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Word Count: 2,123
Rap is the most important popular music to emerge in America since the 1980s to the 1990s Yet rap is more than music or entertainment The words rhythmically recited chanted or sung over music by the likes of Public Enemy Queen Latifah Arrested Development and many more represent a sense of identity and belonging for young people in America and throughout the world Rap is the voice of a population that has been ignored by mainstream leaders and institutions until now Within the past couple of years rap has began to emerge into the pulse thoughts values and experiences of youth worldwide Even though rap has become more popular today than ever there are still many people who are unaware of the history and roots behind of the music we celebrate and love so much Rap was around long before it was actually called rap Rap started out as an oral form of storytelling and the telling of ones history by the social commentator also known as a Griot The griot was a historian storyteller comedian reporter mediator social commentator and sometimes performer of religious ceremonies and rites of passage Griots had to possess musical abilities Griots often accompanied themselves on a harplike instrument called a kora Griots were used as a way to tell of and remember the history and heritage of African Americans after the Atlantic slave trade which took place from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century In addition to the griot tradition rap is rooted in the pain of African American experience which began with slavery As Europeans conquered settled and stole Americas they required cheap labor to help build up their colonies and exploit natural resources for trade Europeans initially turned to the Native Americans to build up their colonies but the natives could not survive under the harsh and cruel working and living conditions Many of them became ill because of diseases such as smallpox Slavery existed
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