In a story published today (June 16), LA Weekly takes a look at the various historic events and moments, and people that possibly molded rapping as we know it. The publications’ story starts off by detailing the most recognized origins of rhyming, artists rapping “to showcase their DJs.”
LA Weekly also gives credit to “toasting,” a clever, rhyming speech used by those in Harlem in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
“The toast would be a series of rhymes, and you would say it so it sounded real cool,” Curtis Sherrod of Harlem’s Hip-Hop Culture Center said, according to LA Weekly. “It’s like a boastful speech to set the party off.”
Other possible origins of rhyming mentioned in the story include party records (specifically “Rapp Dirty,” a 1965 track from comedian Blowfly), griots, and pre-rap poets including Oscar Brown Jr., The Last Poets, and Gil Scott-Heron.
In regards to The Last Poets’ influence on Hip Hop, LA Weekly reports that Hip Hop historian Priest Forever claims the group of poets and musicians’ possible contributions to Hip Hop weren’t brought to the table until Public Enemy gained popularity in the ‘80s.
The full story on the origins of rhyming can be found at LAWeekly.com.