Rap is Not Music : Debunking the Myth.

Rap is a musical genre that utilizes rhythmic and rhyming speech. It is considered a form of music by many despite being predominantly spoken-word poetry set to a beat.

Rap has been a controversial topic for many music enthusiasts, as to whether it’s a musical genre or not. Numerous individuals believe that rap is not music as it lacks melody, harmony and other traditional musical elements. However, fans of rap argue that it’s a form of music that combines rhythm and poetry.

The origins of rap can be traced back to the african american and latinx musical traditions of the 1970s. Since then, rap has evolved and now plays a significant role in the music industry. Many artists use rap as a way to express themselves and address societal issues. In this article, we will discuss whether rap is music or not, and the arguments for and against this view.

Rap is Not Music : Debunking the Myth.

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The Cultural Significance Of Rap And How It Challenges The Myth

Rap is not music: the cultural significance of rap and how it challenges the myth

Music is a form of art that expresses emotions through sound and rhythm. One genre that has become widely popular over the years, especially among young adults, is rap music. However, many people argue that rap is not music because it lacks the musicality seen in other genres such as classical and jazz.

In this blog post, we will explore the cultural significance of rap as a genre and how it challenges the myth that rap is not music.

Historical Background Of Rap Music

Rap music originated in african american and latino communities in the urban cities of the united states during the 1970s. It was a form of expression for people who were marginalized and oppressed. Initially, rap was performed at block parties and underground clubs, with djs playing the beats and rappers freestyling over them.

As rap became more mainstream in the 1980s, it evolved into a genre with its own unique sound and style.

The Social Influence Of Rap

Rap music has had a significant social influence on its listeners over the years. It has been used as a tool for political activism, social commentary, and storytelling. Rap lyrics often address issues of social inequality, racism, police brutality, and poverty.

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Many rappers use their platform to raise awareness about these issues and to make a positive change in the world.

The Artistic Expression Of Rap

Rap is not only a form of entertainment, but it is also a form of artistic expression. Rappers use their lyrics to tell stories, convey emotions, and share their life experiences. They also use their unique flow, tone, and delivery to create a distinct sound that sets them apart from other artists.

Lyrics As A Form Of Poetry

Rap lyrics can be seen as a form of poetry, with rappers using metaphor, simile, and rhyme schemes to create complex verses. The use of wordplay and storytelling also adds to the poetic nature of rap lyrics. Many rappers have been acknowledged for their poetic skills, with some even winning prestigious awards such as pulitzer prizes.

The Role Of Djs In Rap Music

Djs play a significant role in rap music by creating the beats and instrumentals that rappers rap over. They are responsible for setting the mood and creating the energy of the song. Djs also use turntablism to manipulate the beats and create a unique sound that complements the rapper’s flow.

Music Production In Rap Music

The production of rap music involves a combination of electronic instruments, samplers, and live instruments. Producers are responsible for arranging, mixing, and mastering the music to create a polished final product. They work closely with the rapper to ensure that the beat and lyrics are in sync and enhance each other.

Rap music is a genre that has a rich cultural significance and challenges the myth that it is not music. It has evolved into a genre with its own unique sound and style, with rappers using their platform to address social issues and tell their stories.

The use of poetic lyrics, djs, and music production also adds to the artistic value of rap music.

Music Theory: Why Rap Is In Fact Music

For decades, people have debated whether rap is music or not. Some individuals believe that rap’s characteristics differ significantly from conventional music genres, while others appreciate rap as a diverse and expressive music genre. In this section, we will explore music theory to determine why rap is, in fact, music.

Definition Of Music

Before we can explore the elements of music in rap, we should examine what constitutes music. Music can be described as an art form that uses sound as its medium to communicate thoughts, emotions, and ideas. It involves a mix of various elements such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and progression.

Further, music plays an essential role in human society, from social gatherings to personal enjoyment.

Elements Of Music And Rap

Rap, like any other music genre, has basic music elements that define its sound. These music elements include rhythm, melody, harmony, and progression.

The Rhythm In Rap Music

Rhythm is a fundamental element in rap music. It’s the heartbeat of the music that makes people want to nod their heads and move their bodies. Rap music utilizes drum beats, basslines, and other instrumental rhythms to create its unique sound.

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It also uses syncopation, a musical technique that places accents on the weak beats instead of the strong beats, to create a distinctive rhythm that drives the rap lyrics.

The Melody In Rap Music

Melody is defined as the sequence of notes that produce a musical tone. Rap music doesn’t rely heavily on melody as other music genres do, primarily because of its focus on spoken word. However, there are instances where a rap song may include a melody that’s delivered either by the rapper or a featured singer.

