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Monthly Archives: November 2016

History of Funk Music

Funk was a danceable, rhythmic genre of music born from the amalgamation of soul music, soul jazz, and R&B. It reached the heights of its popularity in the 1970s, with artists like James Brown, Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, and Parliament dominating the music charts. Funk was famous for its strange costumes, danceable beats, outrageous personalities, and lyrics. It brought the strong groove of drums and electric bass to the foreground, while giving less emphasis to melody and harmony. After entertaining the youth for a few decades, it further evolved by the fusion of other forms of music, creating more such inspirational music to entertain further ahead.

FUNK MUSIC

► History
► Famous Artists
► Famous Songs

Funk Music History

Funk derived its name from the vernacular of Jazz. The music was derived from R&B, disco, hip hop, liquid funk, soul music, jazz, blues, and psychedelic rock, and was born somewhere around the mid 1960s. This genre of music received its well-deserved popularity in ’70s and early ’80s. The legendary bassist James Jamerson from Motown brought the bass guitar to the forefront, making it more prominent, and separating other music forms from funk. The beats of fun were heavily based on an aggressive rhythmic pulse on the first note itself. While, its traditional counterparts like the Blues emphasized on the second or fourth note, called the ‘back beat’. This style of energetic music became the very foundation of artists like James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone.

Soul singers such as Temptation and Stevie Wonders, and bands such as Ohio Players and Kool and the Gang took this music genre to whole new heights, with palpitating beats with intricate, deep, melodious arrangements, and potent and conceptual lyrics. Patrons from other music genres, like Jazz artists like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis adopted and adapted this funky style, and revamped funk for good, later giving birth to a whole new style called Disco music.

Famous Artists and Bands of Funk

Famous Artists

Bootsy Collins (1951 -)
Chaka Khan (1953 -)
George Clinton (1941 -)
Herbie Hancock (1940 -)
James Brown (1933 – 2006)
Prince (1958 -)
Rick James (1948 – 2004)
Stevie Wonder (1950 -)

Famous Funk Bands

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band (1962)
Dyke and the Blazers (1965 – 1971)
Funkadelic- (1968 – 1971)
Kool and the Gang (1964 – present )
Parliament (1968 – present in collaboration with Funkadelic)
Sly & The Family Stone (1967 – 1975)
The Isley Brothers (1954 – present)
The Ohio Players (1959 – 2002)
The Meters (1965 – 1977, 1989 – present)
The Temptations (1960 – present)

Famous Songs of Each Decade

1960s

♫ James Brown: Out of Sight, Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965)
♫ Dyke and the Blazers: Funky Broadway (1967)
♫ Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: Released their first album (1967)
♫ James Brown: It’s a Mother (1969)
♫ James Brown: Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (1969)
♫ Sly and the Family Stone: Stand! (1969)

1970s

♫ Funkadelic: Free Your Mind…’ and ‘Your Ass will Follow (1970)
♫ Parliament: Osmium (1970)
♫ Tower of Power- East Bay Grease’ (1970)
♫ Sly & the Family Stone: Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin’) (1970)
♫ Sly & the Family Stone: Family Affair (1971)
♫ Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (1971)
♫ Sly and the Family Stone: There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
♫ Funkadelic: America Eats Its Young (1972)
♫ The Temptations: All Directions (1972)
♫ Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (1973)
♫ Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (1973)
♫ Kool and the Gang: Wild and Peaceful (1973)
♫ Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (1973)
♫ James Brown: The Payback (1974)
♫ The Ohio Players: Fire (1974)
♫ Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (1974)
♫ Parliament: Up for the Down Stroke (1974)
♫ Funkadelic: Let’s Take It to the Stage (1975)
♫ Parliament: Chocolate City (1975)
♫ Parliament: Mothership Connection (1975)
♫ The Isley Brothers: The Heat Is On (1975)
♫ Parliament: The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)
♫ Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (1976)
♫ Funkadelic: Hardcore Jollies (1976)
♫ Bootsy’s Rubber Band: Ahh . . . The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977)
♫ Parliament: Live: P-Funk Earth Tour (1977)
♫ Parliament: Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977)
♫ Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove (1978)
♫ Parliament: Motor Booty Affair (1978)
♫ Funkadelic: Uncle Jam Wants You (1979)
♫ Parliament: Gloryhallastoopid (1979)

