Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap

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9780199895403: Talking 'Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps, and the Deep Roots of Rap

From Two Live Crew's controversial comedy to Ice Cube's gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking 'Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as "the dozens."

So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it's a comic chain of "yo' mama" jokes. At its most complex, it's an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. A game which could inspire raucous laughter or escalate to violence, it provided a wellspring of rhymes, attitude, and raw humor that has influenced pop musicians from Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson to Tupac Shakur and Jay Z.

Wald goes back to the dozens' roots, looking at mother-insulting and verbal combat from Greenland to the sources of the Niger, and shows its breadth of influence in the seminal writings of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; the comedy of Richard Pryor and George Carlin; the dark humor of the blues; the hip slang and competitive jamming of jazz; and in its ultimate evolution into the improvisatory battling of rap. From schoolyard games and rural work songs to urban novels and nightclub comedy, and pop hits from ragtime to rap, Wald uses the dozens as a lens to provide new insight into over a century of African American culture.

A groundbreaking work, Talking 'Bout Your Mama is an essential book for anyone interested in African American cultural studies, history and linguistics, and the origins of rap music.

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About the Author:


Elijah Wald is a musician and writer who has toured on five continents and written thousands of articles for newspapers, magazines, and album notes. His ten published books include Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music, and The Blues: A Very Short Introduction. He has taught blues history at UCLA and won multiple awards, including a 2002 Grammy.

Review:


"A profanely sacred history lesson that vacillates between monster one-liners and carefully articulated deep thoughts.... Wald...is your only plausible tour guide, capable of illuminating both the blunt simplicity and fraught complexity, the cheerful frivolity and deadly severity of it all." --Rob Harvilla, Spin Magazine


"Like yo mama - short but thick, a good trick, and easy to get all the way through." --Harper's Magazine


"The author's affection and respect for this strange, unheralded current of folk culture shine through every word of his book." --Washington Post


"A lively and engaging history of the oral insult game... Wald is a respected historian of American music and has authoritatively mastered (and clearly summarizes) the vast research on the Dozens." --San Francisco Chronicle


"This impeccably researched study of the classic black insult game may be the funniest work of serious scholarship ever published--and the one that will give newspaper reviewers the most trouble, since virtually every paragraph of is studded with obscenities of the highest possible voltage... a superlative piece of work, which won't surprise anyone who's read any of Elijah Wald's earlier books. If I ran the world, I'd give him a MacArthur." --Terry Teachout, ArtsJournal


"The dozens is the most ephemeral and most contextual of the black verbal traditions, hence the hardest to get a handle on. The origins of blues, toasts and dozens, even the sources of the names are all lost in time. But after reading Elijah Wald's superbly researched and splendidly written book, no one will have any doubt what this important tradition is and means." --Bruce Jackson, author of "Get Your Ass in the Water and Swim Like Me": African-American Narrative Poetry from the Oral Tradition


"Fascinating and groundbreaking all the way through." --Buffalo News


"This book-length study of sexualized insults makes for colorful reading and will appeal especially to anyone interested in forms of cultural expression that are considered obscene or subject to censorship." --Library Journal


"This has got to be the dirtiest scholary book ever!" --Susan McClary, author of Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality


"A pleasure to read from front to back, and Wald's vast knowledge of blues repertory allows him to make connections between songs themselves and between blues and other genres that employ the dozens. The many quotations from dozens exchanges make for colorful reading (Wald himself censors nothing), Wald's prose is consistently entertaining, the pace is brisk without sacrificing detail, and the breadth of sources ensures that every reader will come away with new information." --Sandra Jean Graham, The Bulletin of the Society for American Music


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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Two Live Crew s controversial comedy to Ice Cube s gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as the dozens. So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it s a comic chain of yo mama jokes. At its most complex, it s an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. A game which could inspire raucous laughter or escalate to violence, it provided a wellspring of rhymes, attitude, and raw humor that has influenced pop musicians from Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson to Tupac Shakur and Jay Z. Wald goes back to the dozens roots, looking at mother-insulting and verbal combat from Greenland to the sources of the Niger, and shows its breadth of influence in the seminal writings of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; the comedy of Richard Pryor and George Carlin; the dark humor of the blues; the hip slang and competitive jamming of jazz; and in its ultimate evolution into the improvisatory battling of rap. From schoolyard games and rural work songs to urban novels and nightclub comedy, and pop hits from ragtime to rap, Wald uses the dozens as a lens to provide new insight into over a century of African American culture. A groundbreaking work, Talking Bout Your Mama is an essential book for anyone interested in African American cultural studies, history and linguistics, and the origins of rap music. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199895403

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Two Live Crew s controversial comedy to Ice Cube s gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as the dozens. So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it s a comic chain of yo mama jokes. At its most complex, it s an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. A game which could inspire raucous laughter or escalate to violence, it provided a wellspring of rhymes, attitude, and raw humor that has influenced pop musicians from Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson to Tupac Shakur and Jay Z. Wald goes back to the dozens roots, looking at mother-insulting and verbal combat from Greenland to the sources of the Niger, and shows its breadth of influence in the seminal writings of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; the comedy of Richard Pryor and George Carlin; the dark humor of the blues; the hip slang and competitive jamming of jazz; and in its ultimate evolution into the improvisatory battling of rap. From schoolyard games and rural work songs to urban novels and nightclub comedy, and pop hits from ragtime to rap, Wald uses the dozens as a lens to provide new insight into over a century of African American culture. A groundbreaking work, Talking Bout Your Mama is an essential book for anyone interested in African American cultural studies, history and linguistics, and the origins of rap music. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199895403

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From Two Live Crew s controversial comedy to Ice Cube s gangsta styling and the battle rhymes of a streetcorner cypher, rap has always drawn on deep traditions of African American poetic word-play, In Talking Bout Your Mama, author Elijah Wald explores one of the most potent sources of rap: the viciously funny, outrageously inventive insult game known as the dozens. So what is the dozens? At its simplest, it s a comic chain of yo mama jokes. At its most complex, it s an intricate form of social interaction that reaches back to African ceremonial rituals. Wald traces the tradition of African American street rhyming and verbal combat that has ruled urban neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Whether considered vernacular poetry, aggressive dueling, a test of street cool, or just a mess of dirty insults, the dozens is a basic building block of African-American culture. A game which could inspire raucous laughter or escalate to violence, it provided a wellspring of rhymes, attitude, and raw humor that has influenced pop musicians from Jelly Roll Morton and Robert Johnson to Tupac Shakur and Jay Z. Wald goes back to the dozens roots, looking at mother-insulting and verbal combat from Greenland to the sources of the Niger, and shows its breadth of influence in the seminal writings of Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; the comedy of Richard Pryor and George Carlin; the dark humor of the blues; the hip slang and competitive jamming of jazz; and in its ultimate evolution into the improvisatory battling of rap. From schoolyard games and rural work songs to urban novels and nightclub comedy, and pop hits from ragtime to rap, Wald uses the dozens as a lens to provide new insight into over a century of African American culture. A groundbreaking work, Talking Bout Your Mama is an essential book for anyone interested in African American cultural studies, history and linguistics, and the origins of rap music. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780199895403

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