October 2nd, 2013

Raggamuffin Hip-Hop Mega-Post!


illustration by Patrick Kyle for Cluster Mag

I’m very happy to share some new work that involves quite a bit of collaboration: two articles and a truly epic mega-mix devoted to the rich, ruff-and-ready sound of raggamuffin hip-hop — aka, dancehall-derived flows over breakbeat-based beats (ca. 1987-94). It’s a distinctive and special repertory, near & dear to me and my co-curator, Pacey Foster, and as longtime readers of W&W will discern, it’s a sound that emerges directly from the circumstances I examine in my dissertation.

It was my dissertation, in fact, which led to this latest article over at Cluster Mag, a contribution to their new Party issue (launching in full next week). This summer’s spate of reggae-laced hip-hop tracks led Cluster editor Max Pearl to ask if I could bring some context to the phenomenon, and I was more than happy to oblige. You can find it here:

     >> Wayne Marshall, “When Reggae Roamed the Earth.” Cluster Mag, Issue 4, Oct 2013.

While the Cluster piece includes a theorization and historicization of hip-hop and reggae as quintessential party musics, I was especially happy to delve into raggamuffin hip-hop as a particular, peculiar, and powerful example of the two genre’s longstanding interplay.

Pace and I have been geeking out over these records since we met a decade ago, and we were scheming on a raggamuffin hip-hop megamix well before we even had an outlet for it. Pace’s collection goes deeeeep, especially when it comes to Boston rap rarities and party-break white labels, and of course my “dissertation archive” (as I like to call my CD and MP3 collection) helped to flesh things out.

One other exciting part of this collaboration is that we’ve arranged to simultaneously publish a piece on the mixtape per se (and less on the social history and party theory) over at the blog of IASPM-US, which issued an admirable “call for mixtapes” earlier this year, and cross-posted at Ethnomusicology Review‘s Sounding Board. For that piece, we’ve labored to discuss why we believe so strongly in the DJ mix as a form of sound scholarship. Since Pace and I both wear academic hats as well as DJ caps, we’re eager to share this work with an academic readership in addition to the hip, whipsmart Cluster massive and, not least, to all of you, dear readers of W&W DOT COM:

     >> Wayne Marshall & Pacey Foster, “Hearing Raggamuffin Hip-hop: Musical Records as Historical Record.” IASPM-US / Ethnomusicology Review, Oct 2013.

So, please go read the pieces, spread the links around, tweet and comment up a storm, and, of course, don’t neglect our 94 minute, 48 track mega-mix! And make some time for it — if you don’t get all the way to the end, you’ll miss some jaw-dropping raggamuffin rap c/o Slick Rick the Ruler, who despite his Jamaican heritage seems to have gone-in on the patois-patter but this one precious time. Here it is —

     >> Pace & Wayne’s Raggamuffin Hip-Hop Mega-Mix [MP3] (94min, 320k, 225mb)

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. wayneandwax.com » T&hellip  |  October 4th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    […] to all for passing around the raggamuffin hip-hop articles & mix. As it happens, the cosmos smiled on our cross-platform publication by arranging for a rather […]

  • 2. Lucien  |  October 4th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Awesome! Always been curious abou this intersection, especially in West Coast hip-hop where the ragga and hip-hop scenes seem to have to have overlapped in a less geographically-direct way than out East. Thanks for sharing!

  • 3. wayneandwax  |  October 4th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Ah, yes, per the West Coast raggamuffin dabblings: we only get into that glancingly since our big focus is New York city as a diasporic space, but (as noted in my follow-up post), as it happens, LargeUp just ran a whole feature on that yesterday!
    http://www.largeup.com/2013/10/03/toppa-top-10-ten-classic-raggamuffin-gangster-rap-tunes/

  • 4. Lucien  |  October 4th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Whoa! Perfect!

  • 5. wayneandwax.com » C&hellip  |  January 6th, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    […] raggamuffin hip-hop never gets tired for you either, I’m happy to report that yet another juicy mix of fliptongue […]

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Wayne&Wax

I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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