March 01, 2006

Man, old-school hip hop songs were LONG.

Tonight I used the Virgin gift-certificate Rachel got me for my birthday way back in December to get Big Apple Rappin': The Early Days Of Hip Hop Culture In New York City 1979-1982, a 2 CD set of obscure-ish old school. At first I was puzzled as to why there were only like eight songs on each disc, but now I know: only one of the cuts is under four minutes, most of 'em hover anywhere from six to eight. That'd be long even for a modern-day lyricist, but add to the fact that about the most complex sentiment in oldschool is "come on, everybody," and you have to restate everything at least twice ("everybody just come on") and you end up with something that feels like an epic poem, one in which Odysseus is exhorted to just clap his hands to the beat c'mon.

That said, this shit is so much fun. Something that I'd never thought of that the liner notes pointed out is that this was before the takeover of the beatbox, so the beats came almost exclusively from disco records. These songs were for block parties. It's interesting that when New York was inarguably more dangerous, it was ruled by songs about everybody having a good time, and now that it's vastly safer, the radio is all about crack dealers who want to shoot you. Not that I mind that: as long as they stay in the stereo, the crack dealers make fun songs too. It's that conscious shit in between I can't stand.

The liner notes also mention the numerous novelty rap cash-in songs that followed in old-school's wake. Here are some of those don't-quite-get-the-concept rap classics I wish they'd included:

"Do Your Taxes, Everybody, Everybody Just Do Your Taxes"

"Raise Your Hands Skyward And Allow Them To List Ambivalently"

"Quiet Down Now"

"The Rock Don't Stop (But Don't Contemplate The Rock Never Stopping Lest You Be Driven Mad)"

"Y'all Ain't Ready (But That's OK, We'll Wait)"

"Seriously, Please Quiet Down"

"Friend The Police"

"Hip Hop Won't Get Better Than This (I Said, Hip Hop Better Than This)"




I made a song tonight: It's a remix of Bonde Do Role's "Melo De Tobaco," which is a pretty weird, awesome piece of baile funk in and of itself. Mine's disco through-and-through and there's a Biggie cameo. Can't stop won't stop:

"Melo De Tobaco (Dope Ep Remix)" - Dope Ep, The Boy Without Fear


Talkin' music, Donald's been on fire lately. Remixes of Belle & Sebastian and Broken Social Scene and all sorts of craziness are available at his blog.


Talkin' things that are cool, Hammerkatz has a new video at CollegeHumor. Check it!

Posted by DC at March 1, 2006 04:14 AM
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