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The Evolution of Rap Music in the United States, by Henry A. Rhodes


Guide Entry to 93.04.04:

My unit is intended for middle and high school students who are studying American history. Rap music is truly an American minority artist creation of which students need to be proud. One cannot study American rap music without studying what is known as the “Hip Hop” culture. Rap is an integral part of this subculture that did not evolve or exist in isolation from its other major components. Thus, one of my unit objectives will be to not only discuss and study rap music but also the other major components of this subculture. The “Hip Hop” culture was comprised of graffiti, break dancing, and the attitude and dress of the people who subscribed to the mores and traditions of this subculture. Another objective of my unit is to examine the influence that Jamaican music had on American rap music. Finally, I conclude my unit by examining some of the major American rap artists and their styles and the technology which played a major role in the evolution of rap music in the United States.

(Recommended for American History, Grades 9-12; Social Studies, Grade 8)

Key Words

Afro-American Rap Music History

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