Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 16:27:58 +0300
From: Stewart Mason masons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ZIAVMS.ENMU.EDU
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
***MY FAVORITE OBSCURE INDIE SINGLES***
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)