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Folk Rap?

Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 11:07 AM
GUEST, Richard Bridge on a different browser 26 Mar 10 - 11:10 AM
alanabit 26 Mar 10 - 11:16 AM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 10 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 11:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 11:32 AM
Mavis Enderby 26 Mar 10 - 11:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 11:40 AM
matt milton 26 Mar 10 - 11:43 AM
Banjiman 26 Mar 10 - 12:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM
mattkeen 26 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM
matt milton 26 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM
matt milton 26 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 26 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Mar 10 - 01:51 PM
Les from Hull 26 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM
mikesamwild 26 Mar 10 - 02:00 PM
mikesamwild 26 Mar 10 - 02:35 PM
Mavis Enderby 26 Mar 10 - 02:49 PM
Mark Ross 26 Mar 10 - 02:54 PM
Steve Hunt 26 Mar 10 - 03:16 PM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 10 - 03:17 PM
Steve Hunt 26 Mar 10 - 03:17 PM
mikesamwild 26 Mar 10 - 03:20 PM
RTim 26 Mar 10 - 03:26 PM
mikesamwild 26 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM
Mavis Enderby 26 Mar 10 - 03:30 PM
gnu 26 Mar 10 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 26 Mar 10 - 04:48 PM
Jack Campin 26 Mar 10 - 06:49 PM
Steve Hunt 26 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM
Bettynh 26 Mar 10 - 08:14 PM
NormanD 27 Mar 10 - 06:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 10 - 06:38 AM
NormanD 27 Mar 10 - 07:09 AM
Bettynh 27 Mar 10 - 10:48 AM
mikesamwild 27 Mar 10 - 10:51 AM
Bettynh 27 Mar 10 - 10:59 AM
Les from Hull 27 Mar 10 - 11:01 AM
Les from Hull 27 Mar 10 - 11:03 AM
brezhnev 27 Mar 10 - 12:58 PM
mikesamwild 27 Mar 10 - 01:25 PM
greg stephens 27 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Mar 10 - 01:45 PM
mikesamwild 27 Mar 10 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Billy 28 Mar 10 - 12:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Mar 10 - 06:07 AM
mikesamwild 28 Mar 10 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Billy 28 Mar 10 - 08:26 PM
michaelr 28 Mar 10 - 09:37 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 10 - 04:15 AM
mattkeen 29 Mar 10 - 05:26 AM
matt milton 29 Mar 10 - 05:55 AM
mattkeen 29 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM
Ruth Archer 29 Mar 10 - 06:32 AM
Banjiman 29 Mar 10 - 07:00 AM
Banjiman 29 Mar 10 - 07:04 AM
Mr Fox 29 Mar 10 - 09:38 AM
Mavis Enderby 29 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM
GUEST 29 Mar 10 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Billy 30 Mar 10 - 12:34 AM
olddude 31 Mar 10 - 06:14 PM
olddude 31 Mar 10 - 06:40 PM
Mavis Enderby 01 Apr 10 - 02:27 AM
Mavis Enderby 01 Apr 10 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,Ralf Weihrauch 01 Apr 10 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,Neil D 02 Apr 10 - 09:16 AM
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Dave the Gnome 08 Jan 13 - 10:21 AM
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Subject: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:07 AM

I did a search and found a few threads asking if rap was folk but I could not find anything about rapping within folk music so - here it is!

I got to thinking, with a thread diversion on another thread into Jim Morray's 'Lucy wan', how many folk songs use rap. Not just spoken word but the rhythmic intonation of spoken word that fits the beat and is sort of musical? There is the afore mentioned Lucy wan which includes a rap interlude. There is also Mr Fox's (Bob Pegg's) 'Aunt Lucy Broadwood' which is 'rapped' apart from the sung chorus.

There is the 'sing-song' calling of the American style 'barn dance' which sort of fits the loose definition of rap I gave earlier.

Aside from those does anyone have any examples of rap in folk music? Good or bad, traditional, traditional idiom or contemporary. But let's keep it to your own idea of folk (and no going into trying to define that again!)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge on a different browser
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:10 AM

Oooh!
Aaar!
I'm a jolly Jack tar
Fill my tankard
Drink at the bar...


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:16 AM

I would substitute the middle two letters...


