Based on historical accounts, rap can be traced back all the way to the time of the griots, who were groups of people from West Africa that delivered stories accompanied by sparse instrumentation and rhythmic drumbeats. Academics, spoken word artists and modern day griots all acknowledge this very fact Rap is primarily a type of music characterized by the rhythmic spoken delivery of poetry, wordplay and rhymes. In recent years, the fame of rappers such as Lil Wayne, Jay Z, and Eminem has greatly contributed to the popularity of this music genre. In addition, what was once a predominantly male world has now become a home to popular female rap artists like Lauryn Hill, Eve and Nicky Minaj.
A young immigrant from Kingston, Jamaica named Clive Cambel begins deejaying at local parties. He invented a new technique of deejaying that would cut two of the same records and extend the middle instrumental, or 'break,' of the popular funk and disco songs of the day.
A DJ named Afrika Bambaataa forms the Zulu Nation and catagorizes what he calls the 'Four Elements' of hip-hop: DJing, Breaking, Graf Artists and MCing.
The legendary Rock Steady Crew of breakdancers is founded in the Bronx.
The Crash Crew, one of the first recorded MC crews, forms in Harlem.
Under manager Russell Simmons, Kurtis Blow becomes the first rapper to sign a record deal with a major label.
Treacherous Three release "The New Rap Language" as a single. It incorporates a new style of rapping, dubbed "speed-rapping."
A 16-year-old LL Cool J releases his debut album, "Radio". The first album to be released by up-and-coming rap label, Def Jam.
Def Jam finances and releases it's own rap movie, "Krush Groove". Based on Russell Simmons life.
Hip-hop's first White rap group, the Beastie Boys, release their debut album, "Licensed to Ill," on Def Jam Records. It goes on to become the best-selling rap album of the decade.
Salt-N-Pepa; a new female rap group, release their debut album, "Hot, Cool & Vicious." It becomes a moderate hit.
Ice-T's second album, "Power," becomes the first rap album to carry a Parental Advisory warning label.
The Grammy committee announces that rap will be given it's own official Grammy catagory
Yo! MTV Raps makes it's debut, with host Fab 5 Freddy. For the first time, the entire country has a platform to watch the latest music videos by all of the top rap artists.
Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince is tapped to star in a new sitcom, dubbed "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Dr. Dre and Suge Knight form a partnership and create Death Row Records.
Sean "Puffy" Combs begins running his own label, called Bad Boy Entertainment, out of his apartment.
Notorious B.I.G., after cameo appearances on several popular singles, finally releases "Ready to Die," his debut album for Bad Boy.
Underground sensation Jay-Z begins a budding friendship with the Notorious B.I.G. and releases his first two mainstream singles, 'Dead Presidents' and 'Ain't No 'N____' Both are moderate hits and help build anticipation for his debut album.
Eminem, a White rapper from Detroit, releases his debut album, "Infinite," on a small indie label. Despite displaying a flair for clever, witty rhymes; the album goes unnoticed by fans and critics.
15-year-old Lil wayne starts underground until "Baby" picks him up and puts him on his label.
After leaving the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles, the Notorious B.I.G. is shot and killed in a drive-by shooting.
DMX makes his debut with "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot" and intensely personal album of hardcore rap and poignant confessionals.
Eminem's second album, "The Marshall Mathers LP", is a huge hit, (eventually becoming one of the best-selling rap albums)
While shooting a video in the Bahamas, hip-hop/soul star Aaliyah dies in a plane crash. She was only 22 years old.
50 Cent's debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin'.
Kanye West releases his debut album 'The College Dropout' in February.
Upcoming artist Drake debuts his first album, Thank Me Later.
Underground artist Nicki Minaj debuts her first album, Pink Friday
New comer, Wiz Khalifa debuts his first album and blows up tremendously.
Lil Wayne & Birdman make the group YMCMB
Why do most teens and adolcence like this music?
Many teenagers and some adults enjoy to listen to rap and hip-hop because it has a lively vibe. Some beats attract people in the music even if they don't know exactly what they're saying. Sometimes teens listen to rap and hip-hop to look cool or to try and fit in.