Baba Got BARS Vol III

by Baba Bomani

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After a summer of touring the Delaware Library system and the Baltimore City school libraries, I came back home with a bunch of new ideas to turn in to songs. Check out the fun mental exercise/party trick "ZYX", and learn how to say the alphabet backwards. After a summer of performing "The Syllable Game" (from Baba Got BARS vol I), it seemed only natural that we go over all the long and short vowel sounds that help us recognize syllables, so check out on "What are the Vowels?". I created a power point presentation about the evolution of black music from traditional African music, through the trans-atlantic slave trade, then from field hollas to 120 years later Hip-Hop. I put a hip-hop beat behind Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" and created "The Black Entertainer". Lastly, I stopped doing this mini-lecture on the history of Hip-Hop's main three elements, and instead flipped my own track ("Count to Four" from Baba Got BARS vol II) into break beat to explain the origins of DJ'ing, MC'ing, and Breaking on the track "Hip-Hop Party".

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released November 6, 2018

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Baba Bomani Washington, D.C.

Baba Bomani, aka the Watermelon man has been using hip-hop, poetry and multi-media disciplines to teach fun and informative workshops with all ages from kindergarteners to graduate students for well over 15 years Bomani . Here you can find his hip-hop music for kids as well as teaching materials showing students the writing process through hip-hop! ... more

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Track Name: ZYX
Z, Y, X, W, V/
U, T, S, R, Q, P/
O, N, M, L, K, J/
I, H, G, F, E, D, C,B, A/
Track Name: What are the Vowels?
Chorus
What are the vowels? a, e, i, o, u
What sounds do they make? Each has at least two
Short sound or long sound some rules will apply
a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y
a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y
a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y
short sound or long sound some rules will apply
a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y

Verse 1 (A)
A has a short sound: add
After my nap I packed my bag and ran with dad
A has a long sound when alone: paper
A lady saw an alien atop a skyscraper,
A long sound with a silent e: ache
I ate my name on a birthday cake
A long sound with an a-i: aid
The maid used her brain removed the stain and got paid
a long sound with an a-y: pay
I pray today that you stay okay
A long sound with ey: obey
They survey for prey, their instincts they obey
A long sound with an ei: eight
The neighbor helped carry the weight of all the freight


Chorus

Verse 2 (E)

e has a short sound: egg
the elk stepped through the web with its long leg,
a long sound when alone: even
no one competing this evening is equal to Stephen
e long sound with a silent e: concrete
“Here”, said Pete “these are complete”
a long sound with an e-a: eat
I dream that I can heal through playing the beat
a long sound with a double e: eel
a queen bee stung me in my sleep, the pain I feel

Chorus

Verse 3 (I)

I has a short sound: it
She showed grit, didn’t quit, and caught the ball in her mitt
a long sound when alone: idea
an iron is an item that I bought from Ikea
a long sound with a silent e: ice
we went on a hike and flew a kit so the day was nice!
a long sound with igh: right
there is lightening high in the sky tonight
a long sound with an ie: tie
don’t lie, you tried to eat my sweet potato pie
long song as a y: by
I try to yell a reply but my mouth was to dry
Chorus

Verse 4 (O)
o has a short sound: otter
when its hotter you can spot her reading Harry Potter
a long sound when alone: go
there’s no banjo so I play the piano
a long sound with a silent e: cope
the stove wouldn’t close unless I tied it with a rope
a long sound with oa: oat
on the road I got soaked and I had a sore throat
a long sound with ow: bow
The more you grow, the more you know, your talents will show
long sound with oe: foe
Joe swung a garden hoe and hit his toe,

