Italian Pop Star Invents Rap in 1973, Anticipates Paul’s Boutique

12/17/2009 2:47 PM |

This 1973 clip from Italian TV, in which Adriano Celentano invents rap (around 2:05), and anticipates the very concept of “phat beats,” has been around the Internet for a while now, but so what, it’s awesome and I can’t stop watching it. A thousand thanks to FreeWilliamsburg for posting it today. Awesome. Truly. (And seriously, the Beastie Boys owe this guy everything, even if they don’t know it.)

6 Comment

  • The claims made in this post are a dubious, unacceptable, and tortiously false attempt to revise and rewrite the history of rap, hip hop, and American popular music.

    Without casting aspersions on Mr. Celentano, it is irrefutable that rap as a tradition and musical genre derives from elements based upon toasting from the island of Jamaica in the sixties, and before that, griot storytelling in Africa (a practice that spans millennia). In between these two points of reference, doo wop music in America also played a role in melding rhythmically-based spoken word with music, rhythm, and melody.

    There are several published works that have articulated the history of rap and hip hop, both musically and stylistically, including those by David Toop, Nelson George, Tricia Rose, and the editors from the late magazine Ego Trip. Any hint, suggestion, or statement to the contrary — like the one in this post that attributes rap’s invention to an Italian actor in the 1970s — is absolutely and completely false, and requires this publication’s editors to issue a retraction and a formal, published, and conclusive correction.

    K. Matthew Dames
    Executive Editor

  • Lighten up, Copysense!

  • Do people call you K-Matt? They definitely should.

  • Eleanor Roosevelt invented Skiffle. Also.

  • Copernicus was a woman.

  • The clip is stunning anyway!