Rap opera

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Rap opera
Stylistic origins Hip hop music, opera, concept albums, contemporary R&B, spoken word, musical theatre, rock opera (conceptual origins)
Cultural origins Early 1970s, South Bronx, New York City
Typical instruments Turntable, vocals, drum machine, sampler, synthesizer, beatboxing, bass guitar
Other topics
BreakdanceGraffitiFashionSubgenresNotable albums

A rap opera or hip hopera is a series of hip hop songs in the form of an opera, inspired by the concept of rock opera.[citation needed] Examples of a hip hopera include Trapped in the Closet by R. Kelly, A Prince Among Thieves by Prince Paul, and Deltron 3030.

Like its predecessor, rap opera tells a story through consecutive pieces of music involving the same character or characters. Rap opera may be a purely auditory experience, or it may be associated with a musical, comic book, or other art form. It is a relatively young, spontaneous form, performed more by amateurs and non-profit groups than by professional emcees.

When R&B singer R. Kelly was asked on IFC how he defined his Trapped in the Closet series, Kelly stated that he described it as a hip hopera or musical opera, and that it was now too long to be called a song.[1][not in citation given] In 2001, MTV debuted a telefilm titled Carmen: A Hip Hopera, directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer. Volume 10 also released an album called Hip-Hopera in 1994. The former is contemporary R&B, not hip hop music.

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