1980s

♫ Funkadelic: Connections & Disconnections (1980)
♫ Parliament: Trombipulation (1980)
♫ Prince: Dirty Mind (1980)
♫ Rick James: Street Songs (1981)
♫ Funkadelic: The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981)

Just like its humble origins from Jazz and R&B, Funk branched out into soul funk, electro funk or Funkatronica as its popularly known, modern funk, nu-funk, free funk, funk metal, g-funk, jazz funk, melodic funk, neurofunk, p-funk, go-go, Brazilian funk or Baile funk, etc. New artists have incorporated new styles to funk, making it their own style.

Types of Music Genres

What is music? For some a blissful experience to be enjoyed along with a glass of the finest red, for some a distraction during a boring treadmill session! Some would consider Beethoven’s piano sonatas a copyrighted property of the Lullaby Channel, some would struggle to pronounce ‘bougarabou’ (which is an African drum, by the way), and some would mock Indian classical music — the oldest surviving school of music — as sheer wailing!

Sounds never evoke the same emotions in different people. Thus, a comprehensive and universal definition of music is practically nonexistent. Having said that, some would consider it an exercise in futility to go ahead and try to define a list of musical genres. Fortunately, while some maintain that sounds such as a car horn and a crash of a falling plate constitute genres in themselves, the rest of the world has been sensible enough to discern musical genres from mere noise.

What is a genre?

A genre is a group of styles of music having a common tradition or common fundamental values. It can be likened to a genus in taxonomy, which is constituted by animals sharing a common evolutionary ancestor and having some distinct anatomical commonalities, despite vastly different superficial appearances. To further the rather snug-fitting analogy, a music genre is further divided into subgenres — just like species in a genus. Superficially, the species may look nothing like each other in their present-day forms, but they evolved from the same ancestor. The concept of the ‘species’ of subgenres can be best explained by the huge number of disparate-sounding subgenres currently grouped under the titular title ‘Rock Music’.

In modern times, the all-consuming music industry often has a larger say in creating a new genre than the music itself. Numerous modern genres can be said to have been thus inspired as a commercial gimmick, rather than an artistic endeavor.

Music, in its broadest division, can be classified into two styles: Western, and Oriental. African music can be included as a separate genre, but quite a few African styles have made their way into Western music via immigrant African-Americans; hence it has been included in the category of Western Music.

Within Western music, the following classification can easily be made:

  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Blues
  • R&B
  • Country
  • Reggae
  • Hip Hop
  • Electronic
  • Latino

Western Music

Rock

The umbrella term ‘rock’ is used to describe a large variety of musical styles. The origins of this stupendously popular style lie in a fusion of two other popular genres — Blues and Country, along with significant elements of jazz. Along with the influences from the two styles, rock and roll was typified by extensive use of the snare drum. The ‘rock and roll’ movement of the mid-1950s revolutionized the music scene in the West, with the proponents of this innovative and flamboyant style shaping the trends in racism, fashion and lifestyle. Rock and roll — especially Glam Rock — artists’ garish costumes were famous, and in the racially inflamed 1950s, rock and roll provided an avenue for the appreciation of popular music without segregation. The success of the Rock and Roll movement is personified in the everlasting fame of ‘the King’, Elvis.

In the late 60s and early 70s two popular rock subgenres developed: Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Both have gone on to become massively popular. The contemporaneous emergence of inventive guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton helped mold the malleable style of Rock music into numerous other popular styles. The term ‘rock’ music has since gone on to represent a massive range of styles, many often sounding nothing like the original ‘rock and roll sound’. The all-encompassing term ‘rock music’ includes everything from the melodious Beatles to the aggressive Carcass and Deicide.

