In 1986, hip-hop group Run-D.M.C. teamed up with rockers Aerosmith to record a remake of Aerosmith's song Walk This Way.
The video was the perfect illustration of the gradual transition from metal rock to the rap and hip-hop scene that would dominate music for...well...the rest of time, apparently.
The first use of the word "rap" to discuss rhythmic speaking in music was in 1971, with Isaac Hayes' album Black Moses.
But the style of music can be traced even further back--most notably to James Brown's funk music of the 60s. The first official rap song (as we know rap today) is considered Rapper's Delight by The Sugarhill Gang.
It was also a quick introduction into copyright laws for the rap industry. You see, The Sugarhill Gang liked the song Good Times so much, they decided to use its music for their song. After hearing Rapper's Delight, the songwriters for Good Times threatened to sue, at which point they were listed as songwriters. Many other groups (rap and otherwise) have learned that lesson the hard way over the years.
Soon after The Sugarhill Gang's song became a hit, mega rock star Blondie released her own rap song which was...a little weird. But it pushed rap/hip hop a little further into mainstream (she starts rapping at 1:54 and doesn't stop).
Like Rapture and Walk This Way, today's rap is usually incorporated into songs with sung lyrics, often to take a little of the edge off of what would normally be cutesy and girly:
Maybe Debbie Gibson should have given that a try.