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"Rap’s forebears stretch back through disco, street funk, radio Djs, Bo Diddley, the bebop singers, Cab Calloway, Pigmeat Markham, the tap dancers and comics, The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Muhammad Ali, army songs, toasts, signifying and the dozens, all the way to the griots of Nigeria and the Gambia."--Rap Attack: African Jive to New York Hip Hop (1984) David Toop

"The 1983 PBS documentary Style Wars documented hip hop culture and its American roots. The film has an emphasis on graffiti, although breakdancing and rapping are covered to a lesser extent. The documentary captures many historical moments and is noted for its soundtrack, which includes Rammellzee's "Beat Bop" (1983), The Fearless Four's "Rockin' It" (1982) as well as some Richard Wagner."--Sholem Stein

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Rapping, also known as Emceeing, MCing, Rhyme spitting, Spitting, or just Rhyming, is the rhythmic delivery of rhymes, one of the central elements of hip hop music and culture. The word "rap" has been claimed to be a backronym of the phrase "Rhythmic American Poetry", "Rhythm and Poetry", "Rhythmically Applied Poetry", or "Rhytmically Associated Poetry". Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Stylistically, rap occupies a grey area among speech, prose, poetry, and song. Rap is derived from the griots (folk poets) of West Africa, Caribbean-style toasting, and American Blues and Jazz roots.

Rapping developed both inside and outside of hip hop since Jamaican expatriate Kool Herc first began doing his dancehall toasting in New York in the 1970s. In the 1980s, the success of groups like Run-DMC led to a huge wave of commercialized rap music. By the end of the 1990s, hip hop became widely accepted in mainstream music. Hip-hop rapping from the 2000s has complex rhythms, cadences, an intricate poetic form, and inventive wordplay. Rap lyrics convey the street life from which hip hop originally emerged with references to popular culture and hip-hop slang. Although rap has become an international phenomenon, many types of rap deal with issues such as race, socioeconomic class, and gender.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rapping" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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