Thursday, August 23, 2007 has a very interesting interview with Archie Shepp:

"Rap is really just a continuation of the blues from a textual and verbal point of view. African-American music is as rich, verbally—coming from folktales and folklore—blues and that lyric idiom could be considered a kind of poetry. The rappers are really an extension of the blues man, which is of course the preacher."

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