The Roots Of Hip Hop
Audio CD | Import
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Hip-hop did not develop in a vacuum. Its roots can be traced back to the earliest Afro- American music, and the white folks who were influenced by these sounds. This CD compiles 26 tracks of some of the great hip-hop from the 1920s through the 1960s. The themes will be familiar - religion, politics, black experience, gangsta rap, speed, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Listen to the lessons that the hipsters of the past taught the rappers of today.
It's not the first hip-hop archaeological dig (see Yazoo's The Roots of Rap, for one). But This mix of proto-rap testifying, trash-talking and gibberish from the Twenties to the Sixties may be the most far-ranging [hip-hop archaeological dig]. The 1952 novelty Hambone combines nursery rhymes with thigh slaps and cheek pops that would impress Biz Markie, and when Joe Hill Louis hollers, ''We'll all gotta go to jail,'' on the raw, rabble-rousing 1950 blues Gotta Let You Go, dude's utterly gangsta. And even when connections seem stretched, the liner notes make the logic amusing: Any set trying to link the Rev. J.M. Gates with N.W.A and Harmonica Frank Floyd with Kid Rock is definitely history worth hearing. --Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, Jan 22, 2009
Sex, gambling, drugs and hard times didn't exactly arrive with hip-hop; neither did rhyming and boasting. (Here's)...a shrewdly chosen collection of old songs and recitations. Culled from odd corners of Americana, ranging from the 1930s to the late 1950s, it includes sermons, talking blues, R&B, hipster jive and a prison-yard rhyme. And it's also full of finds, like the raspy-voiced swing-band gospel of In Dat Mornin' by Jimmie Lunceford and His Chickasaw Syncopators and the bluesy murder-suicide (with scream and gunshots) of Little Caesar's Goodbye Baby. Hip-hop hindsight embraces them all. --Jon Pareles, New York Times, January 9, 2009
When considering the origins of hip-hop, few look past the Sugar Hill Records era or the Bronx block parties of the '70s. But the relatively unknown Harte label is attempting to broaden the discussion with The Roots of Hip Hop. To Harte's credit, at times you can clearly hear the influence that has been passed on to MCs, as on the Soul Stirrers' politically driven Why I Like Roosevelt (Parts 1 and 2), and the badass chick braggadocio of Hot Mama by Brother Woodman & The Chanters featuring Ethel Brown. --Max Herman, XLR8R, January 9, 2009