A rapper is a musician who drops rhymes to the beat. “Rapper’s Delight,” the first rap to hit the Top 40, starts with “…to the hip, hip hop, and you don't stop” and ends 15 minutes later.
The story is that the first rappers were MCs who talked between songs to entertain the crowd while the DJs changed records, then the MCs started talking with the beat, and then boom: rap was born. It came together as a music genre in the late 70s in New York City, but “rappers” didn’t suddenly pop up — rap emerged from African American traditions that had been around. The first rapper to sign to a major label was Kurtis Blow, in 1980.