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Joseph Schloss is the author of two of the definitive scholarly works on hip-hop culture. Making Beats: The Art of Sample-Based Hip-Hop is a look inside the insular world of hip-hop producers, showing us their rules, worldview, and day-to-day lives. Foundation: B-boys, B-girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New York investigates the history and practice of hip-hop dance, as seen by the b-boys and b-girls themselves.

In our wide-ranging talk, we discuss the influence of West Side Story on hip-hop; what the “b” in “b-boy” really stands for; why having rap records at all wasn’t always a sure thing; and much more.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. West Side Story, “Opening scenes”
  2. Hall & Oates, “I Can’t Go For That”
  3. De La Soul, “Say No Go”
  4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”
  5. Sweet Talks, “Adam & Eve”
  6. George Harrison, “Awaiting On You All”
  7. Herbie Hancock, “Jessica”
  8. Hulu Dodd, “Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt II sample Herbie Hancock - Jessica”
  9. Mobb Deep, “Shook Ones, Pt. II”
  10. Diamond D, “Freestyle (Yo, That’s That Shit)”
  11. Idris Muhammad, “Loran’s Dance”
  12. The Beastie Boys, “To All The Girls”
  13. DJ Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show - 28 October 1993
  14. Incredible Bongo Band, “Apache”
  15. The Jimmy Castor Bunch, “It’s Just Begun”
  16. Babe Ruth, “The Mexican”
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