One month after the Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 record “Rapper’s Delight” introduced hip-hop to a national audience, three New York Jewish men under the moniker Steve Gordon & The Kosher Five recorded the first rap parody record, a Yiddish-accented humorous skit full of American Jewish cultural tropes set to a funky disco beat. This track may have been a one-off joke among friends, but it stands as the first in a long line of Jewish parody rap records that use hip-hop and humor to explore American Jewish identity and stereotypes of Jewish masculinity. This talk traces key moments in the history of Jewish parody rap and situates them in relation to broader contexts of historical Black-Jewish musical relations.
This lecture is part of the HILLS Lecture Series presented by scholars participating in the Humanities in Leadership Learning Series at CWRU.
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