Rapper Tupac Shakur performing on stage in front of a black background

Tupac Shakur | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Rappers are some of the most prominent artists on the top 40 charts. Rap/ hip-hop is a musical style and genre featuring rhythmic and sometimes rhyming speech that is rapped over a musical backing.

Rap originated in African American communities in New York City and started to become part of the mainstream music scene in the 1970s.

Rap Trivia:

  • “Rap” is said to stand for “rhythm and poetry.”
  • Jay-Z has the most Grammy Awards for any rapper, with 23 wins and 80 nominations over his career.
  • Kendrick Lamar won Pulitzer Prize in Music for 2018 for his 2017 album Damn,¬†the first time the award has gone to an artist outside the classical or jazz genres.

Genre Origin: New York City, 1970s
Popular subgenres: Trap rap, gangsta rap, Boom-bap, Soundcloud rap, and Lo-fi hip-hop
Notable Rappers: Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, Ghostface Killah, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Nicki Minaj, and Drake.

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