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The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings from the 1920's and 30's
Various Artists
The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings from the 1920's and 30's
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1

The Roots of Rap pulls from rare 78 rpm records of the 1920s and '30s songs that fall into the rhythmic speech tradition of African-American folk and blues--a characteristic that would later manifest itself as rap music. I...  more »

      
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The Roots of Rap pulls from rare 78 rpm records of the 1920s and '30s songs that fall into the rhythmic speech tradition of African-American folk and blues--a characteristic that would later manifest itself as rap music. Included are various strains of song commonly branded rap precursors, from church shouts, work hollers, and talking blues, to minstrel songs, novelty skits, and "the dozens," performed by greats like Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Jimmie Davis, and Memphis Minnie. While anyone looking to find the missing link between a slave's lament and a "Rapper's Delight" on The Roots of Rap may be disappointed, with a little imagination tracks like Pine Top Smith's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" and Speckled Red's "The Dirty Dozens No.2" come reasonably close. --Roni Sarig

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CD Reviews

A highly misleading title...
10/27/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Don't get me wrong. The music on this disc is excellent, but it doesn't have anything to do with rap. The rhythms are straightup country blues for the most part, with a few recitation pieces and country styled things. I like this kind of music, and I own a lot of discs like this one, but I also like rap music, and this ain't it! If it had been advertised as The Roots of the Talking Blues, I would have given it five stars."
Hip Hop Jug Bands? Hard Core Blues? Gangsta' Hillbillies?
C. Cronk | 04/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"not quite. but this cd has a lot to offer. if youre a big fan of rap, you wont neccesarily like this cd. if you like idiosyncratic early 20th century music, you probably will like a lot of it though. theres all kinds of great stuff you will never find anywhere else. Jive Talkin' Man, Cocaine Blues, Whitewash Station, When I stopped Running, Nobody Knows You and Automobile Ride Through Arkansas alone are worth the cost but each track has something special to offer. it does feature a lot of rap like conventions like similies( that girls got more ways of lovin' than wriggleys got gum), bragging, sexual allusions, drugs, drinking, fighting, tall tales mixed in with percusive singing styles. very enjoyable."