Although Tramp Records is known worldwide for its expertise in soul, funk and jazz from the 1960s and 70s, label boss Tobias Kirmayer always had a deep connection to hip hop and rap music. His dream to compile prototype rap songs has existed for quite some time. In the search of quality songs, Kirmayer realized that it takes more than to simply scratch the surface. The challenge was to locate enough proper material to meet the criteria to be called prototype rap. The answer is Ancestors of Rap.
The origins of rapping (referring to “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics”) go way back in history. Blues music, rooted in the work songs and spirituals of slavery, was first expressed by blacks in the Mississippi Delta region around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Historians have argued that the blues were being rapped as early as the 1920s. By the late 1960s spoken word jazz poetry artists like Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets, to name two, became predecessors of rapping.
This compilation unites the few existing soul and funk tracks from the late 1960s to early 70s that feature lyrics that are rhymed in rhythm. Alongside the famous representatives of this genre were a handful of lesser-known musicians who gave notable contributions. One of the most expressive examples is We Got The Number by comedian Pigmeat Markham. Similar in style are Billy Dee & Sugarbear. No matter what track you select, James West, Bobby & Deborreh Williams or one of the big names like James Brown or Blowfly, you can be assured of the sheer quality and relevance of each song.
And this is it. A thunderous selection of so far mostly unknown prototype rap songs, recorded way before hip hop actually got its start in 1979. The intense research combined with the first-class quality of each song makes it clear that there won’t be a Volume 2. Throw your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care – you are about to experience in depth the real Ancestors of Rap.
The 12-page CD-booklet contains detailed liner notes and scans of all labels. The deluxe double-gatefold LP contains the same information as the CD-booklet and is limited to 1000 copies.
Tracklisting & Soundclips:
1. Butterballs – Butterball
2. Everybody Says – Billy Dee & Sugarbear
3. Hanging In – Obsidian II ft. James West
4. Steppin Tall – Bill Butter Ball Crane
5. We Got the Number – Pigmeat Markham
6. I’m Hungry – Johnnie Morisette
7. Hanging Out – James West
8. Do You Have a Good Woman – Rufus Beacham
9. Honky Games – Iris Bell & The Jive-Ettes
10. Funky in the Hole – The Blowflys
11. The Pusher’s Thang – Bobby & Deborreh Williams
12. Smoke My Pipe – A.J. Rowe
13. Snake Hips – Timmie Rogers
14. Sesame Street – Blowfly
15. Little People – Round Robin Monopoly
16. Get On the Good Foot – James Brown