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Rap Music and Oral Literacy

Rap music, also referred to as MCing or “rhyming,” is one of the original elements of hip hop culture. The other elements of hip hop culture include graffiti art or “graf writing”; DJing, or “turntabling”; and breakdancing, also known as “breakin,” popularized by “b-boys” and “b-girls” since hip hop's origination in the early 1970s in the South and West Bronx. Each of these elements played a significant role in the development of hip hop from a relatively unknown and largely ignored inner-city subculture into a global phenomenon. Rap, in particular, can serve as a way to develop appreciation for and promote oral literacy among young people. This entry reviews its history and some ways that it has been and can be incorporated in education.

Rap and ...
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