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Passions in Poetry

Rap=Poetry?

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ChristianSpeaks
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0 posted 03-01-2007 10:57 AM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks


Does rap(i.e. the composition of artist like Run DMC, Vanilla Ice, Tupac Shakur, Snoop, Dr. Dre, and Eminem) = poetry.

Remember the Webster definition.

Main Entry: po·et·ry
Pronunciation: 'pO-&-trE, -i-trE also 'po(-)i-trE
Function: noun
1 a : metrical writing : VERSE b : the productions of a poet : POEMS
2 : writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm
3 a : something likened to poetry especially in beauty of expression b : poetic quality or aspect

CS
Marge Tindal
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1 posted 03-01-2007 11:08 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

I'm thinking that you asked a question that only has one answer ... of course !!!
Essorant
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2 posted 03-01-2007 12:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes, even though rap is a very coarse kind of poetry, it often has more poetic elements than much of the freeverse coming out today.  

If I were to rank all three according to their strength as being poetry and retaining the attributes of English poetry, I would rank them thus:


1.  Traditional Poetry
2.  Rap
3.  Freeverse

Christopher
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3 posted 03-01-2007 01:37 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I'm debating on whether or not to be offended that free verse is coming in below rap... Frost would roll over in his grave!
ChristianSpeaks
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4 posted 03-01-2007 01:40 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

Ess

Your dry sense of humor kills me.

CS
Juju
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5 posted 03-01-2007 02:15 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

I think rap is poetry.  I think some rap(from certain artist) is equivalent to some of the greatest poetry ever written.  Unfortunately rap to day  is filled with posturing and so is kind of boring.  Another change in rap is they change words to force them to rhyme, which again  if done wrong hurts it.  Another part about rap is allot of artist fill there music with cacophonies and in turn make the music harsher. This is probably many are turned off to rap.

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

pharon
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6 posted 03-04-2007 02:46 AM       View Profile for pharon   Email pharon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit pharon's Home Page   View IP for pharon

"2 : writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm"

that pretty much sums it all up.  
unholyjudgement
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7 posted 03-12-2007 09:19 AM       View Profile for unholyjudgement   Email unholyjudgement   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for unholyjudgement

i think the words of rap are poetic however it is easly lost with the added elements
ChristianSpeaks
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8 posted 03-15-2007 06:21 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

By "added elements" do you mean the lifestyle associated with the Hip Hop nature, or the music, or what?

CS
djemboy2
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9 posted 03-29-2007 09:23 AM       View Profile for djemboy2   Email djemboy2   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for djemboy2

Hi
  Literally just joined and saw this post, and thought i would give my two cents,(Altho i would like a receipt please,you know what the irs is like), I had this very same discussion in a drum circle i was a member of, and we came to the conclusion that if it rhymes and has a rhythmic flow to it then rap is poetry, the moment it stops rhyming then it becomes spoken word, also, not sure if its true but apparently RAP is an acronym for rhythm and poetry, at the end of the day even song lyrics if you take the music away from the equasion is nothing more than poetry, and some poetry if you put music to can become song lyrics, just my thoughts on the subject.
                             Michael
Edward Grim
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10 posted 07-09-2007 11:37 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
Yes, even though rap is a very coarse kind of poetry, it often has more poetic elements than much of the freeverse coming out today.  

If I were to rank all three according to their strength as being poetry and retaining the attributes of English poetry, I would rank them thus:


1.  Traditional Poetry
2.  Rap
3.  Freeverse



Unlike Chris, I'm not debating whether I should be offended or not; I just am.


quote:
One of the ridiculous aspects of being a poet is the huge gulf between how seriously we take ourselves and how generally we are ignored by everybody else.   - Billy Collins


Have you ever seen this quote Ess? I happen to love it.


And speaking of Robert Frost:

quote:
A poem begins with a lump in the throat, a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where the emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words."   - Frost


And

quote:
Poetry is what gets lost in translation.   - Frost


I don't see anything about rhyming or set structure in his definitions of what a poem is. I find it very disheartening that people like yourself try to pin conditions on writing, a supposedly free and unrestrictive form of expression. It is very pretentious. It says, "If it is not done my way, it is inferior and it is of poor quality." It says something interesting about the speaker.

The ocean has many species of marine life, Essorant. The literary world has more than one good way to skin a cat. Every poet has a preferred style, to each his own. So why take so much effort in defaming the other styles that you obviously don't understand?

I'm just curious... Have a good one.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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11 posted 07-09-2007 09:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The Story of the Three Little Pigs

Read carefully the parts about the pigs and their houses.
Edward Grim
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12 posted 07-09-2007 10:22 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Wow, that's your response to my lengthy reply? Come on man. And don't you think the three little pigs reference is a little haughty (to put it nicely)?

