Recently in The Guardian, critic Kelefa Sanneh placed Roger Abrahams’ Deep Down in the Jungle at the top of his list of the 10 most important books on musical subcultures. Said Sanneh:
“In 1964, a folklorist based in Philadelphia managed a neat trick: he published one of the most important books ever written about hip-hop, long before hip-hop actually existed. In this classic study, Abrahams records and analyses a trove of mid-century Black oral literature, setting down street-corner rhymes, tall tales and boasts – some of which are as violent, and as bawdy, as the rap records that shocked the world in the decades to come.”
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