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:31 AM

Playground rhymes. It often doesn't make much difference to kids whether they sing or chant them, so long as the rhythm keeps the game going. The weird "sprechstimme" kids often use, where the tune is indicated rather than sung, is midway between the two.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:31 AM

Does that apply to the examples already given, Alan or is it just your opinion of rap in general? Is a blank a letter btw? :-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:32 AM

Yes! Well, spotted, Jack. I didn't think of that for some reason. Skipping songs in particular.

D.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:35 AM

I was thinking of talking blues but see it's already been discussed recently here

Pete


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:40 AM

Yep - Good one again. The blues certainly fits in with some definitions of folk music and talking blues fits in the rap category - Getting some good ideas here.

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 11:43 AM

The Deadly Gentlemen: bluegrass rap
www.myspace.com/deadlygentlemen

On the whole though, I can't really think of any rapping in folk beyond the aforementioned Jim Moray song.

For me though, when rap was localized, for most of the 1980s, it had a hell of a lot in common with folk music. The rappers in Harlem, the Bronx and in LA were a lot like topical broadsheets were. They referenced very localised characters and localised stories that often mean little or nothing to those outside their constituency.

Obviously, US rap got huge and lost that.

But you can still hear it in, say, the UK's Grime scene. I was listening to some CDs by Trim yesterday, who is my favourite British rapper at the moment. (He picks some genuinely unusual music to rap over - a good case in point being a sample of Mudhoney's 'Touch Me I'm Sick') His lyrics, and those of many of his peers, do for Hackney, Clapton and Tower Hamlets what 1980s US rappers like KRS 1 did for New York City.

In early American hip-hop, and in the UK's Grime scene, there is the sense of a community addressing itself through music, which is one of many things I get from old traditional folksongs (though it's by no means the only thing). There isn't a genuine community addressed by folksong today - there's only "people who like folk music", which isn't the same thing.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Banjiman
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:04 PM

"I would substitute the middle two letters... "

Fold Bap ???????


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM

There isn't a genuine community addressed by folksong today - there's only "people who like folk music", which isn't the same thing.

Interesting point, Matt. Is the folk club not the community that the music is addressing? Or should be at least? Maybe we had best not go there though...

Out of interest I was told by someone i have no reason to disbelieve that they heard a group of young Polish people working picking apples who were singing shanties! Maybe there are some genuine communities that are addressed!

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:06 PM

I think spoken word in a folk context has great possibilities

We have recently recorded a couple of John Clare poems spoken over tunes that Clare knew/collected.

Have also done spoken word version of Mother Mother Make My Bed... and used the original tune for backing in that case mind.

I did a few gigs improvising guitar using trad English tunes as a starting point with a modern poet.


Its very liberating for musicians but keeps everything still focused on the narrative/words


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:12 PM

Is that rap though, Matt(k)? I would define it as spoken word, or does the lyric lift and flow with the music like rap? Not disputing - genuine question here. Just by adding a musical background does spoken word automaticaly become rap?

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM

well yes I probably shouldn't have typed that, as it means this thread is almost certainly going to immediately go off on a tangent!

I'm not entirely sure what I mean, but I can at least be very specific. The rap tracks I'm talking about achieve something folkish, in a devolved, almost a pre-industralisation way. They will have a very localised, self-referencing rap, which might be an answer to somebody else's rap, perhaps referring to some falling-out among previously matey rappers. It might refer, postcode specifically, to the local pirate radio show, where said falling-out took place.

Pop songs don't do that - they're about love or whatever. Whereas certain old folk song traditions commerated a battle, a feud, a disaster. Or an agricultural tool: things specific to mining or farming. Rap, wherever it's from, before it gets big, seems to have that micro-topicality to it. Like broadsheets did.

While "rappers from Hackney" is, obviously, not exactly a community the way "northumbrian pit workers" or "railwaymen from Derby" were, the songs (raps) they make often feel like it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: matt milton
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM

"There isn't a genuine community addressed by folksong today - there's only "people who like folk music", which isn't the same thing"

well yes I probably shouldn't have typed that – as it means this thread is almost certainly going to immediately go off on a tangent!

I'm not entirely sure what I mean, but I can at least be very specific. The rap tracks I'm talking about achieve something folkish, in a devolved, almost a pre-industralisation way.

