Interview with Rahzel & The Roots of Rap

This week Eli & Down Home Exec. Producer David Weissman interview beatbox legend Rahzel and play some beatbox examples and stuff Rahzel mentions in the interview. Then in the 2nd half of the hour Eli plays a bunch of old blues, gospel, toasting and Calypso tracks for a Down Home, down South Roots of Rap segment

For the uninitiated, Beatboxing is when you imitate/sing the hip-hop beats created by DJs and producers (created using drum machines, samples, electronics and scratching on turntables) using only the sounds in your mouth and throat, magnified by a mic and PA.

Interview with Rahzel, Beatboxing and
Down Home’s take on The Roots of Rap

The Box: Hip Hop Archive – This is an awesome website

Beatbox Entertainment– Kid Lucky’s beat box music organization

Wikipedia Article on Toasting , on Grand Master Flash & the Furious Five, Biz Markie, The Fat Boys


– I didn’t think the Yazoo CD “The Roots of Rap” was very good. Good collection but not very strongly related to its own title.

Allen Ginsberg on Gangsta Rap:

GM: Do you have any take on the government’s campaign to censor Gangsta Rap?

AG: I have three or four takes. First of all, a lot of the gangsta rap is commercial crap, a commercialization of the shock element. It has nothing to do with anything anybody really thinks. On the other hand the tradition of rap goes back to a very ancient source in the African warriors boasts that migrated through America and were transformed into the various Signifying Monkey rhymes, branching and styling out into the street corners, like contests of bards, where hyperbole, imagination and insults were used as humorous gambits.

So you insult each other and boast and whoever gets angry loses the game. It seems to me White critics have lost the game, because they didn’t realize the rules of the traditional boasts and toasts.

The Signifying Monkey is a very old African American tradition which has reached its prominence with its rhythms in the last decade or two. It’s been on the street for a long time to the extent that it expresses political dissent and personal self empowerment. It’s quite extraordinary and beautiful.

Source: Goblin Magazine

Tracks Played:

1. Intro Music: “Interlude” – Rahzel w/ Funk Master Flex (Rahzel’s Greatest Knockouts)

2. Human Beat Box- Fat Boys (from Hip Hop Archive website)

3. Razel & RZA (from Hip Hop Archive website)

4. The Message- Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five

5. Rapper’s Delight- Sugar Hill Gang

6. The Preacher & The Bear – Golden Gate Quartet

7. Dipsy Doodle – Golden Gate Quartet

8. War – Growling Tiger & Lord Airy (Lomax Collection Sampler)

9. Granny Will Your Dog Bite/Fife & Drum Tune- Afro-American Work Songs of Tate & Panola County, Traveling Through the Jungle

10. Toast to Bud Doggett – Will Stark (The Land Where the Blues Began)

11. WPA Song – ?

12. Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt – McKinnley Peebles (Friends of Old Time Music)

13. On the Road Again- Memphis Jug Band

14. The Dirty Dozen – Jelly Roll Morton (Lomax Recordings)

15. The Black Diamond Express to Hell Pt. 1 – Rev. A.W. Nix (Goodbye Babylon) 16. Women – Lendon Smith with the Jesters (Complete Metoer Rockabilly & Hillbilly Recordings)

17. Railroadin’ Some – Henry Thomas


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