These days, rap music is such a significant part of popular culture that it is difficult to imagine that there was ever a time without it. However, the truth is that rap has only been in the mainstream music market for just over thirty years. The tradition, though, goes back much farther and this genre of music actually has quite a rich history.
The origins of rap are attributed to a few different sources, most of which center on the African culture. One popularly believed theory is that it grew from West African tribes who had a great deal of respect for "men of words." Another is that rap music came from Jamaican fold tales, which were essentially stories told in rhyme.
When rap music finally made its way over to America, it first became popular on the streets and in school yards. Early raps mostly focused on rappers boasting about their skills and cutting down other rappers. Watching these rap battles became a popular form of entertainment at many neighborhood parties.
Rap music stayed on the streets and did not begin to make its way into popular culture until 1979. This was the year that Sugar Hill Gang released their single, Rapper's Delight. The song was such a huge success that the music industry had no choice but to sit up and take notice, leading to the huge rap industry that we are familiar with today.
These days, rap music is one of the most popular genres on the radio, in clubs and on television, but it did not start out that way. The music finds its origins in a number of places, including African tribal traditions and Jamaican folk tales. After spending years being developed on city streets, rap music has finally taken its rightful place as one of the most popular and dynamic forms of music around.