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Rap It Up! Street-corner jive that brought discos alive

David Toop, History of Rock, The, 1984

Unless you were a streetwise native New Yorker, the source of the new underground black music that was appearing on disc in 1979 seemed unfathomable. Records like Fatback’s ‘King Tim III (Personality Jock)’ and the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ were a vibrant amalgam of fast-talking catchphrases and rhymes spoken over stripped-down rhythm tracks. They were called ‘rap’ and they seemed to spring fully-formed from some hidden tradition.

Total word count of piece: 1211

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