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A History Of Rap And Hip Hop

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A. Plan of Investigation

How has rap/hip hop changed since it was developed?

Music has existed since the beginning of time and over the centuries, has developed into different genres, such as classical, country, jazz, rock, etc. In the early 1970s, a new genre was developed. The new genre was referred to by two different names, the music was referred to as "hip hop," while the lyrics were referred to as "rap." Hip hop originated as a creative form of self-expression, while rap originated as a form of toasting, but they both evolved into a popularity contest between artists, fighting for recognition, fame, and, most of all, fortune.

In this report, I plan to answer the question "How has rap/hip hop changed since it was developed?" I also plan to evaluate two sources. I then plan to write an analysis about it. And lastly, I will include a conclusion.

B. Summary of Evidence

 "Although hip hop has many inspirations, it was truly born when a few people used their skills and imagination to create a brand new sound." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 31)

 "Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc, is the man responsible for importing the concept of Ð''deejaying' from Jamaica to America." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 31)

 "Ð''Ð'...I picked up Ð''Kool' from this TV cigarette commercial. I was like, wow, that's Ð''Kool'! So I picked KOOL.'"(Chang, 75)

 "He (Kool Herc) was running track, pushing weights, playing rough schoolyard basketball. His classmates kidded him, dubbing him Ð''Hercules' for his bullish power drives to the hoop. Ð''I (Kool Herc) went back to the block and said, Ð''Yo fellas, this guy at school, man, he's calling me Hercules. I know he means well, but I don't like it. Ð''So I said, Ð''What's the shortening for Hercules?' They said Ð''Herc.' Aaaaaah-sounds unique! So I said, Ð''Yo man, just call me HercÐ'...'" (Chang, 75)

 "...he (Kool Herc) originated hip hop's version of rapping based on the art of Ð''toasting.'"

 "Toasts: Humorous rhyming stories, sometimes lengthy, told mostly among men and used to entertain, but also, at times, to insult and taunt." (Haskins, 140)

 "When high school student Kevin Donovan, who had been a member of a Bronx street gang known as the Black Spades, heard Kool Herc's collection of songs, he delved into the enormous stack of records he and his mother had at home." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 33)

 "He (Donovan) called himself Afrika Bambaataa, meaning Ð''affectionate leader,' and was later known as Master of Records due to the vast variety of music he sampled." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 33)

 "Sampling: Taking bits and pieces of previously recorded music and inserting them into the background of a song, sometimes over and over again." (Haskins, 139)

 "Theodore accidentally discovered a new technique in his room one day. His mother was shouting at him for playing the music too loud, and when she opened the door to his room, he stopped the record with his finger while the turntable was still spinning. In his headphones he could hear the needle scratching the record. He liked the sound and realized he could use it to create a new kind of break." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 35)

 "Theodore's discovery at the age of thirteen was scratching: moving a record back and forth on a turntable and letting the needle scratch on the groove. Soon every DJ started to use this innovative addition to the sound they were calling hip hop." (Ayazi-Hashjin, 35)

 "Break: Any part of a musical piece in which there is an instrumental solo, usually percussion." (Haskin, 135)

C. Evaluation of Sources

Two of the books used are called "Rap and Hip Hop: The Voice of a Generation" by Sherry Ayazi-Hashjin, and "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation" by Jeff Chang. In this section, the values and limitations of these books will be assessed. Starting with "Rap and Hip Hop: The Voice of a Generation."

When writing any kind of report one must assess the values and limitations of any sources used. When using the book "Rap and Hip Hop: The Voice of a Generation," one could say that its values are, that it includes a bibliography of sources. It also includes a few quotes from various rap and hip hop artist, such as, Guru, True Master, Gil Scott-Heron, DJ Sean C, T-Love, KRS-One, Max Roach, etc. Another value could be that it includes a glossary of various rap terms, such as, "break beats," "mixing," "track," etc. The limitations of this book are that there are no actual interviews; the quotes in the book are just random quotes that the artists said on television, or in concert.

When one assesses the values and limitations of "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation," one could state that its values are that there are actual interviews with people connected to what went on. But that its limitations are that the interviews were conducted on secondary sources, such as, siblings, parents, friends, etc.

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