The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings from the 1920's and 30's

The Roots of Rap: Classic Recordings from the 1920's and 30's


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This ambitious and thought-provoking project turns to early black-and-white, religious, and secular traditions for antecedents to modern rap styles. Drawing from the commercial recordings of the 1920s and '30s, The Roots of Rap provides a broad sampling of rural voices straddling the lines of speech and song against the rhythms of piano, banjo, and guitar. The roots of rap, this collection argues, existed in early black work songs and in the Southern pulpit; in the performances of singing street evangelists; and in black vocal traditions such as the "dozens." Early forms of rap emerged in the vaudeville routines of minstrel and medicine shows, arising also in the country humor and talking blues of many rural white performers. To illustrate its thesis, the album draws from some of the greatest performers of the period, including Blind Willie Johnson, Seven Foot Dilly, Butterbeans and Susie, and Memphis Minnie, whose extraordinarily funky "Frankie Jean" closes the set. Like the best of Yazoo's projects, this effort is carefully and intelligently constructed, as well as consistently entertaining.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/23/1996
Label: Yazoo
UPC: 0016351201829
catalogNumber: 2018
Rank: 55155

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Leroy Carr   Track Performer
Blind Willie Johnson   Vocals,Slide Guitar,Track Performer
Blind Willie McTell   Guitar,Track Performer
Memphis Jug Band   Track Performer
Memphis Minnie   Track Performer
Henry Thomas   Track Performer
Jimmie Davis   Track Performer
Speckled Red   Piano,Track Performer
Allen Brothers   Track Performer
Beale Street Sheiks   Track Performer
Butterbeans & Susie   Track Performer
Frank Hutchison   Track Performer
Luke Jordan   Track Performer
Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom   Track Performer
Rufus G. Perryman   Piano
Willie Walker   Track Performer
Lonnie Glosson   Harmonica,Track Performer
John Dilleshaw   Guitar
Prince Laval   Vocals
Dixieland Jug Blowers   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Scrapper Blackwell   Contributor
Leroy Carr   Contributor
Blind Willie Johnson   Composer
Memphis Jug Band   Contributor
Memphis Minnie   Composer,Contributor
Frank Stokes   Contributor
Henry Thomas   Contributor
Jimmie Davis   Contributor
Frankie "Half-Pint" Jaxon   Contributor
Pinetop Smith   Contributor
Clifford Hayes   Contributor
Allen Brothers   Contributor
Beale Street Sheiks   Contributor
Butterbeans & Susie   Contributor
James Cox   Composer
Frank Hutchison   Contributor
Luke Jordan   Contributor
Kansas City Kitty & Georgia Tom   Contributor
Earl McDonald   Contributor
Dan Sane   Contributor
Willie Walker   Contributor
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Contributor
Don Kent   Producer,Liner Notes
Richard Nevins   Producer
Joan Pelosi   Art Direction
Mozelle Alderson   Contributor
Dixieland Jug Blowers   Contributor
Traditional   Composer
Tom Dorsey   Composer
Jimmie Cox   Composer

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