Date: Mon, 5 Jun 1995 09:35:16 -0500


Subject: Re: rap

Re: rap

In the African American community in the fifties rap was defined as a way of

talking. H. "Rap" Brown in telling how he got his nickname explained that it

was became he could really "talk." My early understanding of the word was that

it very skillful way of talking which utilized all kinds of word play,

indirection, humor and intelligence. Later, I heard the term used to refer to

a particular philosophy (he's got a strong rap) or to person's ability to

persuade (as in courtship behavior). In the sixties and seventies I began to

hear the word used to mean simply talking (we rapped for an hour). I think

people like the Last Poets and Gil Scott Herron held on to an earlier meaning

of "Man of Words" or philosopher who gets his/her point across by means of

verbal gymnastics.

PS. I forgot to say that in the mid sixties and early seventies, many of my

hippie and/or feminist friends used the term rap session to mean something

closer to consciousness raising sessions.

Barbara Hill Hudson