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Week 3 Notes

by: Andrea Lans
Andrea Lans
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These notes cover Week 3 lecture, discussion, and chapter 2 of Rap Music and Street Consciousness.
Cultural History of Rap
Dr. Cheryl Keyes
Class Notes
Cultural History of Rap, week 3




Popular in Cultural History of Rap

Popular in African American Studies

This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Lans on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to M107 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Dr. Cheryl Keyes in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Cultural History of Rap in African American Studies at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 02/04/16
Lecture   •  Black Arts Movement : Promoted black pride, awareness of African heritage o   African diaspora styles of dress, art, music (new Black aesthetic ) o   Byproduct of black nationalist movement - youth growing impatient w/nonviolence o   Demanding equal rights o   H “Rap” Brown- Black Panther; influential spokesperson (preaching §   Sunglasses, afro §   Jive —> Rap (mastery of street speech) o   Assassination of Malcolm X (1965) o   Riots in urban areas •  Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) - playwright (pg. 32), sent letter to black artists asking them to join Black Arts Movement (mass orientated, revolutionary art) •  Presses run by black writers to publish works w/out apology o   Holloway House (LA publishing)- important avenue for writers (Iceberg Slim) •  Black action films situate urban characters as heroes •   Poets reciting poetry to musical accompaniment o   Not a Rhyme Time (poems)- rhyming wasn’t as important as content one was articulating; rhythmic execution more important o   The Last Poets (1970s, Harlem)- album very popular; concept of Black Nationalist poem o   Gil Scott Heron- A New Black Poet, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised §   Objectified women in urban poems/toasts - “bitches” o   Nikki Giovanni- gave voice to woman’s perspective, feminism •  Element of asymmetry - rhythmic elements fade away or be cut abruptly •  Soul music- music performed in black pop m usic aesthetic •  Mark Anthony- black pop music •   Hip hop movement (1970s)- artistic statement driven by black youth as consequence of occurrences in communities •   White flight to suburban areas •   Karl Marx- public sphere (class & discrimination), discuss political issue s of time •   Rise of hip hop in leisure spaces (parks) •   Rise of Funk: o   James Brown (‘60s) o   Cool & The Gang o   George Clinton- popularized funk sign o   Use of synthesizers o   Barry White o   Tom Bolton- invented 12 in disk •   Opus De Funk- fast piano, blues •   Doin’ It To Death (Funky Good Time, James Brown)- trombone •   Thank You For Lettin’ Me Be Myself (Sly & the Family Stone)- groovy, synthesizers •   It’s Alright (Larry Brown)- faster, soul •   P Funk (George Clinton)- intro Discussion   •   Personality jocks: use rhyme & take over music to create colorful personality o   Jive talk (Al Benson) •   Bad man: archetype; evolution of trickster figure (Pimps & drug dealers as urban heroes); survive in streets by wits •   Political context •  Black Power: employ symbols (afro, fist in air) to unite cu lture, alternative civil rights movement; moving forward to stop racial violence •  Song Poems: recited over percussion instruments; communicate message of BAM o   Last Poets: Black Nationalist poems •   Funk o   Pioneered by James Brown (mid 60s) o   Emphasis on interlocking rhythmic patterns & repeating grooves o   Popping & slapping of bass (Larry Graham), unusual timbres o   Less commercially successful, more about keeping it real o   Important acts: Sly & the Family Stone, George Clinton & P -Funk, Kool and the Gang, Graham Central Station o   Proto-rapping (talking over music) of George Clinton & James Brown o   Break: highly rhythmic, dance section of record, groove for MC to rap over o   Lyrics about partying & addressing social issues o   DJs at Bronx block parties played funk •   Disco o   Adaptation of funk- repetitive grooves, simpler rhythms, more emphasis on melody o   Increased use of strings, faster tempo than funk o   Foundation laid by symphonic soul of Barry White & Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records o   Emerged from underground dance clubs o   Mostly romantic & party themes o   More assimilationist/integrationist o   Introduced 12-in single (remix, DJ as artist) o   DJ/producer centered o   Disco Divas: Donna Summer ( Hot Stuff), Gloria Gaynor (I Will Survive), Grace Jones Rap  Music  and  Street  Consciousness  (pg.  32-­‐66)   Chapter 2: Development of the Rap Music Tradition •   New political incentives fostered new atmosphere for artistic freedom for African Americans o   Give voice to those struggling in ghettos; split reactions to integration 2   •   (1970s) Funk, Disco, Rap o   P-Funk: pure/uncut funk; jazz culture; James Brown, George Clinton o   Disco: orchestral arrangement over rhythm section, soul vocals, bass -drum rhythm, cymbal beats; Barry White o   Some argue rap is consequence of geopolitical factors (Bronx, NY) (pg. 44) §   Lack of funding for arts in public schools (rely on a cappella singing, beatbox) §   Changes in housing concentrating black & Latinos in underdeveloped urban environment •   Disintegration of the Bronx : postwar federal housing & highway initiatives —> evolution of hip hop culture o   Cross- Bronx Expressway: de facto northern border of South Bronx; destroys social element of neighborhood o   Crime escalated- gang violence §   Collapse of gangs - homicide among members, maternal responsibilities, heroin •   Bambaataa credits Christianity w/contribution to acceptance of Black stereotypes o   Hip-hop: embodied street attitudes through gestures, language, stylized dress associated w/street culture (pg. 49) •   Rise of DJ o   Performed in parks (street/mobile DJs) instead of clubs - sometimes clubs were too dangerous due to gang violence o   Toasting/DJing originally in Jamaican tradition (Kingston) o   Dancehall scene among working class o   Dub versions: fading in & out or altering to make several dif. cuts o   Talk overs: DJs toasting over recorded/dub versions o   Kool “DJ” Herc- mixing technique influenced future production of rap music; rhymed while mixing, added electronic mixes; epic sound system, loud o   Grandmaster Flash - more accurate mixing techniques, conservative (not as loud); pioneered two turntable techniques (backspinning), phasing o   Techniques: backspinning, scratching (Grand Wizard Theodore), phasing (accent short phrase of recording) •   Rise of MC o   (1970s) gang violence decreased, clubs reopened promoting “one -nighters” o   Talked intermittently to motivate danc ers in club §   Disco Fever- hottest dance club in the Bronx o   Trading phrases: Exchange of phrases between MCs; popularized by The Three MCs •   Relationship between MCs & DJs became model for rap music   3  


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