To kick off Black Music Month, Rhino Records will release a full- length video essay via YouTube and social media platforms highlighting the musical evolution of Black American music from Doo Wop to Hip Hop, highlighting the connection between today’s popular genres and its forbears.
“From Doo Wop to Hip Hop: A Journey from the American Streets to the top of the charts,” features connects songs from Ray Charles, Zapp & Roger, Otis Redding, Ben E. King, The Chords, Charles Wright, and Roberta Flack, with those from Big Daddy Kane, Busta Rhymes, GrandMaster Flash & The Furious Five, and more.
Doo Wop music was popularized by African American youth in the east coast cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, moving through the steel factories of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati heading west sweeping through the Windy City, Chicago, before traveling the airwaves and reaching the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles, California. Hip Hop took a similar trajectory by amplifying the rhythmic voices of Black youth. This art form originated in New York City and ignited a firestorm of creativity that took the world by storm in the late 70s and Early 80s, and continues to dominate popular music today.
The Drifters melodic harmonies burst on to the music scene in the 1950’s, starting in barbershops and street corners before dominating the charts. Over the next decade the group had created numerous hits and multiple number 1’s on the Billboard charts. Their two iconic hits “Under the Boardwalk” and “This Magic Moment” cemented their legacy and place in music history by being honored with their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The essay then follows the transition of the Doo Wop style to soul and funk, eventually landing on hip hop’s inclusion of the earlier styles to create something wholly original. For example, legendary group, Zapp and Roger’s mega-hit “More Bounce to the Ounce” has been sampled over 300 times since its release in 1980.
The re-release of Lupe Fiasco’s critically acclaimed “Food & Liquor” album showcases the harmonic influences of Doo Wop throughout “Daydreamin’” ft. Jill Scott, which won a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance in 2008. This album will remind fans of Lupe’s clever, witty, and intelligent wordplay that solidified him as one of Hip Hop’s greatest lyricist and most important voices.