They will have a very localised, self-referencing rap, which might be an answer to somebody else's rap, perhaps referring to some falling-out among previously matey rappers. It might refer, postcode specifically, to the local pirate radio show, where said falling-out took place.

Pop songs don't do that - they're about love or whatever. Whereas certain old folk song traditions commerated a battle, a feud, a disaster. Or an agricultural tool: things specific to mining or farming. Rap, wherever it's from, before it gets big, seems to have that micro-topicality to it. Like broadsheets did.

While "rappers from Hackney" is, obviously, not exactly a community the way "northumbrian pit workers" or "railwaymen from Derby" were, the songs (raps) they make often feel like it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 12:20 PM

Looked it up in wiki and this is what I got -

Rapping (also known as emceeing[1], MCing[1], spitting (bars)[2], or just rhyming[3]) refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics with a strong rhythmic accompaniment"[4]. The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into "content", "flow" (rhythm and rhyme), and "delivery"[5]. Rapping is distinct from spoken word poetry in that is it performed in time to the beat of the music[6][7].

Rapping is a primary ingredient in hip hop music, but the phenomenon predates hip hop culture by centuries. Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Stylistically, rap occupies a gray area among speech, prose, poetry, and song. The use of the word to describe quick speech or repartee long predates the musical form,[8] meaning originally "to hit".[9] The word had been used in British English since the 16th century, and specifically meaning "to say" since the 18th. It was part of the African American dialect of English in the 1960s meaning "to converse", and very soon after that in its present usage as a term denoting the musical style.[10] Today, the terms "rap" and "rapping" are so closely associated with hip hop music that many use the terms interchangeably.


Need to think about to see what fits in. Interesting that the term has been in use since the 16th century! I am imagining the court of Henry VIII with a boom-box... :-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:51 PM

The C is silent


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:52 PM

Dave, many of the old ballads would work as a rap:

How d'ya like ma fedder bed, 'n' how d'ya like ma sheets?
'N' how d'ya like ma bitch (huh) dat lies in yo' arms asleep?

I've never had the nerve to stand up and perform it like this. I did suggest it to Muppit though...


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:00 PM

I worked in the 1960s with a woman in Sierra Leone W Africa who was doing a PhD on native 'raps' where young men would challenge and throw down a verse to see if the other could 'cut' them. they useually insulted your mother etc just like they do with 'mofo' and 'your momma' today.. They got fast and intricate and often went on along time til the loser fell out. A dance equivalent would be a step dance challenge ( like they lifted for Riverdance between Blacks and the Irish )

She said this was continued in West Indies, Britain and the States and it has the elements and spirit of rap to me.

Do we have any challenge and response like this in the Western tradition?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:35 PM

I just remembered , I once tried out a ranting poet thing in the 70s at the folk club , the first bit was

I'm in wedlock
banged up in padlocks
Holy Deadlock
wi me dreadlocks
in Chorlton on Medlock

but strangely noone took up the challenege for a next verse!


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:49 PM

It must be a variation of Godwins Law that as any discussion of rap music on a non-rap forum grows longer the probability that someone makes the "silent C" joke approaches one.

Off on a slight tangent - I've sometimes thought that Beatboxing could work really well on some folk songs/tunes. Anyone know any examples? Can anyone do a bodhran?

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:54 PM

Any Talking Blues would work as rap.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Steve Hunt
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:16 PM

"Off on a slight tangent - I've sometimes thought that Beatboxing could work really well on some folk songs/tunes. Anyone know any examples?"

OK, this is one of the (very few) contemporary covers that they perform (rather than an old- time song) but here is the utterly wonderful Carolina Chocolate Drops, complete with beatboxing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKTXJUYiAT4


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:17 PM

Do we have any challenge and response like this in the Western tradition?

They didn't do it to a beat, but the renaissance Scottish "flytings" (like "The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie") were right in that spirit, and would still earn a Parental Advisory if someone recorded them today. (This is where the first known literary usage of "fuck" comes from, back in 1508). In fact they're absolutely crying out to be rapped over a backbeat - Dunbar and Kennedy would have *loved* the idea and the rhythms they used would fit perfectly.

