Music Facts: Rap
The origins of rapping can be traced back centuries to griots — traveling poets, storytellers and musicians from West Africa.
Rap in popular music started in the Bronx in New York City in the 1970s. It has since gone through multiple evolutions throughout the decades including: the emergence of "new school hip-hop" in the mid-'80s; the "golden age" of hip-hop and the rise of gangsta rap and West Coast rap in the late '80s and early '90s; the commercialization of mainstream rap in the late '90s; the alternative rap movement in the 2000s; and the global explosion of trap music and the so-called "SoundCloud rap" era in the 2010s.
In 2017, rap and R&B became the biggest music genre in the U.S., in terms of total consumption, surpassing rock for the first time ever.
At the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2021, the Recording Academy introduced the Best Melodic Rap Performance category, formerly known as the Best Rap/Sung Performance category, to "represent the inclusivity of the growing hybrid performance trends within the rap genre."