Title: At the Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines from the Studio, 1894-1926
Formats: CD, Digital
Release date: March 13, 2020
Those who have read Tim Brooks’ new book, The Blackface Minstrel Show in Mass Media: 20th Century Performances on Radio, Records, Film and Television, will no doubt be interested in this new release from Archeophone Records. The two disc set, At the Minstrel Show, features 51 selections recorded in the studio from 1894-1926 and represents the first compilation to deal authoritatively with the minstrel genre as a whole. While Brooks discussed most of these recordings at length in his book, he also penned an extensive essay and track-by-track liner notes in the 56-page illustrated booklet accompanying At the Minstrel Show. Before delving further into the content, it should be noted that some of the performances on this set contain racially derogatory language. From a scholarly perspective, however, these recordings provide the earliest aural documentation for those studying the genre.
Title: Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop
Author: Adam Bradley
The voice of hip-hop is ringing in America, a timbre of universal discontentment that passionately depicts an often-ignored American existence. After years of evolutionary progress, it is an art form appreciated not only as a powerful social force, but also as a creative outlet with incredible musical integrity and poetic genius.
In the recently released Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip-Hop, Adam Bradley explores the lyrical mastery of rappers and the awesomely turbulent ride rap lyrics take. Split into two parts, the book discusses rhythm, rhyme, and wordplay (part one) and style, storytelling, and signifying (part two). Often quoting his favorite rappers and including examples of poetic devices used, his points are as enlightening as they are entertaining. With a Ph.D. in English from Harvard, Bradley discusses everything from East/West coast tension to the impact of Bob Dylan on rhymes and rhythm. From controversial ghostwriting to the pioneering scratches of Grandmaster Flash, the book hits all the right places for hip-hop fans and poetry lovers alike.
Posted by Rachel Weidner