Hip-hop is a genre of music which originated in New York. Although there is no single originator of the genre, New York DJ Kool Herc is generally considered the most important figure in its beginning years. DJ Kool Herc would sample the distinct parts of jazz, disco and funk records. These were commonly the parts of the record that featured drumming or consistent rhythm. DJ Kool Herc spoke and rhymed over the songs he played, which wasone of the earliest versions of rapping in the hip-hop style.
As hip hop emerged, many individual artists began rapping over the breaks in songs. These people began to be called MCs, which stands for mic controller. This rapping was influenced by political expression. The earliest rap recordings in the 1980s explored and exposed the gritty conditions of life in the nation’s urban poor communities. By the 1990s, “gangsta” rap was born. Rap artists told of rugged and explicit stories. These often exaggerated gang violence.
By the 1980s problems in urban living had reached a climactic level. Poverty, crime, police brutality, drugs, and violence threatened to tear apart the fabric of African-American Life. Throughout this a new form of music was born. It was cry out against urban poverty, just like how the blues had been a cry against rural poverty. Early rap skipped instruments entirely, just using lyrics and a bass beat. It became most popular when it morphed into hip-hop, and returned some instruments to the mix.