Course Fabric

Hosted by Michael Jarrett

“Doing what he can to make theory more popular”


On Hip-Hop, A Rhapsody (Full Text)

Listen to the show (mp3@160k)





On Hip-Hop: A Rhapsody (Tracks)



My Name Is, Part 1 (Instrumental--Snippet)

My Name Is, Part 1 (CD-Single)  

MCA International  

Or else perhaps he may invent / A better than the poet meant  

Lou Rawls  

Street Corner Hustler Blues  


Blue Note  

In a word, Gregory Ulmer has recommended heuretics  

Grandmaster Flash  

The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel  

The Sugar Hill Records Story  


Before I practice heuretics to write about rap

Malcolm McLaren  

Zulu Nation Party  

Buffalo Gals Back to Skool  

EMI International  

One could also employ scripture as a means of invention  

Film Promo  

Nigger Lover (promo)  

Super Bad Super Black--Can Ya'll Dig That

Black Arts  

Hundreds of years ago, the term "heuretics" dropped out of usage  

Freelance Hellraiser--Destiny's Child vs Nirvana  

Smells Like Booty  

The Best Bootlegs In The World Ever  

no label

As a mild corrective  



BEHIND THE DJ: Notorious B.I.G.

Big Poppa (Instrumental)  

Big Poppa (CD-Single)  

Bad Boy  

It is heuretics, then--interpretation pushed around  

The Tom Tom Club  

Wordy Rappinghood  

The Tom Tom Club  


Back in the day  

The Prophet Omega  

Friends Seen and Unseen  

Al Kooper Tapes  

no label  

Go back far enough, and none of our kinfolk wrote

Biz Markie  

Alone Again  

originally on I Need a Haircut  

Cold Chillin  

In Greece, where alphabetic writing developed  

The Beastie Boys  

Rhymin & Stealin  

Licensed To Ill

Def Jam/Columbia  

Tale-stitching bards were the MCs of the ancient world  

DJ Steinski & Mass Media  

The Motorcade Sped On

The Motorcade Sped On  

Tommy Boy  

Archilochus and Aithirne the Importunate are still notorious  

Rudy Ray Moore

The Human Tornado  

Super Bad Super Black--Can Ya'll Dig That  

Black Arts  

And then, there is Aithirne  



BEHIND THE DJ: Cypress Hill  

Illusions (Instrumental)  

Illusions (CD-Single)  


"Art," to cite an explanation coined by Wyndham Lewis  

Tom Ellis  

Signifying Monkey  

Get Your Ass In The Water And Swim Like Me!  


By the beginning of the 18th century in Europe  

Schoolly D

Signifying Rapper  

Smoke Some Kill  


Rhapsody referred to a medley, a hodgepodge, or a farrago  

Greg Tate  

What Is Hip Hop

Flippin' The Script: Rap Meets Poetry  

Mouth Almighty/Mercury  

All of these meanings and more play out in a poem  

Wu-Tang Clan  

Gravel Pit (Instrumental)  

Gravel Pit (CD-Single)  

Phantom Sound & Visi  

Contemporary poetry, as Swift saw it, was in a terrible state


Talkin' All That Jazz  

In Full Gear  

Tommy Boy  

By the end of the 18th century, Swift's world had essentially vanished  

DJ Shadow  

Stem (Cops 'n' Robbers Mix)  

Endtroducing (Deluxe Edition)k


The Romantic Movement "effectively obliterated" rhapsody  



BEHIND THE DJ: Princess Superstar/Prince Paul  

I Hope I Sell a Lot of Records at Christmas Time  

I Hope I Sell a Lot of Records at Christmas Time (CD-Single)  

Corrupt Conglomerate  

(See Book IV of Gulliver's Travels)  

Kurtis Blow

The Breaks  

Hip-Ol' Skool  


The modernist infatuation with staged savagery  

Eric B. & Rakim  

I Know You Got Soul  

Paid In Full: The Platinum Edition


Cultural guardians ... might rightly fear rhapsody as linguistic inflation  

Film Promo  

Trick Baby  

Super Bad Super Black--Can Ya'll Dig That  

Black Arts  

There is, however, a more coherent and compelling way

Soulwax (Salt-n-Peppa vs The Stooges)  

Push It/No Fun

The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever  

no label  

We now live in an age that Walter Ong calls "secondary orality"  

Loleatta Holliway  

Dreamin' (Acappella)  

Monica's Feelin' Bitchy  

no label  

Consider the case of Sunnyland Slim  

Roxanne Shante  

Brothers Ain't Shit  

Roxanne Shante's Greatest Hits

Cold Chillin'  

A reasonable examination of this tune might focus on Sunnyland Slim's rage  

Laura Lee  

Rip Off  

Monica's Feelin' Bitchy  

no label  

"Johnson Machine Gun" was the result of a contractual arrangement  

Cassius Clay  

Round 3: Do You Have To Ask?  

I Am The Greatest!


Electronic culture ... gives everybody the chance to vent their spleen  

L.L. Cool J

Mama Said Knock You Out  

Mama Said Knock You Out  

Def Jam/Columbia  

Bile is a commodity easily and regularly monetized  



BEHIND THE DJ: Outkast  

Wheelz of Steel (Instrumental)  

Wheelz of Steel (CD-Single)  

La Face  

Sunnyland Slim and the Chess brothers settled on the generic "little girl"  

Sonny Valerio (Cliff Gorman)  

Cold Lampin' With Flavor  


Republic Studios  

Almost 30 years have passed since Kool Herc  


Black Steel  



More than 20 years have passed since Grandmaster Flash  

Public Enemy

Fight The Power  

Fear Of A Black Planet  

Def Jam/Columbia  


H. Rap Brown  

Violence Is as American as Cherry Pie  

Black Power--Music of a Revolution

Shout Factory  

Rhapsody stands as an alternative  

Sekou Sundiata

Space: A Monologue  

The Blue Oneness Of Dreams  

Mouth Almighty/Mercury  

Rap deviates from this venerated tradition by validating rupture  


Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)  

Vol. 2 ...Hard Knock Life  


Parallels between the mnemonic formulas of epic poetry and the methods of contemporary MCs  




Breathe and Stop (Instrumental)  

Breathe and Stop (CD-Single)  

BMG International  

Put historically, in the 20th century music-related technologies  

Film Promo  

Coffy (promo)  

Super Bad Super Black--Can Ya'll Dig That  

Black Arts

Hip-hop imagines a reversal of this picture  

Ol' Dirty Bastard  

Got Your Money (featuring Kelis)  

The Definitive Ol' Dirty Bastard Story  


Like punk, hip-hop is a DIY art form  


Are You That Somebody, Part 1 (Instrumental)  

Are You That Somebody, Part 1 (CD-Single)  

WEA International  

Chances are  

Gang Starr  

DJ Premier In Deep Concentration  

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Jcor Entertainment  

Unlike punk, hip-hop does not inherit or follow an Oedipal script  



Greatest Hits  


Take the example of N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton

DJ Steinski  


Nothing To Fear--A Rough Mix  

no label  

But that theory is naïve  

BONUS TRACK: Go Home Productions  

Girl Wants (To Say Goodbye to Rock and Roll)-- Christina's "What A Girl Wants" vs The Velvet Underground's "Rock And Roll"  

no album  

Go Home Productions

Works Cited