Ancestors of Rap

by Various Artists

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Lute FP
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Lute FP There are two genres I don’t do- Rap, and modern Country. There are, of course, exceptions, but this is so far off the beaten path I don’t know that it even qualifies as an exception.

The name says it all- this is 60s and 70s funk, R&B, whatever you want to call it- but with a filter that catches the early elements of rap, or “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics” as the label says.

This shit is glorious.
lieven verstraete
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lieven verstraete my God! this is so deep! get it folks! Favorite track: Hanging Out.
Jesse Brown
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Jesse Brown Tobias Kirmeyer the guy behind Tramp Records always puts out fine compilations and this one is no exception. Surprisingly good sounding raps and rhymes before Sugar Hill Gang put their stuff on wax.
Mystery Train
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Mystery Train Obscure 70's funk and R&B cuts, all killer no filler (except the X-rated Sesame Street ABC's....). Fans of the Daptone sound should check this out. Favorite track: Butterballs Pt.1.


Although Tramp Records is known worldwide for its expertise in soul, funk and jazz from the 1960s and 70s, label boss Tobias Kirmayer always had a deep connection to hip hop and rap music. His dream to compile prototype rap songs has existed for quite some time. In the search of quality songs, Kirmayer realized that it takes more than to simply scratch the surface. The challenge was to locate enough proper material to meet the criteria to be called prototype rap. The answer is Ancestors of Rap.

The origins of rapping (referring to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics") go way back in history. Blues music, rooted in the work songs and spirituals of slavery, was first expressed by blacks in the Mississippi Delta region around the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. Historians have argued that the blues were being rapped as early as the 1920s. By the late 1960s spoken word jazz poetry artists like Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets, to name two, became predecessors of rapping.

This compilation unites the few existing soul and funk tracks from the late 1960s to early 70s that feature lyrics that are rhymed in rhythm. Alongside the famous representatives of this genre were a handful of lesser-known musicians who gave notable contributions. One of the most expressive examples is Who Got The Number by comedian Pigmeat Markham. Similar in style are Billy Dee & Sugarbear. No matter what track you select, James West, Bobby & Deborreh Williams or one of the big names like James Brown or Blowfly, you can be assured of the sheer quality and relevance of each song.

And this is it. A thunderous selection of so far mostly unknown prototype rap songs, recorded way before hip hop actually got its start in 1979. The intense research combined with the first-class quality of each song makes it clear that there won't be a Volume 2. Throw your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don't care - you are about to experience in depth the real Ancestors of Rap.

The 12-page CD-booklet contains detailed liner notes and scans of all labels. The deluxe double-gatefold LP contains the same information as the CD-booklet and is limited to 1000 copies.


released October 5, 2012


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Tramp Rec. Germany

Tramp Records is one of Germany's tiniest but funkiest record labels. We release new bands, but also re-issue quality (not necessarily rare) funk, soul, jazz, folk and afro beat too.

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