Rap and poetry both employ literary strategies such as assonance and alliteration. Both make use of language. McWhorter claims in "Americans Have Never Loved Poetry More—But They Call It Rap" that rap is poetry because it rhymes, frequently internally. This argument can be reversed: because rap uses rhyme and meter, it is actually a form of poetry, not simply "poetry-like music." Rap was once considered a separate art form to poetry. In fact, many early rappers were also poets.
Some people claim that rap is not really music at all but rather a form of spoken-word poetry. This argument comes down to how you define music. Is music merely the expression of emotion through the repetition of sounds, or does it go further than that? If you look at popular music, you will see that it often involves elements of both poetry and music. Music alone cannot describe human emotion; it needs words to do so.
Poetry and rap have many similarities. Both are forms of art that use language to express ideas, emotions, and stories. Poets create poems by using words to express themselves and explore different perspectives on life. Rap artists write songs that tell stories via metaphor and analogy, just like poets. Many great rappers were also poets before they started making music. Dr. Dre was a successful rapper who wrote several books of poetry during his early years as a performer.
Both are used. Rap, on the other hand, is a musical-verbal art form, whereas poetry is a verbal-musical-typographical one. Music plays a role in rap, but it's not its main ingredient; rather, it's a tool that allows the artist to express himself or herself through rhythm and rhyme.
In addition to music, poetry also makes use of vocabulary, syntax, and figures of speech. Rap, however, tends to be less complex than traditional poetry because its aim is entertainment more than education or inspiration.
Also similar to poetry, rap lyrics can be about anything that comes into an artist's mind. The only restriction is that it has to be expressed through words and in sequence. Unlike poetry, where multiple meanings can be inferred from a single line of verse, rap songs are designed to be heard in their entirety, not read in parts. This way the artists' messages will be understood completely.
Finally, like poetry, rap was originally intended to be sung. However, since musicians have been using it as a means of expression, rappers have started writing songs that include vocals as well as instruments. Today, you can even find rap albums that contain no rapping at all, just like any other rock album.
Rap and poetry appear to have certain characteristics. Writing forms, for example, are one of the features. Both pieces are often written in faceted verse (stanzas). They also both make use of rhythm in their performances. And finally, both rap and poetry tend to use language carefully to express ideas.
Besides these similarities, there are also differences between rap music and poetry. Poetry is usually about one idea or subject per poem, while rap can be about many different things within its three-to-four-minute length. Poetry tends to use formal language and strict rules when writing it, while rap is more informal and self-regulating.
Furthermore, poets often create new words by combining other words together. This is called "creating wordplay" and it is a popular technique used in poetry to increase drama and excitement. Rap musicians also do this but with phrases instead of words; this is called "lyricalism".
Another difference between rap music and poetry is that rap is not considered art music. While some artists do use instruments in their songs, most rappers sing or speak them themselves.
However, even though rap is not considered art music, many great poems have been written over the years that have had an impact on hip hop culture and have become part of the lexicon of the genre.