“Fly Robin Fly”, The Silver Connection
recorded in 1975
considered the first disco song
with the 4/4 beat becomes the model for disco
Stonewall Rebellion
1969 New York
Stonewall Inn Club allowed gay dancing – was raided – instead of capitulating the clubbers fought back and resisted arrest – gave the gay community a visibility it did not have before
Studio 54
Elitist New York club that played disco
to be admitted had to be urban, able to dance, have money and be unusual in some way
The wildly popular disco band that was once denied entrance from Studio 54
Recorded “Le Freak” in 1978 in response to their rejection from Studio 54
“Disco Sucks” record destruction
Took place at Comiske field – a response to the elitism that disco had become
1520 Sedgewicke Ave, NY
Considered the birthplace of Hip Hop
However, the birth of Hip Hop was a process that merely started here
Kool Herc
Lived at 1520 Sedgewicke.
Aug 11, 1973 threw a party using a turntable
Real name – Clive Cambell
From Jamaica
TAKI 183
Winner of the NYC Loner Graffiti Competition
Reginald Fessender
In 1906 became the first to transmit radio waves between the US and Scotland
Robert Moses
Urban planner who put freeways through the Bronx that led to urban decay and sped up white flight
“The Message” Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five (1982)
-considered the the beginning of commercialization of hip hop
-About the dawn of the Reagan era
-Set to a slower beat to emphasize the words over the beat
-About the bottom really falling out on social programs and the pockets of America completely forgotten
-“It’s like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under”
-Blues Impulse
Kurtis Blow
First hip hop artist artist to sign record label in 1980 – signed with Uncle Louie Music Group
Hit Song – “The Breaks”
Four Elements of Hip Hop
1. Graffiti
2. B-Boying (break dancing)
3. MCing
4. DJing
MC who introduced the idea of voice modulating voice through microphone and thus broaden the range of lyrics and the emphasis placed on them
“Walk this Way” Run DMC (1986)
-Use metal sound to reach out to a broader audience
-About breaking down walls and barriers and legitimizing hip hop as an important and popular genre
-Lower class whites and urban blacks can agree on feeling increasingly marginalized in Reagan America because he was defining what it meant to be a patriotic, good American in a very limited way
Chuck D.
Defined Hip Hop as The CNN of black people
Member of Public Enemy
“Fight the Power” Public Enemy
-Defiant song – trying to remind the rest of America that black, urban America was still there
-Reflecting and repeating the same culture they were trying to overturn (that is the might makes right cowboy mentality)
-The song itself is militant
– Defends the Nation of Islam as a group that provided the services the government did not
The Southern Strategy
-30 year Republican campaign to lure in Southern voters on race issues
Reagan Rules
1. “us” vs. “them”
2. image trumps reality
3. violence rules
4. money, money, money
New Jack Swing
-R&B infused with hip hop
-Teddy Riley coins term
-Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis usher in this sound as producers using Janet Jackson as their vehicle
The Trouble with Friendship
– Book by Benjamin DeMott
-Argues there is a fantasy world of racial harmony being created
-oversimplifies the causes of racism and allows us to ignore the harsh socioeconomic realities faced by many blacks in this countr
Thriller Album
1983 Michael Jackson Album
– embodies friendship and racial harmony ideology
-internationally best selling album
“Black or White”, Michael Jackson (1991)
-Trying to navigate his ideal world of racial harmony with a less idyllic underlying reality
“Like a Prayer”, Madonna (1984)
-Framing a lot of narrative with the narrative creating ironic distance
-See in it what you want to see
-Slippery narratives
-video shows black man accused of rape, finds out he’s innocent so should be let go
-plays on the growing religious fervor of the 1980’s
-Friendship narrative in a fantasized version “Like a Prayer to Me”.
“Sign ‘o’ the Times”, Prince
-Prince wasn’t even in the video
-The ultimate withdraw – Prince wants the song to be about the music and the message, not about celebrity
-Thinking about drugs and violence
Fortress LA
-a containment of the unsavory to perpetuate the LA myth
Frank Gary
Architect of LA
prison like structures
-part of LA just quartered off by police
-no structure, order – had essentially been abandoned
-gang culture arises
-ultimately the dam bursts
Spoonie G
First gangsta rapper
Came out of Phillie
Ice Berg Slim
The real gangsta who wrote fantasy poetry in jail and inspired ICE-T ‘s persona
“Straight Outta Compton” NWA (1988)
-Violent, Vulgar lyrics
-Straight Blues – about coping, not about overcoming
-In some ways, gangsta rap like “Compton” reinforce the black man stereotype
-Debate about whether its a reflection of reality or a glamorization of gang violence
“Welcome to the Jungle”, Guns “N” Roses”
-Indicative of the metal sound also coming out of LA
-About the seedy underside of LA
-About exposing this world to everyone else
-Also similar in sonic progression
-Articulates the rage bubbling under “morning in America”
Rodney King (LA riots) 1992
-Rodney King – black man beaten by police
-Marked the end of containment culture in LA
-4,000 injured, 50 killed, billions in property damage, 12,000 arrested
-The social realism in gangsta rap has a moral force it didn’t have before for the rest of America viewing this for the first time
“It Was a Good Day” Ice Cube (1992)
-Incorporates the Gospel Impulse – that is the possibility of finding the good and peace
-Chilled out, feel good side of rap
-Yet, at end of video its back to reality
The Breaks
Drops vocals, other instruments to just leave the beat
Dub Plates
B-side of records without the lyrics
“Me, Myself and I” De la Sol (1989)
Less strong voicing, critique of mainstream and alternative cultures
-about challenging the mainstream hip hop
-not going to follow the trend
-not as racially polarizing
-articulates the rap – different use of the mic
-independent, gentler sensibility, resisting stereotypes
Cash Rules Everything Around Me
“Trapped” Tupac (1991)
-Ghetto/poverty and Prison cycle, violence cycle, gangsta with political message mixed in
-Captures the essence of where Tupac was early in his career
-Takes gangsta context and tries to inflict some social/political awareness
-Adds multiple layers of sophistication
-” nah, they can’t keep the black man down”
Film detailing West Coast vs. East Coast feud
Death Row vs. Bad Boy Records
At the center of the East/West feud
Death – west Bad Boy – east
Jackson 5
First Boy Band
Maurice Star
Took Jackson 5 model and created New Edition and NKOTB
“End of the Road” Boys II Men (1992)
Broke Elvis’ record for most weeks at number 1 with 13
Lou Pearlman
Douchebag creator of BSB and N’SYNC
Johnny Wright
Former NKOTB manager who became BSB manager
The Beat pattern that you need to make bounce music with
Second Line Dance
influenced by Mardi Gras type celebration
-parade type of dance
Miami Bass
low bass – gets into the cars a little more
RICK ROSS = rapper who uses to a large degree
Tom Morello
guitarist for Rage Against the Machine
– takes aesthetic of hip hop (distortion and sampling) and patterns the way he plays his guitar after it