Rap & Rock Come Together Again w/Street Sweeper Social Club


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Boots Riley and Tom Morello Step Up and Get Busy on  Jimmy Fallon

by Davey D

Boots Riley & Tom Morello Street Sweeper Social Club falls in a long line of rap and rco artists teaming up and wrecking shop.

Boots Riley & Tom Morello Street Sweeper Social Club falls in a long line of rap and rco artists teaming up and wrecking shop.

We tip our hats to Boots Riley of the Coup and Tom Morello of  Rage Against the Machine. As you know the pair came together to form the Street Sweepers Social Club and their new album was released earlier this week. Last night they appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show and got busy.  For those of us who’ve known Boots over the years. It was the first time we’ve seen him get busy on the dance tip..LOL The video says it all

On another note.. we keep hearing conversations about how its cool to see artists like Boots moving into Rock-N-Roll. I guess one of the reasons this convo been surfacing is because we recently had Lil Wayne rolling out in that direction and so for many this appears to be a new thing. I guess people forgot about Ice T and his rock band Body Count..and their dope song Cop Killer LOL 

We just have to remind people nothing could be further from the truth. Hip Hop artists merging with rock has been going on from day one.

And when I say ‘day one’ I mean years before Run DMC hooked up with Aerosmith  to do a remake of  ‘Walk This Way’. In fact one of the reasons why Run DMC even agreed to help save the careers of Aerosmith who ironicly were flioundering at that time was because  the drum beat to that song had long been used as a popular break beat back in Hip Hop’s pioneering days. 

I recall Jam Master Jay talking about how the original versions of the remake had a much harder hip hop feel. It was more percussion based with the guitar riffs being used to add flavor.  At the time the trio did the song Jay wanted to take it back to the early days of Hip Hop and have it reflected in the song. This meant that Aerosmith’s role would’ve been limited.  It would’ve been all about the drums. 

I don’t know if it was good thing or not, but the powers that be intervened and pushed to make Walk this Way more of a rock song and the rest is history. Hip Hop officlally meets Rock-N-Roll… Well that’s the MTV version of the Hip Hop history..

Hip Hop and Rock as I said goes way back and before Run DMC teamed up with Aerosmith there was stretch of time where the early pioneers were hooking up with Punk Rockers and New Wave artists.  The most visible examples was Afrika Bambaataa teaming up with Johnny Rotten to do the classic song World Destruction. The collab clearly reflected boths artists taste and love for music.  The other classic was Blondie doing the song Rapture where they shout out Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy.  Lead singer Debbie Harry herself does the rap and in the video she features graf artists Freddy, Lee Quiones and Jean-Michael Basquiat .  What was interesting about this chart topping song was the NY Daily News had an article where they basically credited Blondie for inventing rap. I was dumfounded.

Fortunately Debby Harry was one of those people who didn’t try to exploit the situation as she often noted Rapture was her way of paying tribute to the block parties she and others used to attend up in the Bronx. She was inspired by Hip Hop and many within Hip Hop were inspired by New Wave Punk scene.  This was reflected in songs like ‘Punk Rock Rap’ by the Cold Crush Brothers or  “Genius Rap’ by Dr Jeckyl & Mr Hyde’  which borrowed from Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius Of Love’ which was huge hit amongst early Hip Hoppers.

During the pioneering era all sorts of Rrck songs ranging from  Queen‘s Another One Bites the Dust to Billy Squiers ‘Big Beat’ to  Liquid Liquid’s Caravan were all used as break beats. If it had a funky percussion section it got used.  So this notion of  rock and rap is nothing new.  Boots and Tom merrelo are just a continuum in a long line of folks who make good music pushing the envelop and exploring new ways to take things a higher level.

-Davey D-

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