Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Is Bob Dylan Hip-Hopís Godfather? His Ties to Beasties, Roots, More
Rolling Stone ^ | 3/30/10, 12:06 pm EST | topher R. Weingarten

Posted on 04/01/2010 2:09:14 PM PDT by a fool in paradise

Recently, a YouTube made the rounds of Bob Dylan raspily rapping his way through a solid chunk of LL Cool J’s classic “Mama Said Knock You Out.” The Internet had good time with “LOL” and “WTF” responses, but Dylan’s symbiotic relationship with hip-hop actually runs fairly deep. Hip-hop and Dylan were both gestated in New York, distrust the government, aren’t fond of using their birth names, and have a pretty evocative way with words. And although Dylan recently told Street Newspaper that he doesn’t really listen to rap all that much, he did admit, “I love rhyming for rhyming sake. I think that’s an incredible art form.”

Let’s take a look back at the many times their paths have crossed:

1965: Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

Is this the very first rap song ever? Dylan’s rollicking “Subterranean Homesick Blues” predates hip-hop’s labyrinthine rhyme schemes, anti-authority philosophy, pop-culture obsessions and street-level turns-of-slang; distilling bohemian counterculture, war paranoia and the ongoing civil rights struggle into a two-minute barrage of fascinating wordplay. At once political and pop, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was Dylan’s first Top 40 single.

1986: Kurtis Blow featuring Bob Dylan, “Street Rock”

After Dylan borrowed a couple of Blow’s backup singers for a mid-’80s record, he returned the favor by donating an intro to the rapper’s headbanging “Street Rock,” the opening track to the 1986 album Kingdom Blow. Blow and his bodyguard showed up at Dylan’s Malibu home, and Bob dropped science in one take. In Chronicles, Volume 1, Dylan admits it was in fact Blow who turned him on to rap music, and had since become a fan of Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, Ice T and N.W.A. “These guys weren’t standing around bullshitting,” said Dylan. “They were beating drums, tearing it up, hurling horses over cliffs. They were all poets and knew what was going on”

1987: Public Enemy, Yo! Bum Rush the Show

Due to his firebrand attitude and endlessly dissectable lyrics, Def Jam publicists pitch Chuck D to the editors of rock magazines as “the new Bob Dylan.”

1989: Beastie Boys, “Johnny Ryall” 1992: Beastie Boys, “Finger Lickin’ Good”

Quoth Mike D on Dylan: “He’s one of the first b-boys, if not the first. What more to say?” The ultimate arbiters of New York boho cool, the snotty beat poets in the Beasties were naturally drawn to Dylan. Their landmark Paul’s Boutique borrows a line from Dylan’s protest-of-protests “Maggie’s Farm” on their lovable bum tale “Johnny Ryall.” And on “3-Minute Rule,” MCA even drops his own unique props: “I’m just chillin’, like Bob Dylan.” Three years later, the boys would sample Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” for their “Finger Lickin’ Good” — a clearance that would ultimately cost them $700. Mike D told Boston Rock, “He asked for $2,000. I thought it was kind of fly that he asked for $2,000 and I bartered Bob Dylan down. That’s my proudest sampling deal.” Their upcoming Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 is set to feature another sample of Dylan, a spoken word bit where he talked about the Boys on his satellite radio show.

1997: Wyclef Jean, “Gone ‘Til November”

The rapper pulls out the line, “I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door, like I’m Bob Dylan,” and the next thing you know, Bob is pulling a quick but memorable cameo in the video at the 2:30 mark.

1999: Black Thought, Common, Mos Def, Dice Raw, Flo Brown, the Jazzyfatnastees and the Roots, “Hurricane”

This massive posse cut from the movie of the same name details the racial profiling and imprisonment of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter — much like the 1975 Bob Dylan song of the same name.

2006: Bob Dylan, “Mama Said Knock You Out”

In the second episode of his Sirius Satellite Radio program, Theme Time Radio Hour, Dylan dropped a gravelly rendition of the LL Cool J classic. Naturally, LL Cool J was totally honored, and told TMZ, “That blows me away… What he needs to do is call me and let’s do it together. I encourage everyone to get out there and buy Bob Dylan’s records”

2008: Evidence featuring Fashawn, “The Far Left”

In the video for “The Far Left,” Dilated Peoples MC Evidence dropped a loving tribute to D.A. Pennebaker’s iconic clip for “Subterranean Homesick Blues” with Dylan’s cue cards updated to feature some more modern, graffiti-influenced scrawl.

2009: Bob Dylan featuring Will.i.am, “Forever Young (Continued)”

Bobby D and the Black Eyed Pea teamed up for a remix to his 1974 single “Forever Young.” It was used in a Pepsi commercial that aired during the 2009 Super Bowl. Its “the more things change, the more things stay the same” message was more saccharine than a dumptruck full of diet soda.

2009: Kid Cudi, “Highs N Lows”

The soul-bearing rapper created a melancholy mood by rapping over Dylan’s 1969 classic “Lay Lady Lay” on this mixtape staple.

2009: Juelz Santana featuring YelaWolf, “Mixin’ Up The Medicine”

Upstart Alabama MC YelaWolf is already an effortless blend of hip-hop, country and rock, the perfect guy to flip the the opening line of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” on the chorus of this Juelz Santana single. Dylan’s line “Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine/I’m on the pavement thinking about the government,” was already perfectly hip-hop couplet that was just sitting there, begging to be recontextualized.


TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment; Society
KEYWORDS: bobdylan; countrymusic; hiphop; rap
No more than Johnny Cash, Jimmy "Hot Rod Race" Dolan, Slim Galliard, Tex "Smoke That Cigarette" Williams, Hank Snow (with "I've Been Everywhere")...
1 posted on 04/01/2010 2:09:14 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

You can make the case that all those “non-singing singers”, like Dylan and Cash and Lou Reed are the godfathers of hip-hop. It’s a style that’s been around for a long time, folks figured out that just because you can’t carry a tune doesn’t mean you can’t be a singer.


2 posted on 04/01/2010 2:12:06 PM PDT by discostu (wanted: brick, must be thick and well kept)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

Dolan certainly could be the Godfather of the grunge look.


3 posted on 04/01/2010 2:12:53 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
1965: Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” - Is this the very first rap song ever?

Blowfly (Clarence Reid) had "Rap Dirty" back in 1965.

Certainly it's well underway by the time Johnny Otis records an adults only album as "Snatch and the Poontangs" with full on raps like "Big John Jeeter".

4 posted on 04/01/2010 2:13:53 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 537cant be wrong; Aeronaut; bassmaner; Bella_Bru; Big Guy and Rusty 99; Brian Allen; cgk; ...

Bob DyDyDylan ping


5 posted on 04/01/2010 2:15:08 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
No more than Johnny Cash, Jimmy "Hot Rod Race" Dolan, Slim Galliard, Tex "Smoke That Cigarette" Williams, Hank Snow (with "I've Been Everywhere

That is very good company in my opinion . Bob Dylan is also helpful serving as the poster child for "Don't hit women , even when they deserve it".


6 posted on 04/01/2010 2:19:08 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it , freedom has a flavor the protected will never know F Trp 8th Cav)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Geeze...he can't need the money.All that Maui Wowie must be catching up to him.
7 posted on 04/01/2010 2:28:30 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

All music is derivative - always has been and always will be. Yet people find common threads and act like they’ve discovered the secret of the universe.


8 posted on 04/01/2010 2:31:46 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Photobucket
9 posted on 04/01/2010 2:40:31 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huskrrrr
Say what you will about Dylan's singing style but no sane person can challenge his ability to write.
10 posted on 04/01/2010 2:42:48 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

Say what you will about Dylan’s singing style but no sane person can challenge his ability to write.

Dylan admitted a few years ago in an interview that even he doesn’t understand the meaning of some of his lyrics. To each his own....certainly Dylan is more talented than 90% of writers today.


11 posted on 04/01/2010 2:47:02 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Huskrrrr
Dylan admitted a few years ago in an interview that even he doesn’t understand the meaning of some of his lyrics.

Sometimes one just enjoys letting his/her imagination "soar".Listen carefully to what is,IMO,his finest composition..."Mr Tambourine Man".

12 posted on 04/01/2010 2:50:23 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Woody Guthrie - Talking Dustbowl Blues

Nuff said.

13 posted on 04/01/2010 2:52:08 PM PDT by Stentor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

Point taken. I get the same feeling listening to Hendrix sing “The wind cries Mary.”


14 posted on 04/01/2010 2:55:13 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: pissant

Ping....

B^)


15 posted on 04/01/2010 3:00:00 PM PDT by The SISU kid (I feel really homesick all the time & so do all the other aliens.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: discostu
Folks figured out that just because you can’t carry a tune doesn’t mean you can’t be a singer. millionaire.
16 posted on 04/01/2010 3:16:54 PM PDT by library user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

There was an interview with Dylan somewhere when he said something like “Rap music makes me angry enough to wanna kill someone.”


17 posted on 04/01/2010 3:17:01 PM PDT by PaleoBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The SISU kid

Hey SISU, long time no see. Are we going to boot some of the socialist out of office here in the Evergreen State this time?


18 posted on 04/01/2010 3:22:01 PM PDT by pissant (THE Conservative party: www.falconparty.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

Maybe we should refer to the ancient Finnish bards.

Just sayin’.


19 posted on 04/01/2010 3:44:38 PM PDT by unspun (PRAY & WORK FOR FREEDOM - investigatingobama.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

I saw the Beastie Boys play with Dylan At a UMass Spring Fling concert around 1990.
It was an awesome day.


20 posted on 04/01/2010 4:32:40 PM PDT by mowowie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative; Revolting cat!
Listen carefully to what is,IMO,his finest composition..."Mr Tambourine Man".

Sung by the ever talented William Shatner...

21 posted on 04/02/2010 7:34:34 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (VP Biden on Obamacare's passage: "This is a big f-ing deal". grumpygresh: "Repeal the f-ing deal")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Sung by the ever talented William Shatner...

Hey,c'mon...that's not fair! But seriously...as done by Dylan himself...or by the Byrds...or,my favorite version,by Judy Collins.

22 posted on 04/02/2010 7:49:33 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Host The Beer Summit-->Win The Nobel Peace Prize!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
No more than these guys, either.

; )

23 posted on 04/02/2010 8:41:23 AM PDT by GSWarrior
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise


24 posted on 04/02/2010 8:42:05 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

25 posted on 04/02/2010 8:45:15 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise
Hey, Wink was a rapper!


26 posted on 04/02/2010 8:46:55 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson