Was Rap inspired by The Blues?

rob2001

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My sister asked me this simple question...was Rap and Hip Hop inspired by The Blues?

I thought musically no, but maybe in lyrical content, early Rap had some of the same elements...of poverty, making due with little and still managing to be proud.

I really don't know and i'm not into Rap and Hip Hop to know the true origins and inspirations.

Just wondering if anyone has a thought on this one? :dunno
 

atquinn

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Rap inspired by the blues? I'm thinking hell no. Wasn't blues for white folks by the time rap was coming along. Lyrical content-wise, they might be similar, but so is "real" country. That's what happens when you have "folk" artist "singing songs" about their lives.

-Austin
 

jjboogie

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Blues has inspired all forms of American Music to some extent or another however Hip Hop music started out in NY when they tried to stop violence and have MC battles instead. Bringing gangs together without having violence ended up being a great thing. It was a way to blow of steam and have a good time without shooting guns. Unfortunately the non violence aspect did not last very long.

On another note much of the early blues lyrical content contained images of sex, drugs & violence, just like modern gangsta rap except the rappers these days glorify those things as if it is the next best thing since sliced bread.
 

Blingdogg

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I think the lyrics are similar to the blues, but I don't know how intentional it was when hiphop started out. Both blues and hiphop originally were telling the stories of misfortune, poverty, bad times and good times of black folk, but I don't think most of the urban guys who started rap at that time were listening to that much blues music.

I think the similarities have more to do with rap and blues being founded by mostly poor, disadvantaged black folk than a direct relationship.

While I listen to a lot of rap music, I don't know much about its origins. I think rap was started as a kind of party music to go along with the beats from soul, disco, and funk music.
 
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Real rap (I'm talking Run-DMC, NWA, Public Enemy, Nas type stuff, not that autotuned **** that gets passed off as rap) is more inspired by R&B, soul, jazz (Yeah, that's right, I said jazz), and funk. So it is kind of blues influenced, but not directly.
 

Garrett Bagby

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It was borne out of block parties in the Bronx in the late 70's. Influenced by black music of the day, largely R&B, soul and funk.

I'm a pretty big hip hop fan, and I haven't heard rap mixed with blues much at all. I'd love to get involved in a "Blues-Hop" band!
 

YoungAmerican

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Rap and hip-hop have roots in a lot of different musical styles.

Negro spirituals, traditional African music, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, blues, and electronic music all figure prominently into the formula.

As for the sound itself, a lot of the first MCs were simply using the only musical instruments they could afford, which in many cases meant a microphone and fooling around with a turntable.
 

JRDill

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Hip hop in it's purist form has stuck with the positive. Sadly, just like any other music, there happens to be a few bad apples that sprout out. Look up the Memphis Jug Band and early jazz and you have your beginning stages of rap.
 

rob2001

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Some great replies here! Very much mirroring my thoughts. Musically I hear way more funk than blues.
 

JRDill

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I think funk could be a good argument for inspiring more of the music, not the lyrical side though. Hip hop is a really interesting style of music historically.
 

Garrett Bagby

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I'll have to see if I can hunt down some Memphis Jug Band stuff.

Oh, and it would be a disservice to this thread if I don't mention Gil Scott-Heron.
 

jimfog

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Yes, plus all of the above......and also the dancehall "toasters" in Jamaica.
 

Marble

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well alot of blues artists used to make songs about killing people and wanting his woman to satisfy him, so there's not much difference there between a drive-by and more exagerated sexual stuff, lyrically.

I think the American black music lineage is field songs>blues>r&b>funk>rap...jazz is a whole 'nother world.
 

RMcFarland

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Check out writings by Robert Palmer and Alan Lomax. There are definitely dots that connect from the "dozens", the blues, jazz, and then on to rap.
 




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