I am definitely a product of Generation X and my genre of music and love of music is rooted deeply in hip hop or rap. I will be doing a segment on Wednesdays dedicated to hip hop music and its long illustrious history. This first installment looks at the original origins of rap music before it became a genre.
Little is known that rap music is an old tradition dating back thousands of years. African griots were the African storytellers in their villages and used basic handmade instruments while they told stories about family and local events. The griot used this form of entertainment to communicate with the villagers and is still used to this day.
The griot tradition carried over into slavery when Africans were transported from their homeland to America. The “call to answer” was used in the fields while they worked. This helped them cope with the tremendous amount of pain and heartbreak of slavery. In today’s times, this is considered emceeing or crowd participation.
In the late 1970s, in Bronx, New York, Clive Campbell, better known as DJ Kool Herc (also known as the first hip hop DJ and founding father of the genre) started hosting back to school parties with his little sister. It was these parties that sparked the beginning of hip hop.
Just like disco DJs, DJ Kool Herc used two turntables with the purpose of extending the breakbeat in funk songs so dancers could perform longer. He extended the breakbeat for as long as he wanted. This technique is called looping and is used by record producers in almost every genre of music today.
All this innovation eventually leads to emceeing and rap music, which we will cover next week.
Well kiddies, this is enough history for today. Next week I will introduce the first-ever commercial rap song released into mainstream. I hope you enjoyed this musical moment. I can’t wait to share what I have for you next week.
To the hip hip a hop, you don’t stop the rockin’ to the bang bang boogie say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie beat… See you next week.
Author’s note: Thank you for stopping by and giving this a read. Comments are always welcomed.
Please continue to practice social distancing to stay safe and healthy.
Peace and Blessings – CV Davis
© CV Davis – Author