Old School Rap

My introduction to hip-hop came at the Bar-Kays’ homecoming concert in Memphis. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were on the bill and when they got to “The Message,” the 15,000 or so black folks in the crowd changed along with the “Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge” chorus. Got it. The next summer in New York, every third boom box passing on the street was blasting “It’s Like That.” Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation is, and is likely to remain, the standard on where it all came from.