Sunday, November 7, 2010

Music: The Anthology of Rap

This is not your average music article. With an unusual spin, NPR wrote "Listening To Rap For The First Time, With A Book Critic." Next week, Yale University Press will publish a book called The Anthology of Rap, its pages containing the lyrics to more than 300 rap songs written and recorded between 1978 and this year — but they don't contain any of the music. No voices. No melodies. No bass lines. Just text. Sam Anderson, New York Magazine's book critic, reviewed the Anthology — all 788 pages — but he did so without ever having heard more than a couple of the songs. So NPR sent Anderson an email along with a handful of YouTube links — demonstrations not only of great rap lyricism, but also illustrations of the gulf between written word and flow. The next day, they chatted online about what he heard.


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