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01 June 2021

Black Music Month Begins With ‘From Doo-Wop To Hip-Hop’ Video

The Drifters
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To kick off Black Music Month, Rhino Records has released From Doo-Wop To Hip-Hop: A Journey From The American Streets To The Top of the Charts, a video essay joining the musical dots between pivotal songs in Black American musical history to demonstrate how music has evolved, highlighting the connection between today’s popular genres and its forebears. The video features songs from Ray Charles, Zapp & Roger, Otis Redding, Ben E King, The Chords, Charles Wright, Roberta Flack, Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, GrandMaster Flash & The Furious Five, and more.

Doo-wop’s continued influence on Black American music is celebrated in three new reissues of classic albums from Rhino – The Drifters’ Golden Hits, Zapp & Roger’s All The Greatest Hits, and Lupe Fiasco’s 2006 debut album, Food & Liquor.

Doo-wop music was popularized by African American youths in the east coast cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, moving through the steel factories of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati heading west sweeping through the Windy City, Chicago, before traveling the airwaves and reaching the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles, California. Hip-hop took a similar trajectory by amplifying the rhythmic voices of Black youth. This art form originated in New York City and ignited a firestorm of creativity that took the world by storm in the late 70s and Early 80s, and continues to dominate popular music today.

The Drifters’ melodic harmonies burst on to the music scene in the 50s, starting in barbershops and street corners before dominating the charts. Over the next decade the group had created numerous hits and multiple No 1’s on the Billboard charts. Their two iconic hits, Under The Boardwalk and This Magic Moment, cemented their legacy and place in music history by being honoured with their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Doo-wop evolved into soul and funk, eventually landing on hip-hop’s inclusion of the earlier styles to create something wholly original. For example, legendary group, Zapp & Roger’s mega-hit, More Bounce To The Ounce, has been sampled over 300 times since its release in 1980.

And the re-release of Lupe Fiasco’s critically acclaimed Food & Liquor album showcases the harmonic influences of Doo Wop throughout Daydreamin’ ft Jill Scott, which won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2008. This album will remind fans of Lupe’s clever, witty, and intelligent wordplay that solidified him as one of Hip Hop’s greatest lyricist and most important voices.

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