Old Skool Rap Playlist
Playlist: Old Skool Rap
“Old school rap” refers to the original recorded hip-hop music that had a profound impact on the music industry. A synthesis of jazz, rock and various other musical genres, the rhythmic delivery became a cross-cultural phenomenon. While many dismissed hip-hop as a fad they hoped would disappear, its forefathers are responsible for refining it as an art form and setting the stage for their successors to dominate the musical culture.
The “godfather of hip-hop,” Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc, revolutionized turntable techniques, and ultimately “launched the foundation of rap music and hip-hop culture,” according to BN Village. Herc integrated the Jamaican style of cutting and mixing to fashion the prototype for modern-day hip-hop,” blending funk, soul, jazz and reggae. Herc become a household name among the South Bronx music scene while regularly hosting block parties in front of his family’s Sedgwick Avenue high-rise building.
Competing with the disco frenzy of the late ’70s, Herc keyed up crowds by toasting to reggae emcees while calling out lyrics and names of people. His style was to interact with the crowd and pass around the microphone, encouraging audience members to improvise lyrics. Herc’s style morphed into deejaying, giving birth to the “emcee” phenomenon. His innovation didn’t end there; he began the practice of playing the same record on multiple turntables, kicking off the breakbeat trend. Kool Herc’s overriding ethos: “It’s not about keeping it real. It’s about keeping it right.”
Their “party boasting” performances usually opened with the signature song “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels,” with other party anthems to follow. After being approached by a producer to record a song about “life on the streets,” they reluctantly agreed to record their landmark album called “The Message,” a social commentary about the dismal aspects of urban life. A few years later, they continued their aim of spreading social messages through their anti-drug song, “White Lines (Don’t Do It).” After breaking up, Grandmaster Flash linked up with new members to create the band Grandmaster Flash and the Sugar Hill Gang.
Listeners were awestruck by Run-DMC’s unique lyrical blend of booming voices, off-and-on music, and the finishing of one another’s lines, which, according to Rock on the Net, “Was informed by the fusion of jazz and rock.” The group successfully transformed the underground hip-hop culture into a pop-culture phenomenon. They crossed audience lines to captivate a new and unlikely audience: white suburban males with an avid taste for rock music. Another crossover contribution from the to hip-hop music culture: the trend of wearing thick gold chains, baggy denim coupled with leather, and untied high top sneakers.
According to VHI, David Jolicoeur took his favorite food, yogurt, and spelled it backwards to become known as “Trugoy the Dove”; Kevin Mercer used his nickname as a DJ to coin the moniker “Posdnuous.” With Prince Paul producing, the youthful band’s idiosyncratic style was enhanced by mixing sampling sources from The Turtles and Johnny Cash, a sound that has influenced not only other emcees, but helped inspire the entire underground movement in the culture.
Tags: History Of Rap , Rapper's Delight , East Coast Rappers , West Coast Rappers
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