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Why do y'all give a fuck about "hip-hop"?
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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mrgillepsie wrote:
I actually made a post somewhere maybe on this board about how,

Punk helped create Hip Hop.

I see Ice-T as one of the most important artists for what Hip Hop/Rap is today, and he was heavily influenced by the music of Black Flag.

Of course when I say Rap I don't mean Jah Rule or DMX I'm referring to artists who actually speak intelligently.


Well, hip-hop was around for a little while before UK punk...and a long while before the US hardcore scene took off. In fact, by the time bands like Black Flag were around, the Bronx rap scene was practically dead. It was Afrika Bambaataa and Fab 5 Freddy that really combined the downtown NYC punk scene with the Uptown and Bronx-based hip-hop scene, with arguable results. But by the time Ice-T's first record came out, Kurtis Blow, Newcleus, and practically the whole Sugar Hill roster had paved the way.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:05 am
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maxamillion



Joined: 05 Sep 2002
Posts: 1040
Location: The Netherlands
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Reggie,

You should write a book, damnnnnn you know a lot of shit.
Where do you get your knowledge from??

If it's books I would like to know some titles....

Thanks, Max
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:10 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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maxamillion wrote:
Reggie,

You should write a book, damnnnnn you know a lot of shit.
Where do you get your knowledge from??

If it's books I would like to know some titles....

Thanks, Max


Well, considering that punk and hip-hop are two of my most favorite kinds of music (the third being Swing Jazz, believe it or not), it's easy for me to expound on those topics...but as far as books oin the subject, these titles are highly readable and indispensable:

Yes Yes Y'all by Charlie "Wild Style" Ahearn and Jim Fricke. This book is the best oral history about the hip-hop scene before 1979 (and a little bit about the early 80's, too.) This is the only book of its kind, to my knowledge.

Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists by the staff of Ego Trip. Most hip-hop fans already have this book but if you don't, then you should.

Vibe History of Hip-Hop by Vibe magazine. This is the least readable of these books, I think, and it really rushes through the pre-recorded era of rap. However, this book pays special detail to various rap styles and phenomena that have occurred over its history. I wouldn't pay full price for this particular book, but a month out of the library is sure to yield some insight and interesting information.

Last Night a DJ Saved My Life by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. This book is not about hip-hop per se, but about the history of DJing and DJ culture. It even goes into radio disc jockeying, which is a great resource that many turntablists overlook--they are the true fathers of DJing, after all. There's a lot of stuff about rave culture and general non-rap stuff in here, but in all it's very technically enlightening. These same author's also wrote the incredible liner notes for the Adventurs of Grandmaster Flash which was released last year on Strut Records in the UK. The mix is decent, but the 40 pp. liner notes are worth the price of the CD alone. Flash talks about everything, from the early days of hip-hop to how to made his first set-up, to his take on rap today. People slept on this lp but they shouldn't have.

Other than this...I guess I lived through a lot of it, man! I have a huge collection of music, mostly original because for me, cover art and liner notes are a huge part of what I enjoy about recorded music. The first thing I do when I get a bunch of new music is unwrap it and check the liner notes: production credits, thank you's, whatever long-winded crap the artist thinks is important...so I have learned a lot from this, I think. Besides the aforementioned Grandmaster Flash CD, other informative liner notes I've read were in the Rhino Records boxed set of Sugar Hill Records releases (5 disc set, I don't know if they still make it), and Elemental magazine has been dropping historical bombs for a few months now. For example, I learned from the most recent issue that poplocking originated in the West Coast, from a guy named Don Campbell who danced on "Soul Train" and influenced a generation of b-boys. Same guys also poplocked with Fred "Rerun from 'What's Happening!'" Berry. See? You can be a know-it-all and still learn new things about a subject you love.

Also, I don't have any from the serious, but Kurtis Blow's History of Rap series looks to be very enlightening, based on the tracklistings. Don't know what the liner notes are like, though.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:24 am
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Shylax



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 153
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^^^See that's dope right there...

I need to check some of those books out. That's one reason I like this site. Cats with crazy knowledge.

I'm not a cat who reads much of the liner notes. I read the shoutouts and that's about it. If the song is really ill, I'll check to see the sample used. I'm not that hip with the technical and production side of music. Not that it's not interesting but just I wouldn't know what to do with the info since I'm no dj, engineer, producer or musician.

