Hip hop music, which is more popularly known as rap, seems like it has been around forever. Some may actually think that it was especially the younger generations who were born after 1980 and hearing rap music is almost second nature to them. Believe it or not there was a time when there wasn’t any rap music coming through the airwaves and it really wasn’t that long ago.
In 1979 Sugarhill Gang became the first rap group to have a song played not only on mainstream radio, but it actually became a top 40’s hit and brought rap music to the forefront. Their song “Rapper’s Delight” has been listed on the National Public Radio’s (NPR) list of The 100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century.
The group as well as the song opened up a lot of doors for other early artists to come and leave their mark on the music world such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Afrika Bambaataa as well as Eric B. and Rakim.
Rap music certainly did make its way into mainstream society quickly and it also came with a lot of history as well as controversy. Along the way the music picked up its legion of fans, but also picked up a couple of adversaries along the way such as C. Delores Tucker, Tipper Gore and John H. McWhorter.
While Tucker and Gore had problems with the lyrics and how women were portrayed/treated in rap music McWhorter had different problems with rap music and even said so in a 2003 City Journal article titled “How Hip hop Holds Blacks Back”. He has also written several articles since then basically having the issue that rap music, its lyrics, the public (and sometimes private) persona of the artists, and videos are hurting the African American community, but none more than the males.
Just like every other genre of music rap music continues to redefine itself and offers different subgenre’s such as Gangsta rap, West Coast rap/hip hop, Southern rap and East Coast rap/hip hop.
Rapper’s Delight is probably the best rap song of all time, but there are also 10 others and here they are.
Videp (Rapper's Delight, The Sugarhill Gang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljUnyv5XUA8