The text doesn't seem to be on the web - I have an unedited transcript of the Bannatyne Manuscript version.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Steve Hunt
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:17 PM

Carolina Chocolate Drops


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:20 PM

Give us a few details it sounds great. What was 'flyting'

My son's a rap producer and he'd have a go at it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: RTim
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:26 PM

Does anyone have the words of the Rapped piece from Jim's Lucy Wan?
I am sorry, I don't understand them on the recording and I want to know if they are relevant?

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM

The blind Irish poet Raftery also traded insults with other poets and I think Carolan could be quite waspish.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:30 PM

Steve - Carolina Chocolate Drops - outstanding - thanks


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: gnu
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 03:41 PM

McEldoo

And, I can't find Gino Lupari of Four Men and a Dog doing Wrap It Up.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 04:48 PM

Hadn't heard that Carolina Chocolate Drops track before- thanks Steve. Now I recall some years ago you playing me something that I think was Eileen Ivers jamming with a bunch of MCs, remember what it was?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 06:49 PM

You would need to speak Scots pretty well to do the Dunbar/Kennedy piece. (I've just sent an email to somebody who shoudl knwo to find out of it's already been done). Here's a rather anaemic translation of part of it:

http://literaryconsiderations.blogspot.com/2009/10/flighting-of-dunbar-and-kennedy.html

The original (they had no distinction between upper and lower case back then) looked like this:

LOUN LYK MAHOUN BE BOUN ME TILL OBEY
THEIF OR IN GREIF MISCHEIF SALL THE BETYD
CRY GRACE TYKIS FACE OR I THE CHECE & FLEY
OULE RARE AND ZOWLE I SALL DEFOWLL THY PRYD
PEILIT GLED BAITH FED AND BRED OF BICHIS SYD
AND LYK ANE TYK PURSPYK QUHAT MAN SETTIS BY THE
FORFLITTIN COUNTBITTIN BESCHITTIN BARKIT HYD
CLYM LEDDER FYLE TEDDER FOULE EDDER I DEFY THE

MAUCH MUTTOUN BYLE BUTTOUN PEILIT GLUTTOUN AIR TO HILHOUS
RANK BEGGAR OSTIR DREGAR FOULE FLEGGARIS IN THE FLET
CHITTIR LILLING RUCH RILLING LIK SCHILLING IN THE MILHOUS
BAIRD REHATOR THEIF OF NATOR FALS TRATORQ FEYINDIS GETT
FILLING OF TAUCH RAK SAUCH CRY CRAUCH THOW ART OUR SETT
MUTTOUN DRYVER GIRNALL RYVER ZADSWYVAR FOWLL FELL THE
HERRETYK LUNATYK PURSPYK CARLINGIS PET
ROTTIN CROK DIRTIN DOK CRY COK OR I SALL QUELL THE


That blistering torrent of internal rhymes and assonances is just like what a clever present-day rapper does. ("Cuntbitten" presumably meant you'd got the pox - Scottish poets of the time wrote a *lot* about that).


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Steve Hunt
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 07:34 PM

Jonny - I think that was a live Black 47 album that Eilleen played on


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Bettynh
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 08:14 PM

John McCutcheon's "It's the Economy, Stupid" sounds like rap to me, though with a jazzy flavor.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: NormanD
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 06:31 AM

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking 'bout the government.....


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 06:38 AM

Not sure abount any local competitive song or poetry but there is certainly competitive dance in Lancashire. Both individual clog and North West Morris are, or were, very competitive. From my Cossack background I understand that the young men of the village used to try and outdo each other in dance as well - To catch the eye of the prettiest girls.

I'm not sure if the above is rap, Norman, or just Dylan's voice! :-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: NormanD
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 07:09 AM

The demo version (on that bootleg box set) brings it out much more


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Bettynh
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 10:48 AM

How about "Big Bad John" written by Johnny Cash, sung by Jimmy Dean:

Every mornning at the mine, you could see him arrive.
He stood 6 foot 6, weighed 245.
Kind of broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hip.
And everybody knew you didn't give no lip to Big John


And "A Boy Named Sue" written by Shel Silverstein and sung by Johnny Cash:

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 10:51 AM

I've just added Countbittin and Beschittin to my vocab for when I'm ranting at the neighbours' cat when it craps in our garden!