Great stuff, Reggie. Thanks man.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 8:44 am
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Shylax



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 153
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What part of Queens you from, dog? I'm in the North Bronx, bordering Money earnin and Yonkers
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 8:46 am
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Random Sample



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 2460
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I know one thing if it wasn't for hip hop and punk vynil would be very scarce these days.

Reggie the book of rap lists is a great book. I love the list of the ten ways to get dropped from your label by R.A. The Rugged Man. I am going to have to check out some of those other ones. Most of my hip hop books are about the history of graf. Here is a list

1. The Art of Getting Over by Stephen Powers
2. Dondi White Style Master General: The Life of Graffiti Artist Dondi White by Andrew Witten, Michael White
3. Spraycan Art by Henry Chalfant, James Prigoff

Good looking out. I want to share more.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:08 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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Shylax wrote:
What part of Queens you from, dog? I'm in the North Bronx, bordering Money earnin and Yonkers


I am originally from Flushing, but I live in Astoria right now.

There are other books that can help people to understand the conditions in New York and the world that helped spawn hip-hop, though they may not have any specific hip-hop content. Most notably:

Vampires, Dragons, and Egyptian Kings by Eric Schneider. This is a little dry in parts, but it's the only specific look at post-WWII gangs in New York City...yes, the same culture that spawned [ui]West Side Story.[/i] Unfortunately, they don't go deeply in the gangs of the 60's and early 70's like the Black Spades which became part of the Zulu Nation and had a hand in hip-hop's beginnings, but the book's portrayal of teenaged city life is not a far cry from kids two decades later. In Search of Respect by Phillipe Bourgeois is another book that describes Spanish Harlem in the crack-era, and inadvertently describes what would become the "party and bullshit" hip-hop mores that became standard in the late 80's, early 90's. This book reads better, but it is still academically dry at times. In fact, I believe the last two tracks are skippable altogether.

Man, I could go on and on...but I think this is a good start. I have yet to read a good book about NYC's bankruptcy in the 1970's, which I think contributed greatly to hip-hop (as well as the blackout of 1977), or a good book about the degeneration of the South Bronx in general (the Robert Moses biography The Power Broker can help you to understand what happened, to a degree, but you need to sift through 600-plus pp. of unrelated material to get at it). If anyone knows about any books on these subjects, please let me know!
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:11 am
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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I can't believe you didn't mention "Rap Attack" by David Toop! That's like the bible of early hip hop history, starting with the dozens on up. Its view of recent hip hop is pretty substandard - its quite obvious Toop isn't as much of a fan - but in terms of the history from the late 60s to the early 80s, he knows his shit and he's done the research.






random_sample wrote:
I know one thing if it wasn't for hip hop and punk vynil would be very scarce these days.



And Jazz.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:22 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5765
Location: Queens, NYC
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random_sample wrote:
I know one thing if it wasn't for hip hop and punk vynil would be very scarce these days.

Reggie the book of rap lists is a great book. I love the list of the ten ways to get dropped from your label by R.A. The Rugged Man. I am going to have to check out some of those other ones. Most of my hip hop books are about the history of graf. Here is a list

1. The Art of Getting Over by Stephen Powers
2. Dondi White Style Master General: The Life of Graffiti Artist Dondi White by Andrew Witten, Michael White
3. Spraycan Art by Henry Chalfant, James Prigoff

Good looking out. I want to share more.


Word, I'll agree with you on the vinyl tip. There's a good number of niche collectors that still reissue jazz records--often as high-grade exact repressings--but that's such a small and contained market that it almost exists outside of the punk and rap vinyl scene. Note that the punk and rap vinyl scene aren't exactly "public" so you can imagine how small this other vinyl scene must be. Actually, for all I know, there might be other markets for new vinyl that I am unaware of; despite it's economic inviability, people keep on making it. So it must be spiritually, if not financially, lucrative.

That book The Art of Getting Over is fire. Amazingly (and stupidly), I never got Spraycan Art, but equally as indispensable in graffiti lore is Subway Art by quintessential graf photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper. This book was THE resource when I wrote in the mid 80's/early 90's, and is a perfect companion piece to the documentary Style Wars which JUST giot released on DVD this past Tues. (Don't sleep! This is a dope 2 CD set!!!) Mass Appeal is probably the best graf magazine, but for a more well-rounded mag with music and culture in it as well as graf, I gotta go with Elemental again. I do not get any subsidiaries from these guys--in fact, I was dissing the magazine's poor layout not even a year ago--but they shaped up and have become one of my favorite periodicals.

