Rap Music - A Soundtrack Essay

Pages: 17 (5566 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 17  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Music


As a result, rap has been like a cultural virus, spreading its sounds, attitude, and images throughout all cultures (social and political bodies).

DJ Kool paved a leeway for hip hop culture across the entire world, for the new rap artists such as "Grandmaster Flash." DJ Grandmaster Flash together with his group of the "Furious Five" were great innovators of hip hop, surpassing the rap genres of the party music origins in order to explore a wide scope of rap lyrics and sonic horizons. DJ Grandmaster Flash began to spinning musical records in his youth age in a team within the Bronx. While attending his technical school courses in electronics, Grandmaster was a deejay within some local disco trails

. With time, he developed a set of groundbreaking artistic techniques including phasing (manipulation of turntable speeds), back-spinning (repetition of brief sound snippets by manually turning the records), and cutting (movement between tracks at exact rates of sound beats). DJ Grandmaster Flash thereby created the fundamental music vocabularies that deejays continuously follow to date.

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DJ Grandmaster Flash did not readily collaborate with other rappers till 1978 when he first teamed up with the fabulous Kurtis Blow. Afterwards, he begun to work with the Furious Five rappers Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Rahiem (Guy Williams), and Mr. Ness (Eddie Morris). This group quickly grew to become a music legend group within the New York City and across its borders, attracting public attention to know Grandmaster Flash not only as a deejay, but also for his efforts towards the success of the Furious Five group in masterful rapping. This was an exceptional group known for both rap signatures trading and blending of lyrics.

TOPIC: Essay on Rap Music - A Soundtrack Assignment

During the events of DJ Grandmaster's groundbreaking success, another rap music ground emerged out of the blues and snitched the buttons of the rapper's dance chart. This group was known as the "Sugar Hill Gang." Until recently, many people thought that this group (the Sugar Hill Gang) was the first rap group that raised up the foundation of what we have today as the world's hip hop. This is not the fact about the foundation or establishment of rap music or the hip hop culture. The Sugar Hill Gang merely served to create a platform for radio friendly tunes, which the contemporary hip-hop terms as a "one hit wonder"

. Notwithstanding the popularity of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the group did not record music until the "Rappers Delight" hit by the Sugar Hill Gangs, which confirmed the existence of high interest and market for the hip hop music releases. A year later, Grandmaster Flash and his group (the Furious Five) introduced "Supperrappin" lyrics followed by the Enjoy record brands.

In 1980, Grandmaster Flash, the Furious Five group, and the Sugar Hill Gang joined hands to produce and record a rap song titled "Freedom." This hit achieved the rankof being in the top twenty among the national R & B. charts, selling up to over fifty thousand copies. Following this hit was the "Birthday Party" produced in 1981. As a matter of fact, the first and true landmark recording by the Furious Five group and Grandmaster Flash was "The Adventure of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel," recorded in 1981. This introduced Flash's techniques in "cutting" to fashion a stunning sound collage out of snippets of songs by Queen, Chic, and Blondies

. The subsequent effort by Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five group in 1982 was even more revelatory than before when the group recorded and produced "The Message." This marked the first time for hip hop to become a vehicle not merely used for boasting and bragging, but for sharp social observation, with Melle Mel conveying a blistering rap providing details on the life realities within the ghetto areas. This record was a critical hit and enormous step towards solidification of the rap music as an essential and daily mode of musical expression.

During early 1980s a good number of people had begun to realize the potential of the developing hip-hop industry

. This rise was due to the concrete and stable foundation set by DJ Kool Herc in compliance with the viable and commercial success of the Furious Five group, DJ Grandmaster Flash, and the Sugar Hill Gang. Nobody realized this growing opportunity and took more advantage over this situation than the Run and DMC. The New York rappers DMC (Darryl McDaniels), DJ James Master Jay (Jason Mizell), and Run (Joe Simons) formally joined hands to form the "Orange Crush" during early 1980s, leading to the rise of Run DMC in 1982 upon their graduation from college. At childhood, McDaniels and Mizell had known each other in Hollis, New York where they attended the same kindergarten. Upon circulating demo tapes within the music industry, the three youths signed to Records of their Profiles, after which they produced an underground hit entitled "It's like That." Nevertheless, it was the single b-side; "Sucker MC's" that fashioned the "buzz"

along the streets. This gave birth to most of prevalent terms within the hip hop culture and barely became a genre on its own. Statistics reveal that the "single" gave birth to the contemporary hip hop language and sounds (dream machine as the only instrument, fashioned image of a B-boy, plus scratching from turntable).

During the rise and success of the singles, their debut album received the highest sales in 1984, marking the first time of honorable bestowment on a rap act. Moreover, they gave an upper hand during the prestigious King Holiday (a tribute paid to Martin Luther King as a socio-political hero)

and the San City events (Artists Against Apartheid). They further broke into the mainstream two sides of the Atlantic in 1986 by releasing a heavy hit of rap collaboration "Walk This Way" (introducing Joe Perry and Steve Tyler of Aerosmith). This distinctive video captured the audience imaginations from both sides of the Atlantic. Evidently, "King of Rock" and "Rock Box" of earlier singles predicted this partnership, fusing both rap and rock.

By 1987, "Raising Hell" became the first rap album to knockout the R & B's number one slot, the first to go platinum, and the first to sneak into the U.S. top ten rap music. This was after its massive and successful sales of approximately three million copies within the United States. Additionally, the "Run DMC" also became the first rap music group to video screening through MTV, the first to non-athletes to ratify Adidas products (a deal of sponsorship that followed the "Run DMC" track titled "My Adidas"), and the first to appear on the Rolling Stone cover

. In essence, the "Run DMC" put Hip Hop into a mainstream flow of the American society. This confirmed to the entire world that the Hip Hop and rap are here to stay.

During late 1980s, the Hip Hop movements were overwhelmingly progressing. The Music Television (MTV) led the rap music further and deep into sub-urban areas within the entire country. What begun merely in the Bronx, New York City as sparks and party starters was now spreading into other states such as the California and Los Angeles. The concert tour of "The Fresh Fest," featuring Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Newcleus, Whodini, and the Fat Boys, emerged to be the first big money making a tour for the Hip Hop. Towards the end of 1980s, the rap artists had begun to make various changes within the context of their Hip-Hop culture and materials. They shifted the rap music from the party-type view into social messages

. Consequently, the first rap music group to earn social fame via the social message oriented raps was the "Public Enemy."

The Public Enemy served to re-frame the image of Hip Hop culture and rap music. After rewriting the rules of hip hop, the group became the most influential, but controversial rap group of the late years of 1980s as viewed by a number of people. The Public Enemy group established a deviation on hardcore rap that was majorly political and musical revolutionary by building from the Run DMC's rise in "gangster rhyming" and the street oriented beats

. With his authoritative and powerful baritone, the leading rapper "Chuck D" commonly rhymed about diverse social problems, predominantly those that relate to the Black communities, often condoning the social activism and revolutionary tactics. Chuck D. always directed the hip hop explicitly towards the pro-Black consciousness and self-awareness that extendedly became the hip hop cultural signature rap music revolution throughout the proceeding decade.

The Public Enemy group was musically revolutionary just as their team of production, the Bomb Squad, which created comprehensive soundscapes relying on the avant-garde techniques of cut-and-paste, piercing sirens, deep funk, relentless beats, and the unrecognizable samples. This created an invigorating and chaotic rap music styles, making Chuck D's forceful vocals intoxicating… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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