"Little" xxxx. From early R&B to Rap.

Sam Clements sclements at NEO.RR.COM
Mon Mar 10 04:48:00 UTC 2003

While waiting for my son today, I was listening to "the oldies."  And heard
a familiar song by Little Anthony and the Imperials.  And then I thought of
Little Richard.

And then I thought about my son's devotion to Rap and Hip Hop, with more
singers than you can shake your booty at who have the name "Little" before
their given name.  There's Little Wayne.  Lil' Romeo,  Lil' Kim,  and many

So I got out my Billboard top 40, and discovered Little Caesar(1961), Little
Eva(1962), Little Joe(1957), Little Joey(1962), Little Milton(1965).  Most
are listed as R&B("Black") singers.  I don't know how many were
Afro-American, but that is the question I pose.

Why would the appellation "Little or Lil' " be very common in Black English?
Because the performers started at a very young age and were truly "little?"

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