In the early sixties, the word ‘rap’ was often used as a pejorative against young Black males in general. It was often used in place of the actual word rap when addressing a Black male. Raps like these would be: “A Negro is a dirty rotten Black man, his life is a shambles!” I think this kind of slang was widespread in the 1950’s, and it was used against Black males in Black and white neighborhoods alike. It was a way for poor White suburbanites to dismiss Black people. Now, the term ‘rap’ has become somewhat of an inclusive term; when it was used within the Black ghetto, the term ‘rap’ referred to any of the most popular Black rap artists of the day, and not only the hip hop singers that came out in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. To this day, I know of rappers and Black artists who say they are only born to rap and make them up, but the term ‘rap’ was always there, and used to dismiss young Black males and other young Black males. For decades, that ‘scoundrel’ stigma was carried by poor Black males. To call someone a ‘scoundrel’ was to treat people’s lives as a joke; a joke that only poor Black people were making, and other Black people were trying to make up. To this day, Black males who are out of school, who have not been in the streets, who are too young even to know, who are not out on a street corner, are considered untrustworthy criminals. To label someone a “scoundrel” just for the sake of it is incredibly stupid. Black males who use the word “rap” and are Black, in a sense, are all “rap” by any means necessary. To label one “rap” is to make them out to have a negative personality, and make them into a villain, and to imply that they are not just as capable of making a good living, and having a family, as anyone else.
What happened to the 1st ‘Rap’ artist?
It was not until the 1990’s that the first really solid ‘rap’ artists started appearing in the mainstream. First of all, The Roots were probably the most respected Black hip hop group of this era. They played a very important role in the development of hip hop in general as a movement, and were the major influence on the rise of many others – not the least of which had to be the
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