Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who are the five greatest rappers of all time? Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan... and Dylan

"Hurricane" - The Roots ft. Mos def, Common

"Hurricane" - Bob Dylan

Ivan from over at Hip Hop Is Read and I were having a conversation this afternoon about the pure awesomeness that is Bob Dylan when the question of Hip-Hop sampling of Dylan came up. He knocked me on to this track off the Soundtrack to the movie Hurricane (with Denzel). It's more or less, intentionally or unintentionally, a remake of Dylan's original. Considering that Dylan is the greatest songwriter to ever put pen to page, it is an unfair comparison, but Black Thought and co. (especially Mos) hold their own.

Bonus: Spot the Dylan Cameo in Clef's "Gone till November" Video
(It won't let me embed for some reason)


Ivan said...


Jason@PSB said...

I've sampled Dylan before... and the track will be on the next Rhyme Commission album.

goon said...

Jason, I can't wait to hear that track. When it's ready, hit me up with it and I'll do a post on it.

James Brittan said...

thanks for bringing dylan up when discussing rap and the history of rap

i have long arguedto buddies that the first two rap songs in history are "It's Alright Ma" and "Subt. Homesick Blues".

I get strange looks but i stick by my theory...the rythmic and alliterative devices that dylan incorporates in these two songs are precursors to rap.

thanks for sampling dylan but also remember that he has some pretty straight forward "rap" songs out there

Anonymous said...

Dylan's original rap is "Subterranean Homesick Blues". If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'. Check it out.

wrybred said...

First of all, though I suppose the timing of Dylan's raps are intriguing, there were many before them. It reminds me of an old Disney clip that had neanderthals speaking " ooh aah raa bumg" over or to drum beats. It is well documented that rap comes from black origins, perhaps the very place where Dylan got it from. Perhaps his county boy idols did the same. Either way, Dylan's raps are by no means stylistically superlative, nor influential. The hurricane rap tribute was certainly just that; Dylan's song was a protest important to the issue, so to pay homage, especially due to his pseudo rap style was ony fitting. I loved Route 61 by Dylan - especially the first verse. But if Dylans an original O.G. then so is Shakespeare.

wrybred said...

further, to say all of "Black Thought" can not compare to Dylan, especially considering it is a musical genre of great complexity and beauty, is not only myopic, it's straight up racist drivel. As a rapper, Dylan is meagerly subpar at best, though as a poet he is sublime at times, and therefor it saves him. It was, however, funny to hear white Dylan fans talkin' their brand of crazy on here. Entertainment gauranteed. Thanks

wrybred said...

Did I saw route 61? I meant Highway 61.
For those of you that actually like rap music, check out I think I'm Dying, by lil wayne. It's crazy in every sense of the word, and breaks a lot of boundaries musically, as far as I'm concerned.

marcj said...

Thanks for sharing the article. I want to know that these songs were sung by greatest rappers of all time. I did not hear some of the songs from your list. Please inform me names of rappers.