When was rap born? – Wanna Learn Rap God Whole Song Practice Images
What did the world get right about it? Read on to find out.
If the origins of hip-hop and rap were as murky as its reputation, then where exactly did the word ‘rap’ come from? Some, unsurprisingly, point to the ancient Greek origins of the word ‘rare’, which was popularised by the Trojan invasion in Homer’s Iliad.
But then historians have also pointed to Greek scholars such as Aristotle, who gave rappers their nickname, and a Greek expression for ‘the art of making a ruse’ which was still a common colloquialism for a ruse designed to trick someone.
Then there is that nugget from George Washington’s Farewell Address, written a year after his assassination in 1799, in which he says that the people had become so ‘incapable’ of understanding the ‘mood and manners” of their leaders that they have become deaf and blind to the music of their lips. The Washington speech remains the first direct link to Hip-Hop, when we think ‘R&B’ first appeared.
All of this is interesting, but where did rap become popular?
How Rap Got Pop Culture
According to hip-hop historian Michael Stipe, rap emerged in America in the mid-1950s, when a radio DJ with the name of Pete Boynton, who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show (and later hosted the popular ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ in the 1960s), started singing what came to be termed the ‘Pete Boynton Rap’.
As Stipe wrote: ‘the Pete Boynton Rap was popular in the 1950s and 1960s on local and rural radio station WXLP in the Pittsburgh (or Pittsburgh Radio) area, and has survived through many changes of owners, DJs, etc… It has been in use for over 60 years now, and a good amount of the earliest recordings date from the 1960s and 70s.’
One of the earliest examples of this in circulation was a radio performance recorded on December 11, 1956 on WXLP by a DJ called Pete Boynton (or ‘Little Pete Boynton’ as Stipe refers to him).
His performance features an array of local Pittsburgh musicians performing hits from the 1950s alongside rap music, from Ray Charles to The Supremes. You get a sense of the local flavour in the way they work, but it is all rap. The sound of Pete Boynton’s voice seems to have been a common theme
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