Rapso soca is a fusion of hip-hop and soca music. The musical type is uniquely Trinidadian and was born out of the social unrest of the 1970s. Rapso is a common phrase that is used to describe "the sound is de power of de word in the riddim of de word". Rapso Music speaks to black empowerment in Trinidad and Tobago. Rapso the musical expression has grown in popularity in Trinidad & Tobago and it a prominent part of the carnival celebrations yearly however with a more calypso twist. Rapso has seeing changes since the early 1990s taking on issues such as politics and spirituality. This new form of rapso has been mixed with reggae and soul music as well as J'ouvret.
The historical roots of raspo soca stretch all the way back to Africa and the ancient tradition of GIROT. The individual who uses this form of musical expression is seen as a vessel of speech someone who is able to teach and communicate. The Rapso practitioner is a poet one who focuses on the day to day experiences of the normal man. The musical form uses a series of voice rhythms that blend in with the drums however as the music evolved stringed instruments were also used.
The genre rapso has created a number of well known artists and hits in Trinidad & Tobago that are enjoyed across the world. Artists such as Brother Resistance would pave the way for the creation of the genre in his 1970s hit 'Busting out'. This was the first album to actually coin the term Rapso the unique fusion that was soca and hip-hop. Other artists would follow the lead in songs such as Ronnie Mclntoch who sung 'Ent' a Trinidadian favorite. Other hit songs include:
There are many more artists and songs that are produced under this genre.
Rapso Music makes use of the same forms of instrument that are used in soca and rap-music typical instruments will include Drums which are usually the focal instrument as the artists speak the word to the masses. The drum holds a prominent place in all forms of Caribbean music and more so in Rapso. Other instruments such as the guitar, Bass and vocals are also used.
The cultural influence of rapso soca is strong in Trinidad & Tobago and can be felt and seeing in the younger generation who desires change in both the social and political norms of the country. This is expressed through rapso which gives a voice to those that are not generally heard and seen by the larger institutions which governs the country. Rapso in many ways is shaping the way in which young people see society. Rapso is a positive force for change in Trinidad & Tobago.