I love the use of words n rap that are not conventionally poetry but quick and off the top to drive it along. Gil Scott Heron is a great exponent of the form

Often just the last syllable or a vague similarity eg Apple, Shortfall, Temple, Parental, Non judgemental. I'm going mental. It's so simple .
I also like the old Anglo Saxon type use of words starting with the same letter ( what's that called?)

yet effective and throws up some great images.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Bettynh
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 10:59 AM

Dave Van Ronk's "Cocaine Blues" is purely spoken, although Rev. Gary Davis's accompanyment is distinctive. Dave wrote that the reverend couldn't bring himself to actually sing the tune if there ever was one, considering the subject matter.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 11:01 AM

Lancashire competitive dance, as recorded by Bill Tidy in Private Eye The Cloggies


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 11:03 AM

Oh that's called Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse Mike.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: brezhnev
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 12:58 PM

Don't know if these by Martyn Bennett qualify, but they're fab anyway:

Hallaig

Soryteller

Floret Silva Undique


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:25 PM

Thanks Les that's it. Like that old rap the local Anglo Saxons in the building trade or steel works use ' F' the f'in f'er it's f'in F'd. F' it!!' Every element of language is there!

So what's assonance?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:39 PM

I have been involved in a lot of rap/traditional folk based proejects. If you have a glance at the Boat Band Myspace , you should find a choice of 6 tunes to listen to...you may have to scroll up and down the song list to find the one you're looking for. Anyway, the one entitled "Rap Shallow Brown"(or possibly Shallow Brown Rap I can't remember) has the young black Rhythm'n'Grime artists I-Deal and MC Meistro with the fairly old and white Boat Band doing an acoustic rap relook at the old shanty. We have done a lot of very rewarding and interesting collaborations like this. Rap comes very directly from Bahamian(and other) folk song techniques, so it is quite easy to reintegrate the forms in a lot of ways. We have done much more hardcore computery DJ type stuff, but this clip is quite a gentle introduction to the field.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 01:45 PM

That is brilliant, Greg. I Love it. I know some won't but bugger 'em:-)

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 27 Mar 10 - 02:09 PM

Nice link Greg, thanks. Have you tried many other shanties in the same way? since the Carolina Chocolate Drops started revisiting black fusion music i'll be interested to see what develops.

I've not been too convinced by Living Village and Edward II hybrids but always intrigued by revivals that can be so productive.
I always used to enjoy singing the shanty 'Roll her down the bay to Juliana' with just a Bodhran accompanimant. It went nicely into 'Blue Suede Shoes' as well!


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 12:42 AM

LJ Booth (a brilliant songwriter/ singer / guitarist out of Wisconsin) wrote the perfect Folk Rap song. Using the back of his guitar to provide a drumbeat he sings (or raps).

Folk Rap (LJ Booth)

Gimme that guitar; I'll show you how to use it. I play a funky thing they call folk music.
KingstonTrio, Serendipity, Peter, Paul and Mary, just to name three.
They sing about the dead and the big Grand Canyon, they made a lot of money on "Prairie Home Companion".
Anglo Saxon, protestant white, at a hootenanny, hootenanny Saturday night.

Talkin' folk rap, can you dig it? Folk rap,Mm! get down! Folk rap!

Cool war's ragin' Johnny has to go. Would you let me go with you says "No, Johnny, No Johnny, Uh, Uh No!"

If you miss the train I'm on you know that I am gone. You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.
But I'm one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen hundred miles from my home.
Take away eight hundred miles and I'm five hundred miles from my home.

Good God y'all! Michael row the boat ashore, Alelue, Allelue, Michael row the boat ashore Allelujah!
If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, I'd hammer on your face!

Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff! Puff the magic dragon lived by the sea
Frolicked in the Autumn in a land called Honalee.
Little Jackie Paper he loved that rascal Puff but Jackie split the scene and Puff got in a huff,

Doin' folk rap! Can you dig it? Folk rap! Hmm! Get Down!Folk rap! Ooh! Bobby Dylan, now, Folk rap! yeah, Kumbayah


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:07 AM

Any recordings of it anywhare, Billy? I can find LJ Booth on YouTube but not this song:-( If you know him maybe get him to put it on YT?

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mikesamwild
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 06:52 AM

Dig it! Kumbaya Nyahhhh!