It can be said that rock music is the most popular genre of music in the history of mankind.

Notable bands:
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen, U2, AC/DC, The Who, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Notable Performers:
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, David Bowie, Syd Barrett, Alice Cooper, John Entwistle, Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain

Subgenres:
Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Black Metal, Glam Rock, Punk Rock, Hard Rock, Jazz Rock, Acid Rock, Christian Metal, Art Rock, Alternative Rock, Dream Pop, Grunge, Indie Pop, Industrial Rock, Folk Rock, Folk Metal, Glam Metal, Electronic Rock, Experimental Rock, Goregrind, Deathcore, Metalcore, Doom Metal, Industrial Metal, Industrial Rock, Gothi Metal, Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock, Sludge Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Desert Rock, Pop Rock, Folk Pink, Celtic Punk, Garage Punk, Grindcore, Hardcore Punk, Thrashcore, Pop Punk, Ska Punk, Skacore, Gothic Rock, Noise Rock, Rap Metal, Rapcore, Southern Rock, Sufi Rock, Raga Rock, Nu Metal, Sadcore, Slowcore, Post-Britpop, Post-Grunge, Indie Pop, Symphonic Metal, Stoner Rock.

Jazz

Jazz developed among the black community of the Southern US. This can be called a ‘classical version’ of blues music. The African influence on this indigenous American style of music can be seen in the emphasis on improvisation and a combination of different but simultaneously played rhythms, which is very unusual in the Western tradition of music.

Jazz is often performed by ensembles (although single artists can play as well), with importance laid on their ability to play off each other, and improvise ex tempore. The improvisational style of jazz links it to Indian classical music, which also values improvisation over repetition of set melodies. This intrinsic commonality has produced numerous collaborations between jazz and Indian classical artists. Pt. Ravi Shankar, who frequently collaborated with Western musicians, is one of the most famous Indian musicians in the West. John McLaughlin, a noted jazz guitarist, formed fusion ensembles with Western and Indian musicians such as Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram.

Noted Performers:
Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, John McLaughlin, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Django Reinhardt

Subgenres:
Bebop, Acid Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz, Boogie-Woogie, Bossa Nova, Chamber Jazz, Continental Jazz, Cool Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Dixieland, Latin Jazz, Ethno Jazz, Free Jazz, Gypsy Jazz, Hard Bop, Jazz Blues, Jazz Funk, Jazz Fusion, Jazz Rock, Kansas City Jazz, Modal Jazz, Nu Jazz, Orchestral Jazz, Ska Jazz, Soul Jazz, Swing, West Coast Jazz, Stride Jazz

Western Classical

The classical music of Europe is (along with the much older Indian classical music) one of the oldest surviving styles in modern music. In direct contrast to its Indian counterpart and the Western style of jazz, European classical music values tradition and set renditions of melodies, without much scope for improvisation.

Classical music can be of several forms: Symphony, Sonata, Concerto, Suite, Cantata, Oratorio etc. These are either played on instruments such as a piano or a violin or sung.

Western classical music is categorized by period: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. The cutoffs of the periods aren’t strictly defined, but the convention is clear; The Medieval period ran till the early 15th century, Renaissance till the 1600s, Baroque till mid-1700s, Classical till the early 1800s, Romantic till the 1900s, when it gave way to the Modern. Western classical music really came into its own in the baroque and classical periods, graced by masters such as Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

Although classical music is often derided as ‘boring’, especially by the younger audience, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is one of the oldest and most respected genres in world music.

