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Emcee is derived from the abbreviation M.C. or "Master of Ceremonies," which also implies "move the crowd." An emcee is a person who raps to inspire people with well-written, crisply-delivered, clear and concise lyrics. Most people would rather 'rap' or rhyme words in a catchy manner, but few take the time to actually emcee.

From An Emcee's Perspective:

In his book, The Art of Emceeing, Stic.man of dead prez writes, "A rapper is to an emcee what an average street fighter is to a trained martial artist. They are both fighters but the degree and depth of their skill is very different."

The Origin of Emceeing:

Emceeing came into existence prior to the days of slavery, even way before civilization blessed mankind with a microphone. African griots or poets, who delivered their rhythmic folk tales over drums and other forms of instrumentation, are often cited as the innovators of what is now known as rap.

Elements of Emceeing:

Certified emcees stand out because they share certain elements in common.

Rhyme Scheme: This is also known as rhyme structure. An emcee's rhyme scheme refers to the pattern of his rhymes. This ranges from basic (Kanye West) to complex (Eminem).

Delivery: The way an emcee flows may depend on his cadence, speed, melody, intonation, rhythm, enunciation, and even accent. This is known as delivery. Both Eminem and Jay-Z possess the ability to alternate their flow and delivery with adept swiftness.

Word Play: One listen to the late Notorious B.I.G. and our session on word play is complete. Biggie had the ability to experiment with words creatively.

Some Great Emcees:

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  5. What Is Emceeing? - Rap / Hip-Hop 101

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