You're saying that your style is brick huh? That goes along the lines of what I was saying when I said:

quote:
"If it is not done my way, it is inferior and it is of poor quality."


You just backed up what I already said. And again, all you can put forward is your own skewed opinion. Saying traditional verse is better than freeverse is just an opinion, and a rather biased one at that. I’m not going to go into how it’s about the skill of the writer and not the style, my fingers are out of breath.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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13 posted 07-09-2007 10:33 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It seems you already forget the "What is Poetry? thread.  Why should I go thro the labour of trying to show you the background and basis for my judgement all over again, when no matter how much argument, evidence, toil, I will put into it, in the end all you will do is shrug it off again, and flippantly say "it is just an opinion"?


Edward Grim
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14 posted 07-09-2007 11:30 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
Why should I go thro the labour of trying to show you the background and basis for my judgement all over again, when no matter how much argument, evidence, toil, I will put into it, in the end all you will do is shrug it off again, and flippantly say "it is just an opinion"?


Ess, you are very closed-minded and set in your ways.

Saying that a Ford is better than a Chevy is just an opinion. Saying that one style of writing is better than another is just an opinion.

And you've seemed to have forgotten what was said in the What is Poetry thread; or rather just ignored it. I've never really tried to convince you that freeverse is better; because as a style it is not better or worse. It is ABOUT THE SKILL OF THE WRITER!

A crappy poem written by a traditionalist is still a crappy poem Ess! It doesn't get better because of the style; same goes with freeverse. It's very, very interesting that you cannot or will not see that.

And evidence? What evidence? Saying that traditional poetry has had a longer history and some of the best writers have used it is not evidence. That's just a fact. Just because all the movie stars drive Lexuses doesn't mean that a Lexus is better than an Infiniti. It's just a fact. Not to mention freeverse wasn't really around back in Shakespeare's time so he couldn't really explore it too much either. A lot of great writers came out of freeverse too Ess. Do you deny that? Or do you think that any traditional poem (maybe one of yours) is better than a Ginsberg poem or a Bukowski poem or even a poem by Breton?

This is the last time I will say this, because I know this to be the truth:

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE STYLE, IT IS ABOUT THE SKILL OF THE WRITER.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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15 posted 07-10-2007 12:30 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


Ess, you are very closed-minded and set in your ways.


Why not keep on the topic?  The topic is not I.  


Saying that a Ford is better than a Chevy is just an opinion. Saying that one style of writing is better than another is just an opinion.


Neither of them are like Freeverse.  Ford or Chevy doesn't try to avoid structure, form, or rules.  In fact they follow them very strictly, which makes them more along the lines of form verse, not freeverse. Imagine if they decided that structure shouldn't belong to the car anymore?  That a frame, lights, windows, seat belts, etc, or other important parts of structure.  The car wouldn't be strong, safe, and in the end wouldn't even look much like a car anymore.  


I've never really tried to convince you that freeverse is better; because as a style it is not better or worse. It is ABOUT THE SKILL OF THE WRITER!"


Skill doesn't make up for a lack of form and structure.  Skill at making a car without tried and practiced equipment, or without safety features, seatbelts, mirrors, doors, windows,  etc, doesn't make up for the lack of tried and practiced equipment, safety features, seatbelts, mirrors, doors, etc.  Nor does skill at making poetry without meter and rhyme make up for the lack of meter and rhyme.  There is nothing poetically skillful about not using poetic meter or rhyme.  Any form of writing, including the crudest scribble of words can do that.  But it seems you would even call the crudest scribble,  full of curse words and obscurities too, equal poetry to that of Shakespeare, just because the author was very skillful.




A crappy poem written by a traditionalist is still a crappy poem Ess! It doesn't get better because of the style; same goes with freeverse. It's very, very interesting that you cannot or will not see that.


I agree about the first statement.  But not about the second.   When poet and his poem show observance and respect to the traditions and the things that strengthen and distinguish poetry as poetry and that help skill, such as meter and rhyme, then those things shall help them the more they help themselves with them, and even when the poem is much weaker than it may be, it shall be stronger as a poem than a poem that is weak and lacks any pursuit to respect and practice the traditions and attributes that most strengthen, distinguish, and make poetry familiar to people.


A lot of great writers came out of freeverse too Ess.


Yes, many great writers.  But not many great poets.  


Or do you think that any traditional poem (maybe one of yours) is better than a Ginsberg poem or a Bukowski poem or even a poem by Breton?


Yes, any traditional poem that is well written. But I wouldn't consider every traditional poem as necessarily being a better literary work.  A piece of literary work may be a stronger literary work overall even though it be a weaker form of poetry.  

Edward Grim
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16 posted 07-10-2007 02:47 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
Why not keep on the topic?  The topic is not I.


