Rap is a style of music that has been popular in Britain and the United States for over ten years. The noun "rap" comes from the verb "to rap". This is an informal word meaning to talk quickly and a lot. Rap music has developed along with movements in fashion, dance and art. They all form part of what is called hip hop culture, which first developed among black young people in American cities. These young people are called usually kids in an American way. Hip-hop kids developed their own look and their own vocabulary. They go around in small gangs, called posses, wearing huge sports shoes, baggy jeans, back-to-front baseball caps and hoods. A small beard is a good idea for the men, as well.
Rap places a great importance on words, which are spoken rather than sung. Matty, rapper with the group "Credit to the Nation", says of his song writing: "I think of the lyrics first... whenever I do my music... Each word... has got to mean something".
One particularly important word in the language of hip hop is respect. Giving someone respect in the hip-hop sense means that you think someone is great and won't say anything against them. So words are central in hop culture. Hip hop language shows that young people have great faith in words. They pay a lot of attention to them. By changing words, they hope they can change the society they live in.
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