A rapper is a type of entertainer who tells a story using music and rhymes. The rapper frequently uses explicit lyrics to drive home the meaning of his songs, which are usually about life in the ghetto and the difficult times of growing up in a bad part of town. Sampling is the act of capturing a beat from a previously recorded song, which is commonly taken from other artists and music styles. Often, the rapper will play a short piece of music on repeat, overlaid with his lyrics, effectively creating an original work. Rappers frequently imitate gang members and adopt gang nicknames to perform under instead of their given names.
While many rappers portray a life of abuse and neglect, they are actually very wise and savvy businessmen and women who, once they reach the top of the music charts, are able to negotiate contracts with major record labels and, in some cases, start their own labels. A rapper, like any other type of musician, will perform live shows, sell and promote upcoming CDs, and promote himself or herself via radio and television interviews and talk shows. The rapper has been added to the list of award categories and recipients for the majority of the major music awards shows.
When the first award shows featured rappers, they were frequently lumped in with other music genres and entertainers, such as pop or hip hop. The various award categories began to recognize an artist as a rapper as the rap venue began to distinguish itself and emerge as a full-fledged music and entertainment style. While many people associate rap music with explicit lyrics and derogatory subject matter, the first rappers sang music that was broadcast on public radio without the need to censor any of the lyrics.
Traditional rap, which is mostly devoid of explicit lyrics, and the more radical style of “gangster rap” divide the rap music community. In order to sell more CDs, some rap artists will release a recording in two versions: an explicit version and a tamer version that removes the harsh lyrics and often replaces entire verses with friendlier lyrics. A rapper is frequently a musician and a salesperson who aspires to sell his or her art to a willing buyer without jeopardizing the music’s artistic integrity.