I want to know the origin of Rap.

Does it's origin really go back to arabian poets? Or can Rapping also be traced back to its African roots?

  • 1
    Most epic poetry was also originally set to music. Some might use that to connect Rap to Homer, but I think that would be a stretch.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 16:28
  • You might get some good answers on Musical Practice and Performance SE.
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


From what I have been able to research, numerous sources such as this and this trace back rap to the griots of pre-colonial, western Africa. Griots were essentially poets and bards who communicated history and political messages through song. According to the article "Politics of Diaspora: Sahwari poets and postcolonial transformations of a trans-Saharan genere in north west Africa" by Tara Flynn Deubel in The Journal of North African Studies, she connects Hassani Arabic poetry to the musical traditions of sub-Saharan cultures. So basically rap can be traced back to the combination of Arabian poets AND sub-Saharan African musical tradition.

  • 4
    These sources basically say "hey, there was rhythmical talking in Africa then, that must be the roots of rapping" but don't explain how one transformed into another. If you look more closely, it's clear that rap comes from Jamaican DJing traditions, but then they seem lost in history. That they come from African traditions is very feasible, but I can't see any sources actually showing that. Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 17:20

yes it did origins from the arab world it was like 2 poets challenge each other lyrically which is same of today rap battle and al khalil ibn ahmed el farahety had an idea when he heard the sowrds sound banging each other he said why not put words to beats then rap went to africa by trading connections and when USA took the african slaves with them to us then africans started rappin there and the US said its there's.

  • 6
    This is a mix of some useful information with some opinions. Could you provide references/citations for the factual information?
    – MCW
    Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 17:16

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