Definition of rap music, also sometimes known as hip-hop music, is a style of popular music believed to have its beginnings in African-American inner-city street culture. Though it has its beginnings in the underground music scene of the 1970s, rap music is today considered a very mainstream music genre, popular among people of all ages and backgrounds.
Unlike many other styles of music, rap music is generally not sung. Lyrics are spoken against a backdrop of music. This music often consists of beats and rhythms borrowed from the soul, funk, or rock genres. Rap musicians typically remix these sounds and rhythms, adding their own innovations, and often synthesized musical elements.
Rap songs are often known for their focus on controversial themes, such as gang violence. Often, however, rap musicians sing about a wide range of events and themes. These musicians often express their political and social views. They may discuss their own lives, or they may even write love songs. Performers have even been known to write rap songs about fictional events.