Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 16:27:58 +0300


Subject: Re: Query about terms

Thanks, Christopher. What's your first recollection of "rap"?

I don't know about Christopher, but I first heard "rap" in my

brown-rice-and-sandals hometown of Boulder, Colorado, in the mid-1970s,

used by the people who later became New Agers. To "rap" was to talk openly

and honestly about one's feelings, and it probably involved hugging. I

wouldn't know for sure, because I tended to avoid people who said such

things, even at such a tender age.

I first heard the term used in a musical context in the 1979 single

"Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang (available on the album _Sugar

Hill Gang_, Sugar Hill Records, or any number of recent compilation CDs).

However, this was merely the first rap record to penetrate to my

upper-middle-class suburb (it was the first to reach the top 40), so I have

no doubt that it was being used in Harlem and Brooklyn, where rap was born,

well before that. Therefore, it's probably pretty unlikely that the two

words are directly related, though they may have a common source.

Nelson George's book _Buppies, B-Boys and Bohos_ includes a couple chapters

on the development of rap, and can also point you towards other histories

of the music that may be useful.



Stewart Allensworth Mason

PO Box 4056

Portales NM 88130


1. "New Love"/"I Don't Like You"--The Muffs (1991)

2. "Hard Look At Perfect"/"Heyday"--Matt Allison (1989)

3. _ALRN_ e.p.--Alternate Learning (1979)

4. "Try Happiness"/"Stephanie"/"A Gentle Sigh"--Blueboy (1992)

5. _Stance_ e.p.--R. Stevie Moore (1977)

6. _Angels of Epistemology_ e.p.--The Angels of Epistemology (1990)