by Roni Sarig
Hip-hop may have emerged from the Bronx but, as Roni Sarig convincingly argues in THIRD COAST, rap music was born long before – and in the South.
THIRD COAST fully explores the history of rap as it emerged out of the South through many crosscurrents. Sarig goes way back to the oral tradition of slaves in the South, field hollers, the blues and gospel, and connects the dots to early 20th century African American radio announcers who rhymed, testified and signified. Hosts like Jocko Henderson, Daddy-O and Poppa Stoppa actually spoke in rhyme, and their broadcasts reached way down into the Caribbean, “influencing Jamaica’s earliest toasters such as U-Roy and Sir Lord Comic to perform their rhythmic rhymes over reggae dubs.” It would be these toasters, then, who would influence and inspire the young Jamaican on his way to New York: Kool DJ Herc, aka the father of hip-hop. Sarig also notes the influence of musicians, poets, comedians and celebrities with roots in the South who continued with the toasting, boasting, signifying and rhyming: Rudy Ray Moore, Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, Muhammad Ali, the Last Poets, the Watts Prophets, Gil Scott-Heron and H. Rap Brown.