Notable Composers:
Ludvig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frederic Chopin, Antonio Vivaldi, Gioachino Rossini, Igor Stravinsky

Notable Modern Exponents:
Yehudi Menuhin (Violinist), Leonard Bernstein (Composer-Conductor), Igor Stravinsky (Composer), Claude Debussy (Composer), George Gershwin (Composer-Pianist), Yanni (Pianist-Singer)

Blues

Like jazz music, the blues genre originated from African Americans’ worksongs, and was built around the premise of simple lyrics sung in a simple tune. The simple, plain structuring of a blues song is open to innovations and improvisations; this has led to the emergence of several completely different styles, such as rock music. Since the blues genre was ingrained in local calls and worksongs, the subgenres of blues music are often named after places.

‘Dallas Blues’ is the first blues song ever published, in 1912. It was written by Hart Wand, and although there had been unpublished blues songs and published quasi-blues songs before his time, his was the first true blues song to be published.

Blues music was primarily played unplugged (with acoustic instruments). However, this began to change in the 1940s, and the entry of electric instruments — thanks to artists such as Muddy Waters — revolutionized blues music. Although many blues artists chose electric instruments, both electric and acoustic renditions of blues music are popular today. Jump blues, an energetic, fast type of blues music, is considered to be the precursor of rock and R&B music.

Rhythm and Blues, a subgenre of blues and jazz music, has developed to be considered as a genre in itself. The primary difference between mainstream blues and R&B is, as the name suggests, the dominance of rhythm. Popular genres such as soul and funk have derived from R&B.

Notable Performers:
Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Robert Nighthawk, Bessie Smith, “Blind” Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, B. B. King

Subgenres:
British Blues, African Blues, Blues Rock, Canadian Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Delta Blues, Detroit Blues, Electric Blues, Gospel Blues, Hill Country Blues, Hokum, Jazz Blues, Louisiana Blues, Memphis Blues, Texas Blues, Soul Blues

Country

Like blues music, country music emerged from folk songs of the Southern USA in the early 1920s. Immigrants in the Appalachian Mountains area, who had brought along instruments from their own countries, merged their art-forms to form the famous genre of country music. Hence, it contained elements (and instruments) from various countries such as Ireland, Italy, Germany, and numerous African countries. Many of the early instruments in country music were string instruments, with the notable exception of the harmonica.

Country music has much in common with blues music; the simple, three-chord arrangement of songs is an important element found in early recordings of both of these genres. The simple arrangement in both these genres left much scope for innovation, and like the blues, country music has been adapted and molded by various artists in different forms.

The structuring and instrumentation of country music underwent several changes over the years. The early bands almost exclusively used string instruments. Around the 1940s, electric guitars and drums began to appear in country bands. Although rejected at first by purist audiences, they soon became an integral part of country music. The next two decades saw the emergence of the early strains of rock music. Elvis, who started as a country singer, helped the genre develop into the more energetic, upbeat rock-n-roll. Ray Charles too concentrated on country music around this period. Since then, country music has remained a popular genre in the US, and has undergone several successful transitions, giving rise to several popular subgenres.

Notable Performers:
Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, Vernon Dalhart, Fiddlin’ John Carson, Roy Acuff, Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson

Subgenres:
Bluegrass, Cajun, Classic Country, Country Rock, Nashville Sound, Honky-tonk, Cowboy Music, Close Harmony, Dansband Music, Sertanejo, Truck-driving Country, Christian Country, Rap Country, Blues Country, Hillbilly, Progressive Country

Reggae

Reggae music has its roots in a Jamaican music style called Ska, based on R&B, Jazz and Caribbean musical traditions. Ska originated in the 1960s, and later spawned the world-famous genre of Reggae.

Like all Caribbean music genres, Reggae extensively uses drums, typified by high-pitched snares. It has also incorporated electric instruments, such as guitars (especially basses) and synthesizers. Unlike virtually every other genre, the drum rolls in reggae do not end with the cymbal.

The orchestra is the important part in reggae performances. Reggae is an instrumentation-based genre rather than a vocals-based genre, since with the right instruments, a ‘reggae version’ of any song can be quite easily made.

