Who was the first rapper?
OldSchoolHipHop features an interesting biography of DJ Kool Herc. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1955, Kool Herc was particularly interested in the song's "break section" -- the part of the song without vocals. Extending the song's break was Herc's trademark and "would be a very important one for hip hop."
Does that qualify Herc as the first rapper? Maybe, maybe not. An article on VH-1's official site lists Afrika Bambaataa as "one of rap's founding fathers." User-edited site Wikipedia writes that Bambaataa is often credited "as being the first rapper ever."
Rap is a fusion of different musical genres. No one person can or should be given credit for "inventing" it, but we did find an article on the origin of rap by Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D. Person-Lynn quotes Bambaataa as saying, "A lot of people always think it (rap) started in the South Bronx, but officially it came from the West Bronx, 'cause Kool Herc (credited with being the first rapper), was from that area."
If Bambaataa believes Herc came first, that's good enough for us. Peace.
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