Not just Yo’ Mama but Rap’s Mama: The Dozens, African American Culture and the Origins of Battle Rap
The most famous Dozens recording is the 1938 recording performed by Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, the self-proclaimed inventor of Jazz music. This concept of taking an African-American oral tradition and putting it to music is a time honored tradition that continues until this very day. The utilization of rhyming mechanisms and swift off the cuff lyrics needed during bouts of The Dozens was easily transferred into the linguistic styles utilized by MC’s during rap battles in the early days of the Hip-Hop era. This makes it clear then that The Dozens, as Elijah Wald writes, is “Rap’s Mama”.
60 Seconds With Alvin Smith
What profession other than academia would you like to attempt?
“Been there, done that. I was a police detective for 25 years in another life. Researching history is a lot like detective work with less danger involved… and no late nights.”
Why High School Teachers should teach History through and beyond Narrative
“A postmodernist historian would hold that history, and historiography, cannot be simply quantified and determined as one particular narrative with one particular meaning. The problem with this is that non-narrative history typically represents the larger group – the cohort or mass actor. By contrast, a narrative approach to history-telling is more likely to focus on the individual, a character or narrator who reveals their personal experiences and perhaps their emotional responses to historical events and dilemmas. Students of history can commonly relate more easily to the individual, with whom they may be able to identify common experiences or emotions.”