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 08:26 PM

DeG
LJ has four CDs but this piece isn't on any of them. All four are great CDs tho.
You might be able to contact him via his web site http://www.ljbooth.com/ here


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Mar 10 - 09:37 PM

Sharon Shannon's "Libertango" album begins with a tune called "The Whitestrand Sling" and closes with the same tune overlaid by a (very positive) rap called "What You Make It". You can sample both here.

http://www.legalsounds.com/download-mp3/sharon-shannon/libertango/the-whitestrand-sling/song_1414088

That said, I think that while folk is undoubtedly music, rap qualifies not so much, because it lacks that defining element - a melody.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 04:15 AM

because it lacks that defining element - a melody.

Not realy true, Michael. There is often a very strong melody underlining the words and beat. Have a listen to the Shallow Brown Rap Greg pointed to earlier. I know it is not all the same and an 'unaccompanied' Rap would not have what you would call a melody but I think that would qualify more as poetry than music anyway.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mattkeen
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 05:26 AM

roots music from anywhere is more often than not, at its core,

words + rhythm

or

rhythm


To say a type of expression is not really music because of the lack of variation in melody is absurd. You don't have to like it


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: matt milton
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 05:55 AM

I don't think melody is "the" defining element of music, so much as one among a number of defining factors. For me, music's anything I choose to listen to as music.

But even in purely conventional terms, to foreground melody is to forget about percussion-led music. A drum solo is music, even if it's not pitched notes. (Though of course drum hits do have a pitch of sorts - as rendered explicit by drumers of the calibre of Max Roach.)

Most hip-hop does have some kind of tune behind it, especially the commercial chart stuff. But even the hardcore, minimal stuff that's little more than drum hits, a bit of bass and a 'spoken' vocal is still undoubtedly music. To suggest otherwise is like saying a samba troupe isn't music, or that a tabla player isn't playing music.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: mattkeen
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM

I ment to say what mattmilton jusr said


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 06:32 AM

The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free: White, working-class rap concept album. A thing of brilliance. And contemporary folk music, as far as I'm concerned.





"Off on a slight tangent - I've sometimes thought that Beatboxing could work really well on some folk songs/tunes. Anyone know any examples?"

Check out recent work by the Demon Barber Road Show.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 07:00 AM

"Off on a slight tangent - I've sometimes thought that Beatboxing could work really well on some folk songs/tunes. Anyone know any examples?"


Carolina Chocalate Drops....... they have it down to a tee.

Hit 'Em Up Style by CCD


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Banjiman
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 07:04 AM

I can actually spell Chocolate!


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mr Fox
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 09:38 AM

Tickled Pink rap a couple of verses of 'When the King Enjoys His Own Again' on their first album.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 04:16 PM

Banjiman - thanks for the CCD link - can't get enough! ;-)

Ruth - looking forward to seeing the Demon Barbers at Southwell FF this year. There's enough of a taster on this promo vid (about a minute in) to whet my appetite!

Cheers,

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 10 - 05:32 PM

Pete,

CCDs are great, Genuine Negro Jig is a fine, fine album, buy it!

Have you found the CCD "Jack of Diamonds" video on You Tube yet? (Nothing to do with Folk Rap, just a great Old Time Blues Drinking song!). I know you'll like it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Billy
Date: 30 Mar 10 - 12:34 AM

As a three piece band that did a lot of a-capella stuff, we were challenged to take on a piece called "Geograhical Fugue" by Ernst Toch whih would qualify as early rap. (For speaking chorus ger. "Gesprochene Musik"). It is in four parts but I reduced it down to three for us. It took about six months of practice before we were ever able to perform it live and never without the 12 pages of sheet music.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: olddude
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 06:14 PM

Ok, I swear this just happened to me, It is really nice today, so after I ate supper I went over the park and was sitting on a bench playing my guitar. Four young kids came over and was listening and one of them said did you write that song, I said yes it is called Chasing the Wind, they asked if they could sing along, I said sure and did it again. The two black guys had made a rap CD and write rap music ... in between verses to my song they were rapping lines like "and your breaking my heart, breaking my mind etc while I was picking the song on the guitar... I have to tell you it was the coolest thing I have heard in a long time ... I am on record for not liking rap but this was just fun and it was cool

Go figure, I loved the sound ... I did .... maybe there is something to it ...


