An 80-year-old American man claims he was and is the world’s first ever rapper.
Joe "Jody" Parsley - who turned 80 in June and resides in Springfield, Ohio – alleges that he invented the art form “before the ‘40s” and prior to it finding some level of international renown.
“Rap came from 1309 miller road,” explains Parsley to the Springfield News Sun.
“That’s where it started before the ‘40s. That’s where it came from and it came from there because I was a frustrated little fella searching for lost cows.”
Confused? Click here for the video interview; providing context, explanation.
At work? Can’t view the footage? Picture a young Parsley, wading through a crop field, flattening the stalks rising up on either side of him.
“I developed a rhythm there – it came as a result of our cows breaking out and going into neighbours’ fields and I had to go and look for them and I wasn’t allowed to return home ‘til I brought them back.
“I’d be fussin’ and cussin’ and slappin’ the stalks aside and stamping through and I was angry.”
He even laid down some tracks; recording in 1974 before those names usually checked when discussing the genre's origins – the likes of Grandmaster Flash and Sugar Hill Gang.
Reminiscing over the herds of AWOL bovine, Parsley went on to quote one of his and rap’s original couplets:
“You can run you can hide but it won’t last; I’ma catch up with you and I’ma beat yo’ ass.”
Belittling aside, there’s a genuine concern there for accreditation:
“It really haunts me – I just say, maybe I’ll go to my grave and people will never know actually that Springfield, Ohio is the root and place responsible for rap music.”
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