Now we have literary "mixing" too

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 14 02:16:53 UTC 2010

The suggested dates for rap/hiphop sound entirely reasonable to me. I
recall being bored to death by someone else's party-mix in 1971. (I
was dating a woman that I might well have married, except that
youneverknow, so I have a clear memory of the year.) I also recall
that my favorite *real* blues and r&b stations began to set aside
15-minute segments for presentations by local rappers, then half-hour
segment and, almost immediately thereafter (you may already be
noticing that time *really* flies as you age), my oldies shown were
gone and there was nothing but live rap on. The next thing that I
knew, rap was live on local cable. Noise!

So, I had to start going to Tower to *buy* my oldies.

My use of "hiphop" is pretty random. I'm not sure when I became
conscious of the word, but it seemed to be used for "music" that was
slightly more like music than stone, pure-dee rap. So, that's the
ill-defined way in which I use the word.

And, of course, the randomizing of appellations is nothing new. By the
'60's, R&B - "rhythm-and-blues" in the '50's - had pretty much come to
mean, "something that we can award a black person a Grammy for, while
otherwise ignoring the existence of black music and musicians."
Nowadays, you don't even have to be American, let alone black, to win
the R&B Grammy. An Amy Winehouse can all but openly announce, "I
intend to imitate random black singers of yesteryear" and still be
internationally lauded as a new departure in popular music.

Did you note that even Au Canada was sung pswaydoblackly at the
opening ceremonies of the Olympics? Or are you even aware that melisma
has been a typical feature of both singing and speech for a couple of
four centuries before it became stereotyped by white singers on
American Idol?

Now, *that's* irony!


On Sat, Feb 13, 2010 at 6:08 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Now we have literary "mixing" too
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 2/13/2010 3:07 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> "Mix-tape" even predates hiphop, as does "party-mix(es)." But not by
>> much.
> It depends on what we mean by "mixing" and "hiphop". Some musicians have
> self-identified as hiphop or hip-pop in the early 1970s, possibly even
> earlier, but, of course, the style differed dramatically from what later
> became hiphop. As for "mixing", even unrelated to "mix-tape" and
> "party-mix", it existed at least since the late 70s, if not in NYC,
> certainly in dance clubs of Jamaica. How long do you think "mix-tapes"
> and "party-mixes" have been around? Philips patented Compact Cassette in
> 1962. I can just imagine some enterprising dj lugging around a 12-inch
> reel from party to party as his "mix".
>>   When I think about how long hiphop - in which word I include rap
>> - has been around, I'm shocked! Shocked! I long - for a dekkid or two
>> - considered it to be nothing but flash-in-the-pan "noise," in that
>> word's extended St. Louis-BE meaning of "ignorance, uselessness,
>> annoyance, crap, bullshit, unreason," etc., etc. Now, of course, I
>> have my own modest iTunes hiphop collection.
> I find it particularly ironic that generations that rebelled against
> bans on early rock-and-roll have later dismissed contemporary "music" as
> just "noise". The ironies abound--but not the memories.
>     VS-)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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