I've invited Ed Legge to start a blog reacting to the podcast, Nate.
Hip-Hop’s creation story is the topic this week on “Let It Roll,” as Nate and his YouTube talk show cohorts Alexei Auld and Eugene S. Robinson kick off an eight-episode podcast miniseries examining “Hip-Hop Evolution,” the Netflix documentary series that ran from 2016 to 2020.
The dynamic trio, who join forces on the current-issues show “If The Shoes Fit,” debate the merits of the documentary’s first episode, which focuses its microscope on the genre’s DNA, namely its “holy trinity” of DJs (DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, who is to record scratching what Albert Einstein was to the theory of relativity) and the MCs who ultimately joined them on stage.
Especially evocative are Robinson’s reminiscences of his teen years during the turbulent 1970s in New York City, providing a perspective that spans his exposure to early Hip-Hop via his friendship with Brooklyn artist Jimmy Spicer, his visits to Disco’s epicenter (Studio 54, where he gained entry thanks to his sartorial splendor) and his Montessori School education — a true eclectic.
One glaring omission in the documentary’s first episode - identified most vociferously by Auld but roundly agreed upon by Robinson and Wilcox — is Jamaica’s role as one of Hip-Hop’s primary sources — from its sound-system music culture that DJ Kool Herc heard growing up there to its early “Toastmasters,” forerunners of Hip-Hop’s MCs.
Ed Legge (@freebirdyeller) is a life-long musician, long-time journalist and sometime corporate dweeb who’s writing a book about originating rock ‘n’ roll’s most absurd tradition.