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Rap music as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx New York in the mid 1970s Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music rap consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970s The first commercial success of the rap song Rappers Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 helped bring rap music into the national spotlight The 1980s saw the continued success of rap music with many artists such as Run DMC who had the first rap album to go gold in 1984 LL Cool J Fat Boys and west coast rappers Ice-T and NWA becoming popular Today in the late 1990s rap music continues to be a prominent and important aspect of African- American culture Rap music was a way for youths in black inner city neighborhoods to express what they were feeling seeing and living and it became a form of entertainment Hanging out with friends and rapping or listening to others rap kept black youths out of trouble in the dangerous neighborhoods in which they lived The dominant culture did not have a type of music that filled the needs of these youth so they created their own So rap music originally emerged as a way for black inner city youth to express their everyday life and struggles Shaomari 1995 17 Rap is now seen as a subculture that includes a large number of middle to upper white class youths has grown to support and appreciate rap music Many youth in America today are considered part of the rap subculture because they share a common love for a type of music that combines catchy beats with rhythmic music and thoughtful lyrics to create songs with a distinct political stance Rap lyrics are about the problems rappers have seen such as poverty crime violence racism
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