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129 Song Old School Rap Playlist from Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop


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harlem-wrold.jpgI just discovered the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop in my local library yesterday.  I was previously unaware of it -- it is almost as if the publishers did not want to make it well known.  The book does not have an ISBN (as far as I can tell) and I can not find it in distribution.  Of course Amazon and B&N have copies  -- don't ask me how they got them.  I broke my own rule and linked to Amazon to by the book 😞


The book comes with 9 CD (do people still use CDs?) that includes 129 rap songs.  I created a playlist (below) of all the songs on YouTube.  I was very familiar with most of them, but 2 or 3 I never heard before.  They were rappers from Memphis and Houston, who did not get a lot of air play in New York City, where I'm from.


The Smithsonian raised almost $400K in a Kickstarter campaign to get he book produced.  It is interesting that they chose to go that route, but it also explains why they did not have to invest enough in promotion of the book for me to be aware of it.


On some level this comes across as white institutions doing something, just to say they did it.  As opposed to doing something to truly reflect the culture.   This also explain how Vanilla Ice can make the CD and KRS 1 can be left off....


When creating an intro to the playlist I discovered a photo of Harlem World, a venue where one could dance to rap music.  It is directly across the street from the old Mosque #7, where Malcom X preached.  It started out as a Woolworths, After Harlem World it became a super markets, today it is a retailer of inexpensive goods and clothing.


I'd be interested in hearing what any of you hip-hop heads think of this list.  Where is @CDBurns when you need him 😉





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Yep. I was aware of the Smithsonian Hip-Hop anthology.


The curation committee included Chuck D, MC Lyte, Questlove? and 9th Wonder. They should know better. 


So, it really makes no sense whatsoever that Boogie Down Productions (Scott La Rock & KRS-1) "Bridge Is Over" isn't included in the anthology.😎

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Well I have to believe they are mentioned in the book, even if they did not make the CD collection. Their were a few other questionable inclusions and omissions.  I bet Jeff Chang had a lot of influence on the songs that were included.


I think they got the Fatback Band right.  It was the very first rap song I ever heard on vinyl.  I remember exactly where I was, in 1979, when I first heard it.

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IMO, the inclusion of Blondie's "Rapture" on a Hip-Hop anthology wasn't necessary. It may have been a Jeff Chang decision.  😁


I'm glad Sequence "Funk You Up" was included. For those who don't know, that group had a young lady named B Angie B better known today as R&B soul singer Angie Stone. 😎

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On 12/18/2021 at 10:17 AM, Troy said:


I broke my own rule and linked to am*zon to buy the book 😞







You should have broken that rule a long time ago.


How anyone can survive these times without buying 

stuff from there is beyond me.   There are other options

to get things from, but if I need something specific, and

I want it in a hurry, that is really the only choice.


Plus it's great for sending gifts since they don't charge 

for shipping with the Prime-ary account.


You seem as though you enjoy suffering just to make 

some point. 


Typical hard-headed man.



On 12/18/2021 at 10:17 AM, Troy said:


The book comes with 9 CD (do people still use CDs?) that includes 129 rap songs. 




I still listen to CDs, I still have a regular CD stereo, I

still have a turntable aka record player, as well as a

large collection of LPs, and I also keep a boombox in

the kitchen for when want to listen to some beats or 

slow jams whilst cooking up a storm.


I keep my kitchen CDs in a metal breadbox.





Everybody is not trying to listen to their iPhone.


BTW, that was a very nice post and thank you for 











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First Jazz, then Hip Hop, next it will be House music. NYU already has been amassing artifacts from the the 80's dance music scene. I had a guy on FB asking me a bunch of questions about the Paradise Garage because for his dissertation.


Black people are not respected in this country. And While Jeff Chang and Mark Anthony Neal appear to love the music. Something is wrong to include Blondie. Also this is mostly crews that put out records. There are a few glaring omissions. Son of Bazerk, Grand Wizard Theodore and his entire crew Master don etc.

Why did the go to the two living architects Kool Herc and Bam. Chuck D an MC Lyte definitely have cred but they are literally a decade after the start.

Glad it is documented but there should have been some old heads. cats born before 1960.

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