Notable Artists:
Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jimmy Cliff

Related Ska Subgenres:
Rocksteady, Lovers Rock, Ragga, Dub

Hip Hop

Favorite among youngsters all over the world, hip hop is one of the most popular modern genres of music. Hip hop music emerged as an offshoot of the hip hop movement in the 1970s. Centered in Bronx, the movement soon spread to the rest of the US, and hip hop music benefited from the expansion, becoming one of the most followed genres of the 1970s-1980s.

Since the 1990s, the genre has become synonymous with rapping, although rapping is only one part of hip hop music.

Notable Groups:
Public Enemy, The Roots, The Black Eyed Peas, Beastie Boys

Notable Performers:
Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Akon, Ludacris, Hard Kaur, Fergie, will.i.am, Adam Yauch, Ad-Rock

Electronic

One of the more modern genres in world music, electronic music is based, as is obvious from the name, on electronic instruments. These instruments include instruments such as synthesizers, the electric guitar and the theremin. Electronic music is widely known in the form of House or Disco music. It gained in popularity among youth in the 1970s and 1980s, and has since remained a popular genre of pop music. Over the ages, electronic music was inculcated in various other genres such as metal, hard rock, R&B etc.

Notable artists:
Halim El-Dabh, Karlheinz Stockhousen, Robert Moog, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa, David Mancuso, Wendy Carlos

Subgenres:
Ambient, Breakbeat, Acid Breaks, 4-beat, Chiptune, Disco, House, Electronica, Electronic Rock, Electronic Jazz, Downtempo, Electronic Art Music, Video Game Music, Europop, Synthpop, Electronic Dance Music, Drum and Bass, Alternative Dance, Goa Trance, Eurotrance, Dream Trance, Hardcore Dance, Digital Hardcore, Industrial Metal, Industrial Rock, 2-step, Electronic House, Acid House

Latino

Latino music evolved in Latin America, i.e., South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Some Latino styles, such as samba, rumba, salsa and tango, are popular all over the world. Bossa nova, listed as a subgenre of jazz music, is also a famous Brazilian music form. Many Latin forms have successfully blended components of American music into their own, and created highly popular genres, such as Tejano music.

Latino music is reputed for its emphasis on rhythm and the consequently intoxicating beats; the effervescent style of samba has become the symbol of Brazil. However, Latin operas and ballads are just as popular — at least in Latin America — as their upbeat counterparts. Different styles of music can be found across the numerous countries in Latin America, but all of them can be grouped together by the love of rhythm. Interestingly, Latino music is the only genre in Western music classified according to geography.

Especially in the Caribbean, the influence of Indian music can be clearly observed in genres such as Chutney music, and its subsequent reincarnations. Lyrics laced with Hindi and Bhojpuri, as well as traditional Indian rhythm patterns are seen in these genres. As with the African immigrants in the US, Indian immigrants in the Caribbean have helped shape the musical scene of the tropical islands.

Notable Performers:
Roberto Carlos, Heitor Villa Lobos, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dropati, Sundar Popo, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Shakira

Subgenres:
Samba, Rumba, Bachata, Salsa, Tejano, Son, Calypso, Soca, Chutney, Chutney Soca, Mambo, Merengue, Ranchera

Oriental Music

Traditional Oriental

Traditions in Oriental music can stretch back to hundreds, even thousands of years. Indian Classical Music — the oldest surviving musical genre in the world — traces its roots to the Vedic period thousands of years ago, although it has undergone many transformations in the interim. Chinese and Japanese music traditions can also be traced back to the Middle Ages.

The music of China, Japan and Southeast Asia developed fairly independently; all three have long-standing traditions of music. The music in these three traditions focuses on ensemble singing. On the other hand, due to the Mughal conquest of North Indian Hindu empires, the highly malleable and miscible music of North India developed into an indiscernible mixture of Indian and Persian musical traditions, and retained the ancient Indian trait of being solely centered around the solitary artist.

