Dagdha's Blog

QotD XXXVII

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on May 11, 2012

“First of all, a lot of the gangsta rap is commercial crap, a commercialization of the shock element. It has nothing to do with anything anybody really thinks. On the other hand the tradition of rap goes back to a very ancient source in the African warriors boasts that migrated through America and were transformed into the various Signifying Monkey rhymes, branching and styling out into the street corners, like contests of bards, where hyperbole, imagination and insults were used as humorous gambits.

So you insult each other and boast and whoever gets angry loses the game. It seems to me White critics have lost the game, because they didn’t realize the rules of the traditional boasts and toasts.

The Signifying Monkey is a very old African American tradition which has reached its prominence with its rhythms in the last decade or two. It’s been on the street for a long time to the extent that it expresses political dissent and personal self empowerment. It’s quite extraordinary and beautiful.”

Allen Ginsberg

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