap. DJ Hollywood was inspired by someone named Pigmeat Markham. What Pigmeat did was essentially rap just not in the right type of style. Flash started putting a mich on one side of his table at parties and anyone who could rap could be on his team. Flash started to build a team really quick and eventually they became Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five. The Mc’s became the forefront of hip hop and rap became more and more popular. Shortly after Grand master Flash and the Furious Five acquired fame there was a blackout in the Bronx and there was rioting and mayhem and all of the wannabee crews and musician were grabbing gear with ambition of becoming famous. After the blackout there were crews and new DJ’s popping up everywhere trying to be either the new Grand Master Flash or The Furious Five. The Fantastic Five and The Cold Crush Brothers were the top crews at the time. These two crews would soon battle it out through music for the top spot. The way the winner was decided in these battles was by crowd participation, whoever could clap or scream the loudest, at the end of the night The Fantastic Five won the battle and went home with $1,000. The Fantastic Five may have won the battle that night but The Cold Crush Brothers won the people the day after, the tapes of the show got out and people were shocked at how The Fantastic Five won the battle because The Cold Crush Brothers rhymes were so much better. What had happened was that at the show The Fantastic Five were better showmen so they were able to win over all of the loud ladies in the front. The reason people don’t know about most of the early pioneer’s of hip hop is because they never made records until Sylvia Robinson, a former singer called Little Sylvia who also founded a record company, went to a partly in Harlem for her nieces birthday and she sees her first rapping DJ. In the mid 1970’s her record label started going through some financial trouble and so when she sees this DJ rapping she thinks to herself “this is it, this could save my record label.” So Sylvia decides to put this on a record, but she can’t get the rapper she first heard to make this record so she makes her son Joey go find someone in New Jersey. Joey and Sylvia ended up finding Master Gee, Wonder Mike, and Big Bank Hank outside of a pizza shop called Crisp Crust Sylvia told Hank, who worked at the pizza shop, “to close up” she wanted to hear them rap. They jump in their car and rap for them and Sylvia can’t make up her mind so she decides to join them together and make the Sugarhill Gang. The next Monday they came into the studio and recorded some rap. The first rap record ever hits the streets and started to blow up. The Sugarhill Gang became famous, but the hip hop community hated it, they had no idea who they were and they did not like how the song was representing what they had been doing for years. All these other records started to blow up and spread across the nation and people were thinking that hip hop was gonna soon become a fad like it was gonna be there and be popular and then it was gonna be gone. The thing that saved hip hop was Bambaataa saying to move hip hop from the Bronx to Manhattan. Bambaataa was invited down to play at an artists party in Manhattan and hip hop eventually started to take over and it pushed out genres like punk rock.