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House of Pain: “Jump Around”

The Daily Music Break is re-posting items from earlier in the site’s history. The first line below makes it clear that this post — a classic — originally was put up on March 17. The year was 2012. (Homepage Photo: Regime Management

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I don’t agree with many of the sentiments expressed in this video, but it’s a great piece of film making. Unlike many other types of artists, rappers conflate their artistic and real lives. That’s a fancy way of saying that rappers try to look the part. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne didn’t ride horses to the Oscars. If Al Pacino was nominated for Scarface, I hope he didn’t show up in character.

But rappers do it, and for the most part it’s okay. Of course, no sensible person approves of the most violent and misogynist of the lyrics. However, there is a gray area into which a lot of rap–including Jump Around–falls. Like it or not, many of these folks are very talented.

Here is Rappers Delight by the Sugarhill Gang, which many folks say is the first recorded rap.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

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