For questions about the performance, creation, technique, and style of rap music.
Rap is a style and genre of music popularized in urban areas in the latter half of the 20th century. It is characterized by a toned-down hip-hop background orchestration over which a rapper creates their spoken delivery style. The focus of a rap song is usually in the artist's rhythm and rhymes, also collectively known as their flow.
Rap differs from a lot of other styles of music in that it has a vocal component, but the rap style is very different from singing and is more closely related to poetry. Rapped speech often has a strong rhythmic component that complements the beat of the song. However, while it is rhythm-conscious, it is on around the same degree of pitch-consciousness as regular speech patterns. Rap delivery has a weak sense of melodic content, but usually the specific pitched qualities of a rap are thought of as part of a rapper's personal style and flow rather than as predetermined melodies.
The goals of rap music are much the same as other genres of songwriting. Often, a rap verse tells a story or paints a picture in a listener's mind. The lyrics of a rap song are widely considered to be one of its most important parts, even more so than in other styles of music. As such, rap artists strive to become lyrical masters and command the language that they use as effectively as possible. This often includes street vernacular and non-standard language, but rather than being erroneous these kinds of culturally associative rap norms are a critical trick to communicate with listeners in a rap artist's toolbag.