Here's some advice, though: Do NOT get Ego Trip's Book of Racism; it has some funny points but in all it's just sloppy, aned is NOT a "hip-hop book" in reality. Also, do NOT get Aerosol Kingdom; this book is boring as hell and only has weak black and white tags, no full-color pieces inside.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:23 am
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2182
Location: www.anteuppdx.com
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I'd second the recommendation of Charlie Ahearn's Yes Yes Y'all. I found out how little I knew about the origins of hip hop, particularly with regards to the origins of deejaying as in who invented what and how they battled. It was very different from the story I had always heard about what Kool Herc did and how Flash, Theodore, Charlie Chase, Breakout, Baron and others took it up and improved upon it. I was also totally unaware of the story of the Sugarhill Gang, particularly with regards to the anger that many of the folks expressed about them getting on prior to any of hte people who had built the scene. The book is beautiful and reads easily and quickly. I feel much more knowledgable about hip hop after reading that back.

I'd also recommend, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life. That is very interesting as well, particularly being dj who doesn't just spin hip hop.

Adam
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:30 am
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Reggie



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: Queens, NYC
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sequence wrote:
I'd second the recommendation of Charlie Ahearn's Yes Yes Y'all. I found out how little I knew about the origins of hip hop, particularly with regards to the origins of deejaying as in who invented what and how they battled. It was very different from the story I had always heard about what Kool Herc did and how Flash, Theodore, Charlie Chase, Breakout, Baron and others took it up and improved upon it. I was also totally unaware of the story of the Sugarhill Gang, particularly with regards to the anger that many of the folks expressed about them getting on prior to any of hte people who had built the scene. The book is beautiful and reads easily and quickly. I feel much more knowledgable about hip hop after reading that back.


One thing I think came through in the narrative is that the Sugar Hill Gang weren't the evil culture vultures they are sometimes made out to be. Big Bank Hank was Casanova Rud's manager, and Rud gave him the infamous rhyme that he spit on "Rappers Delight." All of them were fans of rap and went to parties and clubs where rap was playing, it wasn't like they were grown in a petri dish and bred by Sylvia Robinson to take rap away from Grandmaster Flash or anything. I've read alot about her questionable business practices, but Robinson, Sugar Hill Records, and the Sugar Hill Gang are notable because they broke rap into the mainstream first, not necessarily the best or the more representative, only first. The only "crime" perpetrated by the Sugar Hill Gang is that they capitalized on an opportunity before many established rappers and DJ's thought it possible...and can you blame them?

Okay I think I've dominated this thread enough. By the way, I believe Rap Attack! is out of print but if you can find it, check that out.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:41 am
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Random Sample



Joined: 12 Aug 2002
Posts: 2460
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Yeah I forgot Jazz. I have a pretty decent Jazz record collection. I got about 150 LP's. Mostly Original pressings. Got a real great record shop here in Pittsburgh that I get a lot of jazz for cheap. If you ever come to Pittsburgh you have to go to Jerry's Records in Squirrell Hill. Very Very cheap and they have the greatest selection of used vynil I have ever seen.

There has been a resurgence of vynil in the past 3 or 4 years with every genre of music. But I know that at a time in the mid 90's hip hop, punk, hardcore, and jazz were pretty much the only ones doing vynil. I talked to this guy who ran a plant were I got my groups 12" pressed up and he said they almost went out of business in like 95. So he built a recording studio to stay alive. Pretty wild though.

And anyone who has every wrote graf needs to go pick up the style wars dvd. I had it on Vhs years ago, but it does no justice compared to the dvd. Style Wars is to graf like Scratch is to dj's. That was kind of an SAT question. I guess it would be on the Hip Hop SAT.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:43 am
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sequence



Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 2182
Location: www.anteuppdx.com
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No, I think that is true. The definitely were not colored as being cultural thiefs, whoever there was definitely resentment about it. I had always thought Sugarhill were just concocted, I didn't realize they were bodyguards and had other roles as well in the scene, but that didn't hinder the initial feeling of anger I picked up from Caz and others. Not that this is important.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:45 am
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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In Chicago we have the Jazz Record Mart on W Grand. Need I say more?



Oh yeah, as for Rap Attack: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1852426276/qid=1051285665/sr=8-4/ref=sr_8_4/103-1495772-3883019?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Still available, in its third version anyway.
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 9:46 am
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Micranot



Joined: 13 Nov 2002
Posts: 134
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Good thing you said being a fan since the beginning is irrelevant, because I was going to say, its not our fault we got into hip hop as late as some of us did, especially considering how relatively young some of us are
Post Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:49 pm
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