Yahoo!’s research service does a poor job at answering the question of – Who was the first rapper? They just further confound the reader by failing to define the term rapper and in addition failing to differentiate between rapper and dj. They seem to be using the term rapper as a general title for hiphop participant. Good thing they have this disclaimer: All information available through or in connection with Ask Yahoo! is informational only and provided “as is” without warranties, representations, or guarantees of any kind. Yahoo! disclaims any and all implied warranties respecting Ask Yahoo!. Use of Ask Yahoo! is entirely at your own risk and is not a substitute for conducting your own research. Link

Dear MC Curious:
That’s a darn good question. While most folks consider DJ Kool Herc to be the “father of hip-hop,” other sites credit Afrika Bambaataa as the first rapper.
OldSchoolHipHop features an interesting biography of DJ Kool Herc. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1955, Kool Herc was particularly interested in the song’s “break section” — the part of the song without vocals. Extending the song’s break was Herc’s trademark and “would be a very important one for hip hop.”

Does that qualify Herc as being the first rapper? Maybe, maybe not. An article on VH-1’s official site lists Afrika Bambaataa as “one of rap’s founding fathers.” User-edited site Wikipedia writes that Bambaataa is often credited “as being the first rapper ever.”

Rap is a fusion of different musical genres. No one person should be given credit for “inventing” it, but we did find an article on the origin of rap by Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D. In the article, Person-Lynn quotes Bambaataa as saying, “A lot of people always think it (rap) started in the South Bronx, but officially it came from the West Bronx, ’cause Kool Herc (credited with being the first rapper), was from that area.”

If Bambaataa believes Herc came first, that’s good enough for us. Peace.