The Harmony In Rap Music

Harmony is the mixture of musical notes played simultaneously to create a sound that’s pleasant to the ear. In rap, harmony is a minimal element compared to other music genres. However, harmony can be created by layering vocal tracks, using background vocals, or by adding instrumentation such as piano.

The Progression Of Rap Music

Progression refers to how the musical elements of a song move throughout the piece. In rap, the progression is often minimal because the focus is on creating a unique rhythm that complements the lyrics. However, some rap songs can have distinct progressions, such as a change in tempo or the introduction of new instrumental elements.

Instruments Used In Rap Music

Rap music incorporates different musical instruments, much like other music genres. However, the instruments used in rap tend to be modern and electronic, such as drum machines, samplers, and synthesizers. These electronic instruments allow rappers and producers to create a unique sound that characterizes the genre.

By examining the music theory, we can determine that rap is, in fact, music. It incorporates many fundamental elements of music and utilizes modern electronic instruments to create its unique sound. Whether you appreciate rap music or not, it’s essential to recognize that it’s a legitimate form of music that speaks to a diverse audience.

Debunking The Myth With Examples From Popular Rap Artists

Rap music is often referred to as a form of poetry with a musical backdrop, but there are still those who argue that it is not music. However, popular rap artists like kendrick lamar, j. cole, and tupac shakur have debunked this myth through their music.

In this blog post, we will examine the key points of their music, highlighting how they have challenged this belief.

Analysis Of Popular Artists’ Music

When we examine the music of popular rap artists, we can clearly see how they challenge the belief that rap is not music. Let’s take a closer look at some of their work below:

Kendrick Lamar

  • Kendrick lamar’s music combines a mix of jazz, funk, and soul music. He uses poetic lyrics to tell stories of experiences that are relatable to many people.
  • His album “to pimp a butterfly” is regarded as one of the most important rap albums of the 2010s. The album features socially conscious themes, which highlight the issues and challenges of black americans.
  • Lamar’s music is praised for its portrayal of the black experience and for being masterful in both lyricism and production.
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J. Cole

  • J. cole’s music, much like lamar’s, tells stories through lyrics set to musical rhythms. His music is based on themes of social and political awareness, as well as personal struggles and experiences.
  • His album “4 your eyez only” is a prime example of how rap music can be used to tell stories that are deep and personal. The album is a commentary on the black experience and touches on themes of love, loss, and self-reflection.
  • J. cole’s music has been credited with helping to revive the conscious hip-hop movement.

Tupac Shakur

  • Tupac shakur was known for his ability to blend rap music with social commentary. His music was a reflection of the struggles of the black community and the systemic issues they faced.
  • His album “all eyez on me” is regarded as a classic rap album. It includes several standout tracks such as “california love”, “2 of amerikaz most wanted”, and “ambitionz az a ridah”.
  • Tupac’s music is remembered for its ability to bring attention to important social issues, such as police brutality and poverty.

When we examine the music of popular rap artists such as kendrick lamar, j. cole, and tupac shakur, we can see how they challenge the premise that rap is not music. The use of lyrical storytelling, blended with diverse musical elements, showcases the artistic merit of rap music.

With conscious themes and personal experiences, rap allows artists to communicate and engage with the audience like no other genre.

Frequently Asked Questions For Rap Is Not Music

Is Rap Considered Music?

Yes, rap is a form of music. It is a rhythmic and poetic expression of words set to a beat.

What Makes Rap Different From Other Genres?

Rap is different from other genres in that it focuses primarily on the lyrics and the artist’s voice.

Why Do Some People Think Rap Is Not Music?

Some people may believe that rap is not music because it lacks musical instruments or traditional singing.

Can Rap Have Positive Impact?

Yes, rap can have a positive impact, serving as a platform for social and political commentary and self-expression.

Is It Okay To Like Or Dislike Rap?

Yes, it is okay to have personal preferences when it comes to music. It is important, however, to keep an open mind and respect diverse art forms.


It’s undeniable that rap has become hugely popular in recent years, with many fans proclaiming it to be a legitimate form of music. However, despite this mainstream acceptance, there are still those who argue that rap is not music at all.

While this is a hotly debated topic, it’s clear that rap is not for everyone. It requires a certain level of understanding and appreciation for the art form, including the unique stylistic choices and literary techniques employed by its artists.

Whether or not we consider rap to be music ultimately depends on our own personal definition of the term. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, it’s important to remember that music is subjective and holds different meanings for different people.

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that rap has made a significant impact on modern culture and pop music.

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