Saturday, January 16, 2016

In Celebration of 75 Years of American...Rap Music?*

"Listen close, I don't want you to miss none 
of this here story, 'cause it goes like this..."  

Yeah, yeah, KRS-One. The Boogie Down Bronx may be the birthplace of hip-hop music, but some of its precious "blueprint" appears to have come from the rough-n-rugged suburbs of Virginia. That's right, Virginia. It was in the Norfolk suburb of Berkley,VA that the gospel music act known as the Golden Gate Quartet was formed in the 'durrty' 1930s. Negro spirituals were this crew's specialty, but they were famously known for rockin' the mic with a trademark blend of toe-tapping gospel, marinated in the secular styles of jazz, blues, pop and rap. And this is decades before rap even had a name! In fact, the Golden Gate Quartet's 1937 remix of the Arthur Collin's song "Preacher and the Bear" even seems to be the earliest and best defined example on wax of the sound that would come to revolutionize music four decades later, upon release of Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight." 

Yowza, yowza, people. The Golden Gate Quartet is crazzzyyy old school!

*Originally published on the Your Kung Fu Sucks blog. Music links courtesy of

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