Tuesday, July 30, 2013


DJZigZag has turned all of us here at WAGRadio on to two great summer tomes.
"The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama": has a title that calls out for readers.  The wonderful pay-off is that is delivers 20 times over.  The Dozens is the street cool verbal dueling persued from Harlem to Compton and everywhere in between.  Writer Elijah Wald persues the hard-to-find and lost-in-time annuls of its history.  They're lost cuz of the dirty, low-downness of its poetic self.  Always changed by researchers when finally written down, so as to not offend, this wonderful New World African verbosity can't be found in no book - especially when the early years are discussed.  In today's world there's a laxity unparalleled in history - witness this book's unexpurgated pages).  Today everything and all is openly said & talked about [current WAGRadio hits "Do Me" - K. Roosevelt and "No Love" by Future are two examples] but back in the 1800's and 1900's writers couldn't transfer The Dozens verbatim to respectable reviews of the day.

WAGRadio personality Sunny 'Sweet Daddy Fonk' reminds us that one of his favourite choons from the late 1950's - Bo Diddley's "Say Man" (Checker #931) - was in fact Dozens-based.
Grandmamas & Grandpapas will remember this un-rhymed discourse between Mr. Diddley and the band's percussionist Jerome Green;
Diddley:  "I was walkin' down the street with your girl."
Green: "Yeah?"
Diddley: "I took her home.  For a drink, y'know."
Green:  "You took her home?"
Diddley:  "Yeah.  Just for a drink."
Green:  "Oh."
Diddley:  "But that chick looked so ugly, she had to sneak up on a glass to get a drink a' water!"
Green:  "You got the nerve to call somebody ugly. Why, you so ugly 'til the stork that brought you in the world oughta be arrested."
Diddley:  "That's all right.  My mama didn't have to put a sheet over my head so sleep could slip up on me."


So if ya' didn't know it before - now ya' know - 'The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama" is one fine historic and ribald book of knowledge - great fo' yo' mama's summah reading . . .  ha ha . . . true dat!

The Zagster also tells us he's just starting to read; "Fever: Little Willie John - A Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul" by Susan Whitall.

In the book's forward we read these words about Little Willie John by Stevie Wonder, "You hear his influence in lots of people who sing today.  It's impossible for people to talk about Rhythm 'n' Blues and talk about singers and not mention the voice and talent of Little Willie John as being one of those great people.  You can hear (him) when you hear Usher."
More on this unexpected (so many years after his death) contemporary book 'bout one of our New World African Musical heroes.

WAGRadio Management

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