Rap and hip-hop first started to come together in the 1970's, but didn't really materialize and become popular until the 1990's. With a huge surge in popularity and growth in the 1990's, it seemed that rap and hip-hop had started a cultural phenomenon that still has noticeable effects easily seen today in music and also in pop culture. A cultural phenomenon is an idea, trend, or movement that shapes and defines that time period. During the 1990's, rap and hip-hop spread like wild fire across the nation, from the inner cities to the suburbs to anywhere where you can find a radio. Rap and hip-hop brought a different kind of lyrical rhythms and upbeat, energetic music that most people weren’t too familiar with. This cultural phenomenon didn’t only bring changes to music; it also brought along chances in fashion as well as a whole new culture and mindset.
Modern day rap is an evolved form of music and storytelling that began thousands of years ago in Africa with the “griots”, who were village story tellers who played a simple handmade instrument while they told stories about family, village events, and nature. As they would play their instrument, they would also talk and the two things would mix together, the words flowing with the beat and rhythm of the instrument playing. Alongside the griot tradition, rap also has roots in the days of slavery, when the African American slaves would sing in the fields. It was the new sounds and catchy rhymes that captured audiences across America, and began to shape a new culture entwined with rap and hip hop culture. Some of the major influences to this new cultural phenomenon were Tupac Shakur, Notorious BIG, and The Fab 5 basketball team. "As was made most tragically evident by the 1996 and 1997 slayings of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG, two of gangsta rap's brightest lights"(20). Also, " The baggy shorts, the black socks, the swagger, the way they played the game -- a young, soon-to-be prodigy soaked it all...
Cited: Green, Jared. Rap and Hip. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven, 2003. Print.
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