Actually Ess, you are very much part of the topic. Your attitude towards this is one of the main problems I have. Of course, you can think whatever you want, no one is here to stop you and I don't care to stop you. But when you say that an opinion is an ironclad fact, that's where I have my problem, with you.

quote:
Neither of them are like Freeverse.


Come on now Ess, I was giving an example. Two different styles of cars and two different styles of writing.

quote:
Ford or Chevy doesn't try to avoid structure, form, or rules. In fact they follow them very strictly, which makes them more along the lines of form verse, not freeverse..


If you're going to be so literal, then fine, I'll play along. Think of the newer cars as freeverse, ok. The newer cars have keyless ignition, cameras on the back of the car for going in reverse; automatic parallel parking, new and improved side airbags; computer ports to hook up your ipod to the car, built-in GPS systems and so on and so forth. So no Essorant, they don't "follow the rules very strictly." In fact, they replaced those rules with newer, better systems, structures and rules. So there you go.

quote:
Imagine if they decided that structure shouldn't belong to the car anymore?  That a frame, lights, windows, seat belts, etc, or other important parts of structure.  The car wouldn't be strong, safe, and in the end wouldn't even look much like a car anymore.


You say all this on the conceited notion that freeverse a.k.a. change from the norm, is a negative/inferior thing. Think of it as improvements where improvements are needed, like my above examples on the newer vehicles. They are not distorting the frame, they are altering it to make it better. Some people will consider the changes to be in good form and some people will think those changes are distortions. You fall in the latter group. Just because something is different from your preferences doesn't make it wrong or obsolete. You're going along the lines of "literary racism" Ess, if you know what I mean.

quote:
Nor does skill at making poetry without meter and rhyme make up for the lack of meter and rhyme.


A poem is not required to have meter and rhyme! Look at the Psalms in the Bible. Those are considered poetic prayers and they don't rhyme do they? No, hardly any of them do.

quote:
There is nothing poetically skillful about not using poetic meter or rhyme.


Your opinion. Your opinion. Your opinion!

quote:
Any form of writing, including the crudest scribble of words can do that.


I highly disagree with you.

quote:
But it seems you would even call the crudest scribble,  full of curse words and obscurities too, equal poetry to that of Shakespeare, just because the author was very skillful.


Is that meant to be an insult Ess? That I have no knowledge or understanding of what a good poem is? I think that is an insult. Let me lay it out for you: If the "author was very skillful" then his writings wouldn't be "the crudest scribble" because he had talent! And is that where your problem is, obscurities and curse words? Is that really where your problem is?

quote:
Yes, many great writers.  But not many great poets.


Many great poets Ess.


Look, you're an etymologist and a fine one, I respect that, I really do. But if you just look at poetry for its definition then you are closing your eyes to what poetry really is. Music is not just playing the correct notes, it's feeling the music with your entire body and soul. Anyone can play the right notes but if their soul isn't into it then it is not truly great music. And that passion cannot be defined in some dictionary definition. It cannot.

Look at the first definition of "poetry" in the dictionary: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/poetry

quote:
the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.


I don't see anything about rhyming or meter in that first definition. I see rhythm, and good freeverse has rhythm in the same way jazz has rhythm.

Now look at the second definition:

quote:
literary work in metrical form; verse.


That is your definition, the one right under mine. Because poetry is not about rhyming or meter, it is about "exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts." And if you can't see that then I truly do feel bad for you because you're only seeing half of what poetry is. And you're only looking at it for your textbook definition.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Christopher
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17 posted 07-10-2007 03:46 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

It's not about the style. It's not about the skill of the writer.

All that matters is the preference of the reader.

Oh  -  and comparing poetry to cars? Pshaw.
Edward Grim
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18 posted 07-10-2007 04:29 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
All that matters is the preference of the reader.


I agree completely. You're not going to submit a Jackson Pollock to a Renaissance museum.

quote:
Oh  -  and comparing poetry to cars? Pshaw.


That was the best I could come up with at the time.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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19 posted 07-11-2007 02:37 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What you described by cars sounds more like Traditional Verse to me.  Traditional Verse is the one that uses "blue prints" or "models" that are already known to work to such an extent as practiced thro past experiences, and builds upon that, adding new things, varying things, testing things etc.   Tradition is a root, on which the tree finds strength by standing thereon, and growing thereof.  What root does freeverse stand on, other than the root of evil?

As well what "systems, structures and rules" did free verse bring?  The line break was already around before freeverse, even in prose, I believe.  Although I admit it wasn't taken to such vain excess as it is in Freeverse.  Furthermore, I think most of the literary world already didn't and still doesn't for the most part use things like poetic meter and rhyme and syllable counts.  Most of prose, most of scriptwriting, histories, etc, especially today. So what's new and unique about not using such things?  Of course Math and Science for the most part don't use poetic meter and rhyme and syllable counts either.   So if you are seeking "change from the normal" and "unique" What is the change and uniquemess about it?  Nothing.  It is already found almost everywhere.  You may choose to use no rhyme, no meter, no syllable count, in every other artform.  So why would you choose poetry? Just so you have very strong traditions that include meter, rhyme, and syllablecounts, to try to knock off the stage, and try to assimilate poetry to what already predominates in basically every other symbolic art?