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: olddude
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 06:40 PM

I will say this, they played me one of their rap song on their Ipod, I didn't care for it at all , it was way too close to gansta rap ... but it was fun what they did on my song. Wish I had a recorder so you could have heard that ... very interesting indeed ...


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 02:27 AM

Olddude - sounds fantastic, and reminds me I need to get out playing more instead of reading Mudcat!

Guest (Banjiman?): "a great Old Time Blues Drinking song"

Well I'll have to look that up, three of my favorite things in one!

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 02:29 AM

...and on the subject of beatboxing, it strikes me as not a million miles from eephing, which was discussed here last year.

Pete.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Ralf Weihrauch
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 04:13 AM

Hello Folk and Rap works.

This is from my Album Hole in One!

Ralf Weihrauch & Dr. Ring Ding The Unfortunate Tailor


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 02 Apr 10 - 09:16 AM

Ralf, I liked that a lot. Reminds me of the way Shaggy would interweave his West Indian vocalizing into pop songs.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: autoharpbob
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 07:06 AM

Loved the CCD!
Strange nobody has mentioned Benjamin Zephaniah on "The Imagined Village" retelling the story of Tam Lyn. Personally I always skip this track though, so it doesn't work for me!


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 10:03 AM

The song Crocodile Man by Dave Carter. You can see youtube version's that he and Tracy Grammer did or a good one done by Chris Smither.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 03 Apr 10 - 11:00 AM

That Carolina Chocolate Drops song is just dynamite. Gotta see them--even if she sang, not rapped, the song.

Other possibilities--definition of "folk" is wide open as far as I'm concerned:



"Cash for the merchandise...." --(opening piece from "Music Man")--definitely not sung

Country-blues related stuff like "Hot Rod Lincoln" and its predecessors, songs by "Arkie Shipley" about car races

Piece by a local DC group, the Pheremones, about 30 years ago, resurrected by me and my wife:   "Cicada Serenade"--a rap about cicadas.   We've gotten a huge amount of mileage out of it--even got a "Nigel" in the MIddle Bar.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,unfitforit
Date: 03 Dec 10 - 10:16 PM

what about astronautalis "you and your good ideas" album?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 10:27 AM

For me it's not Folk, yet anyway. I imagine in the 60's Folkies wouldn't have believed The Beatles woulld be in Folk clubs, b ut I've heard 3 Beatles numbers in the last week in the clubs. Whether Rap should be termed 'music' though is questionable. I find much of it not musical at all, more a form of speed poetry. And with only a few exceptions, most Rappers have very poor diction often burying the Microphone (and lyrics) in their mouths, and Folk music is largely about the Words. But who knows in 20 years time you might hear it in Folk Clubs, there's little else in the 'pop' field worth remembering


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST, CRAZY
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 05:04 PM

WHEN I DIE SHOW NO PITTY SEND MY SON TO GANSTA CITY DIG A HOLE 6 FEET DEEP LAY 2 SHOT GUNS ACROSS MY CHEST AND TELL MY FOLKS I DID MY BEST


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Paul Slade
Date: 06 Nov 11 - 07:33 AM

Nu-folk's Jeffrey Lewis has a fun little bonus track called Mosquito Rap on his latest album "A Turn In The Dream Songs". He raps the tale fast and fluently over a very simple drum backing, punching home the rhythm of all its key syllables just as a black rapper would.


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Acorn4
Date: 06 Nov 11 - 08:13 AM

Try listening to the latest songs of Pete Morton - he describes it as "frapping" and it's well worth a listen if you can get to one of his gigs.

If "folk rapping" = frapping, whay then is country rapping?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 07:52 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvNLv5NEmM0


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: GUEST,CatAlyst
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 09:27 AM

Whilst not traditional American folk music/ rap, there's a French group called Manau who've released 2 albums that combine French folk tunes with modern scratches and rap over the music. One example's Qui est la Balette? which samples a Bretagne folk song called 'La Jument de Michao'. The lyrics refer to the original's lyrics.

Also maybe Rybak/Opptur's 'Fela igjen' counts?


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Subject: RE: Folk Rap?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 10:21 AM

Nice to see this thread resurrected and I would have liked to have seen the French Folk / Rap but the link doesn't work :-( Any chance of checking it for us CatAlyst?

Cheers

DtG


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