top of page
  • Writer's pictureWilliam Young

Rap is related to other genre & African History

When I used to go to UMBC I was highly pissed in my African American studies class when we came to the subject of Rap/Hip Hop & if it related to anything from our history or if it was related to any other genre of music. People spoke as if they despised Hip Hop. They spoke with high tongues as if it was below them & the abomination of black people. That is why I stopped showing up to classes. I was so upset & felt like I didn't belong there. Hip Hop was my life. It had my heart & I could see that I was being judged negatively by the majority of black students there because of how I looked. They saw a thug that was below them, but didn't know who I truly was behind physical appearance. They couldn't see a highly intelligent young man fighting against the system for the freedom to be who he was.

It may seem like not worth it to most people, but I realized at that point that music was what I wanted my life to be about. I only went to college, because my family expected me to be a dr, lawyer or one of those other “great” jobs, but I never wanted that. Matter of fact I was so unhappy in college, because there was nothing I wanted to do other than follow my dream. I felt like what is the point in having a back up plan if I was going to hate it? What is the purpose of life if not for your dreams? At that point life has become worthless & is being wasted. Being honest with myself if I accepted failure with my music & lived life with my back up job I would be too depressed & commit suicide. So I decided there would never be a back up plan for me to fall back on. There would never be an option to fail. There would be no cushion for me. What that did for me was give me to will to fight against all odds no matter what. To continue fighting even when my body told me it couldn’t take no more. You can destroy my body, but NO ONE can touch my soul!

Back to the topic that pissed me off though. There is so much information that links Hip Hop to African History(especially slavery) & the history of all races to be honest, but I want to just name a few that were related to that particular situation(not all but a couple things). An Emcee or MC had it’s title originate from Master of Ceremonies. The position & responsibilities of the MC were much like that of the griots of African civilization. MCs are poets who tell stories, share knowledge, educate, etc. They brought positive & uplifting music before the gangsta era. They delivered messages. They were activists. There was a particular chapter in our African-American studies where the book described how slaves would use the chopping of wood as a beat while they sung old slave spirituals. Clearly if you don’t think that relates to Hip Hop you haven’t been in the lunch room at school when people who have nothing to do with each other start beating on the table & beat boxing while someone kicks rhymes about their struggles in life & how they feel oppressed by the school system. How the hell can you tell me that ain’t the same thing. Back during this time I was young as hell. None of us even knew about Malcolm X, Black Panthers, revolution or none of that & we were kicking rhymes about being tired of being oppressed(we didn’t even know at this point it was called oppression). It was in our blood.

Another thing a lot of you probably didn’t know is that at the first Hip Hop parties(before Emcees were even created) they played James Brown, Rick James, Prince, etc. Eventually DJs started saying things over the track. Then later is when Emcees came in & started kicking rhymes. They sampled songs from every single genre of music. At one point Rap was called Rock. Some Rap songs are labeled Pop, Blues & even R&B. Don’t tell me that Hip Hop doesn’t relate to any other genre of music. FOH.

Lets put all of the other things to the side & go to the basics. What makes up a rap song? Matter of fact what makes up any song? Take a poem. Split it into 2 – 3 parts & add a chorus. Matter of fact you can take lines out of that poem & use them for the chorus. Rap that poem & what do you have? Rap. Sing it & you have R&B or Blues. Sing it country style & you have country music. Put a rock band to it & you have rock. The same exact poem can be used to make ANY style of music. You know what the difference is? How you sung it. The one & only thing that decides the genre of music is how it is presented to people. There is no real difference in genre of music. They are all the same thing. It is just the human need to separate everything & give it labels.

I just had to speak on those particular things that were addressed, because I had been holding it in for YEARS!!!

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
  • Twitch
  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Wix Twitter page
  • c-youtube
bottom of page