The Dirty Dozens: From Mississippi Blues to Gangsta Rap
Please join us at The Library of Vinyl Experience for a Dirty Dozens talk/listening session with Elijah Wald.
8-10 p.m. Sunday, June 24. (doors at 7:30)
613 Cambridge, St. Cambridge, MA 02141
DJ Pace will provide a mix of related music from his (and possibly Elijah's) collection before and after the talk. Note that this is an NC-17 event.
Snacks and beverages will be available but space is limited to 30 people so tell your friends now!
"This book is sexy... and poignant, smart and a piece of history."
"This impeccably researched study of the classic black insult game may be the funniest work of serious scholarship ever published."
--Terry Teachout, Artsjournal
" The Dozens are in very good hands here. Wald gives them the detailed, broad, and serious consideration they have long deserved."
--Tricia Rose, author of Black Noise and The Hip Hop Wars
A century before gangsta rappers took dirty rhyming to the top of the charts, Mississippi barrelhouse pianists were singing lyrics as hardcore as anything in the rap canon. In fact, they were singing some of the same lyricsthe nasty insult rhymes known as "the dozens." A form of verbal dueling popular in rural fields and on urban streets, the dozens is one of the basic building blocks of African American vernacular virtuosity, and has overlapped into pop songs, comedy routines, instrumental cutting sessions, and rap freestyle battles.
Tracing back to African ritual poetry, the dozens is part of a vast tradition of unashamedly sexual verse that consistently flourished in African diaspora communities but rarely surfaced on record or in print, except in heavily censored or bowdlerized versions. Some popular rhymes have endured in oral culture since the nineteenth century, turning up in the work of artists as disparate as Jelly Roll Morton, Zora Neale Hurston, George Carlin, and Flavor Flav.
Elijah Wald is a musician and music historian whose other books include "Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues," "How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music," and "Narcocorrido: A Journey Into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas."
Library of Vinyl Experience @ The Chicken Loft (View)
613 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|