Rapping (also known as rap music, emceeing, MCing,spitting [bars],or rhyming) refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to rap? where it is separated into "content", "flow" (rhythm and rhyme), and "delivery". Rapping is distinct from spiking word poetry in that it is performed in time to a beat. Rapping is often associated with and a primary ingredient of hip hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon can be said to predate hip hop culture by centuries. It can also be found in alternative rock such as that of Cake and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rapping is also used in Kwaito Music, a genre that originated in Johannesburg , South Africa and is composed of hip hop elements. Since the early 21st century, it has been possible to hear rap in every major language of the world.
Rapping can be delivered over a Beat or without accompaniment. Stylistically, rap occupies a gray area between speech, prose, poetry, and singing. The word (meaning originally "to hit") as used to describe quick speech or repartee predates the musical form. The word had been used in British English since the 16th century, and specifically meaning "to say" since the 18th. It was part of the African American dialect of English in the 1960s meaning "to converse", and very soon after that in its present usage as a term denoting the musical style.Today, the terms "rap" and "rapping" are so closely associated with hip hop music that many use the terms interchangeably.