Edward Grim
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20 posted 07-11-2007 10:30 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Ess, I can't talk to you. You've ignored all my points and you obviously can't be reasoned with. None of your points prove anything except your overwhelming bias.

Have a good one.


“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”
Essorant
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21 posted 07-11-2007 10:52 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Ed

Just because one doesn't write as long a post or a post that pecks as much at every statement doesn't mean he ignored the other's points or didn't take the points into consideration when commenting.  I didn't ignore your points at all, I just didn't feel the need individually to pinch and peck at every one, nor did I disagree with every one.

As far as "bias" goes, all that may be said about your posts as well.  


Edward Grim
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22 posted 07-11-2007 11:26 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

quote:
I didn't ignore your points at all, I just didn't feel the need individually to pinch and peck at every one.


When you refuse to acknowledge or even give me the common decency to respond to my stronger points that do, in fact, prove you wrong; I call that ignoring.

quote:
As far as "bias" goes, all that may be said about your posts as well.


I'm not arguing that freeverse is necessarily better... or worse. I'm arguing that style doesn't make the piece, skill does. So no, I'm not being biased. Yes, I prefer freeverse but I'm not saying that form verse is inferior to it, unlike everything you say.

“Well all the apostles, they’re sittin’ on the swings, sayin’ I’d sell off my savior for a set of new rings.”

Essorant
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23 posted 07-11-2007 12:19 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant


When you refuse to acknowledge or even give me the common decency to respond to my stronger points that do, in fact, prove you wrong, I call that ignoring.


Sorry, if I don't find the same points you find "stronger" stronger.  Perhaps you may mark them off, so I know which points are compulsory, and which ones are not?  I admit I don't think your approach to the topic very direct when you talk about me, the opinionatedness of my opinion,  or bias, and almost anything else except directly talking about the forms themselves.  The closest you seemd to come to talking about the manners of Freeverse itself was  likening freeverse to "new cars" and claiming "In fact, they replaced those rules with newer, better systems, structures and rules", but you didn't refer directly to freeverse in this example, nor give any examples of how freeverse itself actually lives up to that.  



I'm not arguing that freeverse is necessarily better... or worse. I'm arguing that style doesn't make the piece, skill does. So no, I'm not being biased. Yes, I prefer freeverse but I'm not saying that form verse is inferior to it, unlike everything you say.


I never said you were.  I already tried to address your point about style and skill.  The skill doesn't make up for lack of structure and form and strength.  The same skill using straw to form a house doesn't magically make the straw as strong as the same skill using brick to make a house.  No matter how much skill the first pig had, his house simply wasn't as strong as that of the pig that made his house with brick.  Likewise, Freeverse is not as strong in comparison to Traditional verse, because it detaches or tries to "free" itself from the strong traditional forms and structures that strongly distinguishes poetry as poetry, and assimilates it to the way the language is already being used in almost any other craft (that is usually without things such a poetic meter, rhyme, or syllable counts).  Equal skill doesn't automatically mean equal form.  



So no, I'm not being biased.


That's based on the presumption that the forms are equally strong, and therefore we ought to treat them thus.  I obviously don't agree with that, in the same I way I don't agree a skillful house formed with straw is as strong as a skillful house formed with bricks.  

oceanvu2
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24 posted 07-11-2007 01:34 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi  Merry Pipsters!  (uh, not you, Edster, you're being cranky )

I think the original question was: Is rap poetry?  I think by the traditionalist's definition, it is, having meter, rhyme, flowing imagery, and emotional content.  

Rap as a specific form also has specific antecedents, aside from generic antecedents dating back at least to street minstrels in the English poetic tradition.

Is RAP an acronym for Ryhthm And Poetry?  No.  That notion is a tack-on, way after the fact.

Rap has three sources in urban Black American culture.   First, it comes from the skip-rope rhymes of children, specifically girls, and specifically in the form which initially flourished in  Washington D.C, then became a part of contemporary culture.

Second, rap is directly related to "The Dozens," an insult game involving wit,  rhyme, and vulgarity.  (you can google "The Dozens" for the long form of this reference.)

Third "rap"  (and Essorant, you will love the etymology on this one!) as a slang verb has long meant a specific way of talking (among other things) in a comic and humiliating way.  The contemporary film, "Barbershop"  has wonderfully funny examples of this.

It's likely that most "rappers" haven't got a clue about the antecdents, and don't care.  In a way, that's a shame.  At the same time, I hope not too many people do dissertations on it and kill all the fun.

Best, Jim  
 
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