Poets, Rappers & Raconteurs: The Spoken Word - Links
"Poet" may be too strong a word for this British master of puns, rhymes and doggerel verse. More accurately described as "Steven Wright meets Monty Python." Lots of topical material.
Heroes of Hiphoprisy
"Among rap's foremost proponents of multiculturalism and liberalism; pointedly attacking hip-hop tenets like homophobia, misogyny and racism" (-UBL). Musically complex, very listenable.
The best site for this seminal proto-rap artist. His fierce wake up call, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," is a classic and ground zero for all later political rap. His early work remains powerful and prophetic.
There are a lot of sites dedicated to the seminal Beat novelist/poet, but a search for Jack at Rhino's site returns info on his spoken word recordings. They feature Kerouac reading over and between jazz/blues that ranges from tenor sax to Steve Allen on piano.
Proto-rappers, proto-slammers, the Last Poets put angry, hip, radical poetry to acoustic African percussion. More edge and content than any of today's rappers except Public Enemy. iMusic Site offers excellent bio, soundclips, store.
Richard "Lord" Buckley (1906-1960): vaudeville comedian, storyteller, visionary performance artist. His surrealistic rap drew from Harlem Renaissance, early drug counterculture, and the expanding universe. Site has transcriptions and discography. Recordings can be got here.
Though known mainly as a songwriter, Massengill has always been a great storyteller in the grand old southern tradition, and storytelling is becoming more and more a part of his performance art.
Bruce U. Utah
Labor organizer and folksinger and raconteur, Phillips is a walking, talking history of the labor movement and its songs. Ani DiFranco has set his stories to a hiphop backdrop, putting the nostalgic Wobblie past back in your face.
This rap group of harsh, electronic prophets in paramilitary gear goes on a historical rampage, intent on a social/political revolution. You may not like it, but you'd better listen. Since one member left due to anti-Semitic remarks, their aim is truer.