THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POETRY & RAP
Poetry is composed of both rhyme and prose, and spans both the literal and oral tradition within it's different forms of transmission. It paints it's poet-author's landscapes and images, in descriptives either real or imagined, by way of metric recitation (oral and audio) or literal observation (written and read).
It is a science in the appliance of the use of language and words, to define and express life in it's varied forms of experiences, spiritually, mentally and physically in the context of mankind's existence on the planet earth within the uni-verse (one verse).
When spoken, it is recited, and when recited it is spoken, the difference being made up in the speed of it's delivery (i.e. rap-id-ness) It is also read aloud, as well as silently, which also lends to it being spoken and recited. It's purpose is to convey and enlighten by the feelings felt through the literal, and or figurative, either logically or emotionally ,within the frame work of the meaning of the words. Poetry as a mathamatical word sound- form, has parameters, diameters, and pentameters, that helps to contain and control it's delivery and disposition, modern rap's delivery on the other hand, is abstract in its "snapshot" style, and loosely concentrated in its summary story-line electronic format, but both rap and hip-hop are both within themselves definitive artforms.
Revolutionary Arts Proverbalization
The word rap itself, has been in popular usage within the American english lexicon since the "roaring twenties" of last century, when hollywood screen movie actor's, such as James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, George Raft, and Edward G. Robinson, who played many of the notorious gangsters of that era.
Its original meaning, meant to signify and identify a particular sound that was made when one solid object was struck against another, either delibrately and measuredly or inadvertently, and was sometimes used as a means of signalling, and that was the sound of a rap, anything heavier then that would be a blow.
But in it's gangster-slang meaning, it meant the blame, which also meant the "weight"and that meant the penalty for the offense which varied according to it's severity, either way,"takin' the rap" could lead to an indictment, which in turn could lead to a conviction and hard time, so the "movie (as well as real life) gangsters, didn't want to go down on a "bum-rap."
The word rap would have also had it's european significance in as much as it was in use in Ireland as the name of sixteenth-century coin, called a "rapp" and this would have been known to many Irish immigrants to America, during and well before that era of european migration, to America, in as much as many of the earlier migrants had been indentured servants when America was still a young country. It's figurative meanings implied something that was hitting hard and solid, that was propelled by a force, and so was thus dynamic and to the point.
This figurative connotation of the word, is how it was interpreted by the street hardened black ghetto youth, in the ghetto's of America, and to them it was a distinct way of communication, that always got to the point, and that was called "Rapping" but it was utilized as a technique to keep a persons attention, by having something interesting to say.
But as a result of all of those movies that could only be seen at the theater during the twenties, were now being aired on the then latest invention: Television.
The ghetto youth had saw how America had glamourized it's gangster via Hollywood, which had portrayed the gangster as a rebel hero, Post, world war two black ghetto youth at that time, had become impatient with their systematic exclusion from the mainstream of America, and knew that their parents had, by and large tolarated their victimization, which was a direct result of bigotry and discrimination against black americans, in the aftermath of the legal abolishment of slavery.
Determined not to be continous victims, the black ghetto youth of that time identified with the rebels of legend, from all cultures, and redefined the means of the utilization of the word rap, and this was born out of the poetry of the first rap group to use rap as the main theme of their message, The Last Poets.
Rap, today, is an ingredient of Hip-Hop, and it is still the cutting edge of the ghetto youth, and even though, it can be verbally implosive, as well as self-destructive, it is still has the potential to be educational and enlightning, as an art form, despite the fact that it is not being used for its original purpose,and that was to maintain the chain of transmission,with it's traditional link-to-think of the ancient african art of oral transmission, accompanied by the rapping on the drums in order to reconnect with the roots of one's tree, and keep the chain of transmission continously flowing, and passing down through the centuries as a cultural legacy, and birth-right, handed down from previous ancient african civilizations, and kept alive through a new and now, different form of language recitation, interpetation, and communication.
Thus those stories, that had once been recited by the Griots, who were the traditional african keepers of the "my-story/our-story" which represented the story outside of "his-story" contained the lineage and geneolgy of the people, as well as their triumphs and tragedies.
Having had that part of their africaness reduced from tribal identification, to "nigger" subjugation, as a result of the legacy of slavery, the black ghetto youth became the new urban griots, with rap as their manifesto, and means of communication.
The deployment of rap today, is different from the reciting of poetry, because of it's rapidness, and is thus the ultra-modern mode of messaging that's done naturally outside of the computer, which the youth of the "now time" use for communication from the heart and gut level.
Its use as a means of definition and defiance has now been adopted by many third world and european youth, in their own languages, under the heading of what it is now called hip-hop, and is used as their current contemporary means of expression.