Ancient Indian music was centered around chants, and songs sung primarily in praise of God. Due to the Islamic influence, the topic and composition of the lyrics changed, and so did the age-old style of music. Mughal composers and singers, such as Tansen, transformed Indian music into its modern format. The iconic Indian instruments tambora, the drone, and tabla, the Indian drum, also entered the realms of Indian music around this time.

Indian classical music is the only music that makes such an extensive use of, and gives such an importance to musical modes. In contrast to Western, Chinese, South Asian and Japanese music, Indian music places emphasis on the artist’s interpretation of a particular mode and his own style of singing, rather than a flawless facsimile of a composition written by someone else. As a result, ensembles are very rare in North Indian music, although it is an important part of the South Indian Carnatic school of music.

Some well-established genres of Indian classical music are Khyaal, Dhrupad and Thumri.

Many Western musicians studied Indian music and instruments extensively; notably, George Harrison took sitar lessons and collaborated with Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar. Ravi Shankar also performed at Woodstock, and at several other prestigious venues in the West. Indian music easily lends itself to fusion with other art forms, and especially in the late 20th century and 21st century collaborations between Indian and Western musicians became increasingly common. Many Indian classical musicians, such as Zakir Hussain, Taufiq Qureshi, L. Subramaniam have frequently collaborated with Western artists.

Oriental Pop

Pop music in Asia is heavily influenced by the Western pop scene. Western sounds began to make their way into Asian communities in the mid-20th century, and soon became popular all over the continent. Students studying in the West often brought home the musical influences of their stay in the West, and Asian pop music started to develop accordingly. Notably, in China these modern strains of music and its accompanying showmanship was considered vulgar and was thus banned!

Asian pop music has become increasingly famous in the West in the 21st century, borne out by the phenomenal response to the K-Pop (Korean Pop) song Gangnam Style. Topping the charts in numerous countries, the song made history by becoming the first video to garner a billion views on Youtube. The universal popularity of the K-pop song has resulted in it being hailed as ‘a bridge to international peace’.

Several Oriental artists, such as Ravi Shankar, A. R. Rahman and Tan Dun have won the Grammy, while Rahman and Dun also won the Academy Award for the best original score.

Film music in countries like India and Pakistan is often based on traditional principles, such as a composition based on a classical mode, but dominated by Western rhythms and electronic instruments. Songs from Indian and Pakistani movies are often the simplest examples of fusion

It is impossible to create an exhaustive list of musical genres, since even the slightest change in the style, instrumentation or even the presentation, can be said to be a change in the genre itself. The one absolute truth about music is that whatever the genre, whatever the instruments, whatever the ensemble, there’s only one language – the beautiful, the divine, the melodious!

Ways to Rap Better

Today rap is one of the most popular forms of music. Once limited to areas of the Bronx, and to the African Americans alone, this genre has grown more and more popular, and is now loved by so many people all over the world. Rap is no longer restricted to being just a cult genre of music. It is now a worldwide phenomenon.

Tips on Becoming a Better Rap Artist:

Confidence
If you want to be the best, you got to feel like you’re the best. One of the most crucial parts in a rapper’s act is the confidence. If you’re going to the rap battles, confidence is the most important criteria on which you’ll be judged. So rap as if you haven’t a worry in the world.

Hear Yourself Rap
Take a simple voice recorder and record what you rap. Listen intently to how you rap and get some feedback from your friends. Rappers need to sound assertive. The assertiveness and the required amount of confidence will come by practicing it over and over again.

Widen Your Scope of Lyrics
To be a good rapper, you need to have a wider scope of lyrics. Broaden your understanding. Talk about more subjects. You can win over the judges with your creativity and your broader understanding of things. It’ll also help you last longer in rap battles and is a great way of learning how to freestyle rap better.

