Who Invented Rap?

Rap is primarily a type of music characterized by the rhythmic spoken delivery of poetry, wordplay and rhymes. In recent years, the fame of rappers such as Daddy Yankee, Mary J. Blige and Eminem has greatly contributed to the popularity of this music genre. In addition, what was once a predominantly male world has now become a home to popular female rap artists like Foxy Brown, Eve and Missy Elliott. For more information about this important form of musicality, it is good to know its history including who invented rap.

The Invention of Rap

Who invented rap? Based on historical accounts, rap can be traced back all the way to the time of the griots, who were groups of people from West Africa that delivered stories accompanied by sparse instrumentation and rhythmic drumbeats. Academics, spoken word artists and modern day griots all acknowledge this very fact.

Additional Facts and Other Important Information

Music historians consider the period between 1979 and 1984 as the era of old school rap. According to them, the rap music during this time emphasized the good times rather than lyrical technique. One of the most notable rap artists during that time was Melle Mel, who was known for his creative wordplay and socio-political content. The golden age of rap transpired in the latter parts of the 1980s. Likewise, the same thing also happened in the early parts of the 1990s. During these two periods, many rap prodigies emerged, some of the most notable of which were Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Chuck D. This golden age ended some time in between 1993 and 1994.


Rap can be delivered using various kinds of styles. One of the most recent is the use of multisyllabic rhymes, which was popularized by artists such as Eminem, Big Daddy Kane as well as Kool G Rap. Another style is referred to as the chant, which is the basic style of performers like Project Pat and Lil Jon. Bone Thugs N Harmony and Twista are known for their syncopated bounce style of rapping. There are also rap artists who prefer to use the straightforward style, such as the case of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Jay-Z. Additionally, performers like Lauryn Hill, Kurupt and Nas prefer to use another style, which is called Rubik’s cube.

Besides these common rap styles, some performers are known for their alternative styles. For instance, the style used by Big Pun is referred to as speech-effusive style. Music scholars call the style of B-Real, who is a member of Cypress Hill, percussion-effusive style. Finally, artists such as the Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five as well as Too Short prefer to use the sung-rhythmic style of rapping.