Before Rapper’s Delight, there was Gospel Rap… Or?
The Jubalaires and Pigmeat Markham could be the missing links to HipHop and rap history. At least, definitely a strong influence.
A few Gospel (rap) vocal groups were years ahead of their time and they were part of a new form of music, that wasn’t further developed until decades later.
But, there was also poetry recitation with musical backdrops in Jamaica, Ska for example.
Are these styles of rhyming the foundations of rap?
The Sugarhill Gang got their flow for Rapper’s Delight from this song of the Jubilaires rapping in the 40s. Rap always been a part of black Americans culture, way before the HipHop era. Where do you think HipHop came from? Sugarhill Gang stole their flow directly from Grandmaster Caz. Big Hank was doorman at a club where Caz rapped. He got “discovered” while reciting lines from a mix tape; said they were his. But rap did start earlier with stuff like this. The Jubalaires and Pigmeat Markham.
Acknowledged as the first ‘rap’ song.
Here’s what Wikipedia writes about it:
“James Brown is credited for inventing Funk music in the middle ’60s. The characteristic Funk drum beat is the most common rhythm used for rap music. Two of the earliest recordings which have a Funk beat and lyrics which are rhymed in rhythm over this type of beat were released by comedian Pigmeat Markham, ‘Here Comes the Judge’ and in 1969 another song about running numbers called ‘Who Got The Number?’.”
Golden Gate (Jubilee) Quartet
Another American vocal group, with the “Gospel rap” feeling: the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet.
More: From Gospel rap to proto-rap?
New York, N.Y (1959) by George Russell has some proto-rap by Jon Hendricks on it. It could also be classified as Beat poetry. Hendricks was a great jazz singer.