Get a Beatboxer
A beatboxer (with a good sense of rhythm of course) will help you keep the beat and help you not go off it. A beatboxer can be a good mutual arrangement for both of you. You’ll see a lot of professional rappers accompanied by professional beatboxers, so it could be the start of a big career for both of you! In case you can’t, then get a beat machine which will help you do the same.

Learn from the Best
To give your practice and self-learning a bigger fillip, you need to listen to the professional rappers. After all, they’re as good as rappers get. Learn their style, what they do, and how they rap.

Make Your Own Style
Like I said, it is important to learn from the best, but there is a fine line between copying them and being inspired from them. Why will people buy your album if you sound exactly like 50 Cent? They’d rather listen to 50 Cent, right? Hence, it is important that you create your own style in order to differentiate yourself from the crowd!

As rap battles get more and more popular, they give young, budding rappers a chance to showcase their talents to the judges. Who knows, with the help of these tips, you might become the next big thing in the rap world!

History of Rock and Roll Music

The development of rock and roll music has always been inextricably linked to the technological development in the field of recording and sound engineering, as well as development in the instruments themselves. The invention of the electric guitar in 1932 was crucial for the conception of rock and roll.
Rock and roll is a widely variable music style, incorporating many sounds and including many genres. It began, in a form that is recognizable today, in the 1950s.
It was always an inclusive genre, having originated from an indiscernible mix of jazz, blues, swing, and country music. Its proto-forms were known as ‘race music’, due to the predominance of black artists. However, the success of white artists such as Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, and Elvis Presley made liking rock and roll mainstream.
Some of the most influential early artists in the rock and roll genre were Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, etc. All these artists were rooted in jazz and blues traditions.

It is difficult to pinpoint one particular song as the first ever rock and roll song, since the style developed gradually and with inputs from a multitude of artists. However, the 1951 song Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston is considered the first rock and roll record ever produced.

Origins and Early Development
Though no single particular preexisting genre can be considered the direct predecessor of rock and roll, the upbeat blues-based rhythm and blues comes close. It was a confluence of rhythm and blues and country music that led to the first, rudimentary versions of rock and roll.

In the early days, ‘rock and roll’ was distinguished from other, often similar, genres by the presence of a back-beat, which was often played on the snare drum. However, this feature got fazed out over time.

The electric guitar, an instrument crucial to rock and roll, started to be commercially sold by Rickenbacker. This caused a revolution in the sound of popular music at the time, and led to the creation of the upbeat genres of rhythm and blues, and swing music. Many early rock and roll songs can also legitimately be considered rhythm and blues songs.

This early form of rock and roll was almost exclusively played as well as enjoyed by African Americans. In fact, the term ‘rock and roll’, which arose as a euphemism for sexual intercourse in the 1930s, was frowned upon by the mainstream white audience, and lyrically toned down versions of early rock and roll songs were often released by white artists; Pat Boone is known for such songs. The migration of African Americans to the large cities in the American north led to greater cultural exchanges between white and black artists, including musicians. In 1951, this ‘race music’ received a boost, when Cleveland-based RJ Alan Freed started to give rhythm and blues songs considerable airtime. Freed was also instrumental in popularizing the term ‘rock and roll’ as the name of the nascent genre.

The Early 1950s
Three of the most influential rock and roll artists in history flourished in the 1950s: Bill Haley, Elvis, and Buddy Holly.

► Bill Haley was the first white musician to achieve success with songs that had been reserved to black musicians until then. His success, with his band Bill Haley & His Comets, led to rock and roll being accepted by audiences across the racial divide.

► The phenomenal success of ‘The King’ Elvis propelled rock and roll, or more accurately rockabilly, to even greater heights of success and popularity. His on-stage persona was just as catchy as his tunes, and he became a symbol of the new, inclusive and expansive culture brought forth by rock and roll.

► The life and career of Buddy Holly is one of the great ‘What If…’ stories in the history of music. Holly used to open the acts of artists such as Bill Haley and Elvis with his band, Holly and The Crickets. His recording career began in 1957, but he died in a plane crash in 1959. The importance of his seminal work in this short period was such that Holly has been called the “single most influential creative force in early rock and roll”.

