Popular Culture in Rap Music Essay
The history of rap music started in Africa with rhythmic beats using drums. From Africa to the Caribbean islands it came to America and started its influential change on American Music. The first rap song to take flight and make its mark on the up and coming rap culture was the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979. In 1986 rap music finally reached the top of the music charts and was show on MTV for the first time featuring Run-DMC.
Continuing to change in the 90’s in the east coast came the more harsh and raw of the rap music scene like Wu-Tang Clan and Notorious Big. As for rap music on the East coast rap music was mellower. When these rappers first started rapping the music videos were very simple, short, no half naked woman and the use of vulgar words was non-existent. In the 21st century there are rappers like 50 cent, Jay Z, and Snoop Dogg.
Who in modern day rap music that has all changed and has shaped the new age of rap music influence on the way we look at woman, money, fancy cars, homes, the way people dress and a much flashier way of living. Run DMC was responsible for the first decade of the sound and style of rap music. They’re one of the most influential groups in forming when rap music is today. They have made many “firsts” in the movement of rap music.
To name a few they were the first group to make a full rap album, the first to have a top 10 charting album, the first rap group to earn a RIAA( in gold, platinum, and multi-platinum album), the first group to be on the cover of the Rolling Stones magazine, to receive a Grammy award nomination, have their own rap video air on MTV, the first rap group to appear on Saturday Night Live and American Bandstand, they were the first act to win the crossover appeal with rock fans to hip-hop fans, also to perform at the Live Aid in 1985 and they were finally the first rap group to be signed to an athletic product endorsement deal (rundmc. com).
So to say the least Run DMC are the grandfathers of the rap community and history. When you look at Run DMC’s first rap video “It’s Like That” that aired on MTV in 1986, there is a huge difference in the makeup of the video then the ones that are aired today. The beats are very simple and just keep repeating themselves over and over again. When they came out on stage it was just the three of them. There were just the two rappers and the DJ on the mix tables. In the video there were no girls shaking their butts, guys smoking or drinking, riding on the back of cars screaming at girls that are half dressed and no flashy life style (YouTube).
This was what they considered real music back in the day when rap music was starting to get to the main stream. When Notorious Big first came on the rap scene his videos were very simple only for the fact that he didn’t have much money to make the kinds of videos he wanted too. Once he got his first deal he started to make videos with the beautiful girls, nice cars, big chains and anything flashy he wanted. In his video “I love it when you call me Big Papa”, you clearly see the message he is trying to give without even hearing the words to the song.
He’s walking to a dark club with girls all around dancing, he’s smiling, and he makes his way to his table. Once he gets to his table theirs a bottle of champagne, girls all around dancing, biggie’s talking to the girls as they’re smiling and continue to dance on him (YouTube). The whole video just glorifies the large, loud, sexy girl life style that is seen in so many videos today. Next is the Wu Tang Clan who also came out in the 1990’s. The Wu-Tang clan was made up of about nine guys trying to get into the rap scene.
They all had their own strengths but as a group they were unstoppable. It was said to almost be like a support system (wutang). They were from statin island, NY, known as the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-’90s. Their music videos didn’t have any woman dancing or any kind of flashiness going on. It was very raw and real. It was shot on the dark street or in rundown buildings, with dark clothes, looked almost gang like because there were just so many people in the video and in the group it was just so raw.
People loved this about the group and those rapping about what they felt were the real life issues they have dealt with and seen grown up in the streets. Even though the group broke up over the years and started to do things on their own they are still looked at as being one of the most influential hardcore rap groups (wutang). Next is The Sugar Hill Gang first came out in the 1970’s with the song “Rappers Delight”. Even though this was the one hit for the group it still made a huge impact on the rap scene.
The song eventually went on to sell over 2 million copies, hit #4 on the R&B hart, and became the highest selling 12 inch single ever (starpulse). When the song first came out on the radio no one knew who this group was but none the less it blew up as a hit worldwide. In the video “Rapper Delight” the Sugar Hill Gang it is a very simple low budget video but they still manage to have girls dancing in bikinis and sitting by the pool and a bar in the back ground. Even though it’s a low budget video it still promotes take sexy girls and if youre a rapper you can get as many of them as you want.
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