Saturday, August 29, 2009


Was there ever a more bizarre musical moment then Bob Dylan's appearance - rapping - on hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow's 1986 album "Kingdom Blow"? I can't think of a more unlikely cameo off the top of my head, especially since Dylan rarely collaborates. True, hard-core punks The Circle Jerks did a tune with Debbie Gibson, but that was a bit of a joke, obviously.

Kurtis Blow:
"Street Rock"
All weirdness aside, "
Street Rock" is good bit of Run-DMC-esque crunchy guitar/beatbox rap.

Wouldn't it have been amazing if Dylan had appeared on these goofy, '80s pre-gangsta jams:

Kurtis Blow: Super Sperm
Kurtis Blow: Magilla The Gorilla

Look at that picture. No, it's not a war zone. It's part of New York City, one of the richest areas in the world, in the 1970s. The fact that such unwanted, ignored human beings were not only able to live in such wretched conditions, but were able to create a culture that took over the world - hip-hop - was one of the great inspirational moments of the '80s. Watching new forms of dance, music, and visual art arise from this rubble certainly thrilled me.

So I'm pretty psyched about the upcoming Old School Jams Live show at the Greek Theatre in here in LA this Sept. 13. I mean, peep this lineup: Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five, Egyptian Lover, Afrika Bambatta's SoulSonic Force. Vocoders! Tracksuits! Jehri Curls! (Lisa Lisa, Ready For The World, and Klymaxx's r'n'b, and Peanut Butter Wolf showing back-in-the-day videos are also on the bill.)

There's been a lot of remixes and mashups of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message," but I love this mixture with a Medeski, Martin and Wood instrumental that sloooows down, then speedsuprealfast, the vocals always on time. Amazing.

Gordyboy: "Bubblehouse Message"

I recently wrote about Uncle Jamm's Army, LA's first hip-hop crew on record, and since I see that Egyptian Lover will be in the house, that gives me an excuse to post one of my all-time fave old-school joints since he was associated with the Army. This 12" single has one of the most greatest window-rattling, knock-plaster-from-the-ceiling beatz ever, coupled with funny kitschy vocoder vocals. Recorded off my vinyl; can't believe these guys have never appeared on CD.

Uncle Jamm's Army "What's Your Sign (Of The Zodiac Baby Doll)?"

Yes yes, y'all, it's like that, y'all...


Anonymous said...

Dylan may rarely collaborate but he was doing the Traveling Wilburys at the time, so maybe he was in a sociable mood then...

Anonymous said...

UJArmy - thank you so much!!!