Artists such as Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Elvis, Bill Haley, Carl Perkins, etc., were important during the segue of rhythm and blues, swing, and country into a unified, identifiable style, ‘rock and roll’. Chuck Berry’s 1955 song Maybellene was one of the very first to prominently feature deliberately created distortion on the guitar, a feature that came to define the ‘rock’ genre.

The British Invasion and Beatlemania
Up till the early 1960s, rock and roll music had been limited to the USA. Its origins were in the States, and its greatest practitioners were also to be found in the U.S. This began to change in the 1960s, when, across the pond, British bands started to imitate and innovate this essentially American music form. Skiffle groups, consisting of makeshift instruments played by enthusiastic youngsters, had started to form all over England. It was in Liverpool, though, that the practice was particularly strong. The Quarrymen were just one among the countless skiffle bands on Merseyside; the only difference was that the Quarrymen were headed by a certain someone called John Lennon.

Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr all grew up in Liverpool, and combined in the early sixties to form what is arguably the greatest band that ever lived: The Beatles. Influenced by Buddy Holly, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Chet Atkins, etc., The Beatles became a worldwide phenomenon. After their now-famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, where Lennon reportedly asked a stagehand if the stage they were recording on was the same on which their hero Holly had played, The Beatles became a major part of the British Invasion, a remarkable increase in the number of British bands playing what had been till then largely American music, and succeeding in the larger market of the U.S.

Along with The Beatles, bands such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, considered the first heavy metal band in the world, and The Who also had a major part in the Invasion. The Yardbirds were also a notable act from the early 1960s, since it launched the careers of three of the most famous and most influential guitarists in rock history: Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. All three were ranked among the Top 5 of Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the best guitarists of all time.

The timeline of rock and roll starts to branch out quite a bit after this point, thanks to the lasting influence of The Beatles and other British bands, which set the trends for countless other genres within the umbrella term ‘rock and roll’.

The Beatles paved the way for several innovations that would revolutionize rock and roll, and contribute to the formation of a new sound, quite unlike the original tone of the 1950s rock and roll and rhythm and blues. They were among the first to really utilize the range of effects and modulations that can be produced in a recording studio. They were also among the first to use the sitar, tamboura, and other takeaways from Indian music, which became popular since the 1960s and are now consistently utilized in rock or jazz music. The Beatles also brought out the first concept album, in the form of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, though only three songs conformed to the ‘concept’.

Thanks to the brilliant musical ability of all four of their members, in addition to their innovative use of technology and their ever-present charm, The Beatles became the best selling band in history. Three of their albums were ranked in the Top 5 of Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the greatest albums of all time: “Rubber Soul” at #5, “Revolver” at #3, and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” at #1. Rolling Stone also named The Beatles the best artist (as a band) of all time.

Divergence and Decline
The emergence of bands such as Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith in the late 1960s and 1970s led to the formation of new genres such as hard rock, heavy metal, grunge rock, punk rock, etc. More importantly, the success of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and The Who led to the transformation of ‘rock and roll’ into the harder, more energetic ‘rock’ genre.
This inevitable transformation eventually led to bands such as Guns N’ Roses, U2, Queen, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen.

Another trend started by The Beatles also led to the genre of ‘psychedelic rock’. Pink Floyd, the torchbearers of psychedelic rock and progressive rock, became hugely successful in the 1970s and 1980s.
Further modifications occurred due to the influence of hip hop and rap music, with many modern rock bands incorporating rap in their songs. Linkin Park is one of the particularly popular examples.

Rock and roll, in the sense it originated in the 1950s, is practically absent in the modern music scene, with only tribute bands showcasing the original style. However, it is noteworthy to remember that whatever you are listening now probably has its origins in the rebellious cross-cultural movement of the 1950s.