2020 55¢ Hip Hop – MC
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 1, 2020
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
In hip hop, the MC (Master of Ceremonies) draws in audiences through spoken word performances of clever rhymes and compelling lyrics. This aspect of hip hop has roots that stretch back centuries.
One of the oldest of these is the griots of West Africa. Griots were storytellers who shared their people’s history through rhythmic singing accompanied by drums. These griot traditions provided inspiration for the blues and jazz music of the early 1900s, which are considered the precursors of hip hop.
Rapping (another word for MCing) was born in the 1970s at parties. Initially, MCs made announcements over the music. Over time, they began to embellish their messages into fully formed verses with rhymes. The development of “flow” (rhythm and rhymes) during this period was crucial to the expanding popularity of hip hop, which earned nationwide recognition by the late 1970s. By the 1990s, rap and hip hop were so popular that many other aspects of culture, such as clothing, films, sports, and more, were influenced by it.
Rhyme is perhaps the most important part of rap, as it gives lyrics their musicality. Enunciation and breath control are also important in maintaining the flow. As is being able to rap quickly. In fact, competitions have been held to determine the fastest rapper – with one contestant getting in 11.2 syllables per second!