Music

This 1981 News Report on the Rise of ‘Rap Music’ Is Pretty Fun

Music

This 1981 News Report on the Rise of ‘Rap Music’ Is Pretty Fun

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It’s been 33 years since ABC’s 20/20 filed this report on the emergence of something called “rap music”, and a lot has changed since then. Not in the way news programs talk about hip hop so much, but lots of other, unrelated stuff has changed. We have iPhones now for example. And gluten free menus.

Our desk anchor leads us off:

“Well there have been talking blues and things like concertos for drums. But right now, all around us, and so compelling that you never miss the fact there’s no melody, is a music that is all beat, strong beat, and talk. It’s rap music, and it sounds like this…”

The report cuts to the Sugar Hill Gang, before throwing to reporter Steve Fox, who points out how rap music has been showing up all over the culture from ads to politics. It also, of course, uses the example of a white person’s rapping to point to its crossover popularity, with Blondie. (btw holy shit Blondie. Yiiikes).

Sorry, where was I…

All jokes aside, it’s a pretty interesting, and well-done look at the rise of hip hop, with plenty of love shown to the greats of the time, like Kurtis Blow, reaching on back through successive generations of rhythmic music’s influence from preacher’s intonations, to scat in jazz, double dutch, politicians’ speeches, and up through James Brown and Muhammad Ali.  Check out parts one and two below, via UPROXX.