Chorus

Verse 4 (U)
u has a short sound: up
Yup, the pup drank from a cup,
A long sound when alone: unicorn
Humans look unique even in a uniform
Long sound with a silent e: use
As a rule, don’t be rude there’s no excuse
Long sound with a ue: true
Sue put each clue together like glue
Long sound with an oo: tool
We studied proof that man landed on the moon in school
Long sound with a ew: few
The wind blew as new grass grew with morning dew
Track Name: The Black Entertainer
The evolution of music won’t stop
Like RUN DMC bringing us Hip Hop
When I say “Hip”, you say “Hop”
HIP – HOP, HIP - HOP
Before that they scrunched your face up like it stunk
Like James Brown giving us that funk
When I say “Give me that”, you say “Funk”
Give me that – Funk, Give me that - Funk
The generation before took it smoothly
Like Big Mama Thornton giving us R&B
When I say “R &” you say “B”
R & - B, R & B,
The generation before got even more bold
Like Chuck Berry bringing us rock’n’roll
When I say “rock’n’” you say “roll”
Rock’n’ – roll, rock’n’ -roll
The generation before added some pizzaz
Like Ella Fitzgerald giving us the jazz
When I say “We got”, you say “the jazz”
We got – the jazz, we got – the jazz
They turned field hollas into soulful grooves
Like Robert Johnson giving us the blues
When I say “we got”, you say “the blues”
We got – the blues, we got - the blues
After slavery, music was their favorite past time
Like Scot Joplin giving us ragtime
When I say “Rag”, you say “time”
Rag – time, Rag - time
Want to know how “American” music was made?
You have to start with the triangle slave trade
Enslaved Africans had their languages forbidden
But many things survived, especially their rhythms
Rhythms of the djembe, bata and shekere
Survived in reggae, samba, salsa and merengue
African influence in music remains still
You can hear it from Cuba to Brazil
Especially here in the United States
This element makes our music great
Find Africa all over, here’s an example
the Ngoni from Mali turned in to the banjo
The rhythms can be heard so easily
From jazz in new Orleans to go-go in DC
Begin with field hollas, slaves singing at work
The other kind of songs they sang were spirituals in church
The foundation of our musical recipe
African music is part of the American legacy
Freed slaves had music as their favorite past time
Like Eubie Blake giving us ragtime
When I say “rag” you say “time”
Rag – time, rag – time
Field hollas evolved into soulful grooves
Like Betsy Smith giving us the blues
When I say “we got” you say “the blues”
We got – the blues, we got – the blues
The next generation added some pizzaz
Like Louis Armstrong giving us the jazz
When I say “ we got” you say “the jazz”
We got – the jazz, we got – the jazz
The next generation got even more bold
Like Sister Rosetta Tharpe bringing us rock’n’roll
When I say “rock’n” you say “roll”
Rock’n – roll, rock’n – roll
The next generation took it more smoothly
Like Aretha Franklin giving us R&B
When I say “R &” you say “B”
R & - B, R & - B
The next we scrunched your face up like it stunk
Like George Clinton giving us that funk
When I say “give me that” you say “the funk”
Give me that – funk, give me that – funk
The evolution of music won’t stop
Like Roxanne Shante bringing us Hip Hop
When I say “hip” you say “hop”
Hip – hop, Hip - hop
Track Name: Hip Hop Party
Chorus (2x)

H-I-P H-O-P
I've got a DJ and a MC
Plus some Breakers so we've got all three
That we need for this Hip-Hop Party

Verse 1 (DJ'ing)

If I need head nodding drums and bass lines to rock me
I go find a DJ, that’s short for Disc Jockey
South Bronx, New York City, early 1970’s
A kid, Kool Herc, influenced the culture heavily
South Bronx was going through a lot at the time
Rising arson, drug use, gang wars and crime
But being Hip-Hop is making the most of what you have
Since Herc played his sound system on Sedgwick Ave
known as a no faker, no stuff taker, dope party maker
like they did in his home of Jamaica
To do his block parties he’d hack the streetlights
Or his basement jams would bring the people each night
all off New York came for Kool Herc’s spinnin
And most say that this was Hip-Hop’s beginning
These parties in the South Bronx are why we say
The first element of Hip-Hop is the DJ

Chorus (2x)

Verse 2 (MC'ing)

The master of ceremony is on the microphone
At events like graduations or where people might perform
In Hip Hop, while the dj moves the groove around
MC means “microphone controller” or “move the crowd”
Before their lyrical recitals or battling their rivals
Their role was really vital as the dj flipped his vinyl
turntables aren’t like cd players or ipods
You can’t make a playlist, these days that seems quite odd
Not a problem, until you wanna go from one song to the next
At a party, but you don’t want the crowd to get vexed
They used “Call and Response” a very old tradition
giving “shout outs”, or “toasting”, was part of their mission
They would make the crowd move to what he or she say
use their microphone skills to promote the DJ
They changed music as we know it, it’s easy to see
my favorite element of Hip-Hop is the MC

Chorus (2x)

Verse 3 (Breaking)

To understand the dances and the style they were portraying
You must understand the dj’s and the music they were playing
The hottest funk records were in heavy rotation
As Parliament Funkadelic toured the nation
James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, that’s right man
With the JB’s, you should’ve seen him at his height man
bass, guitar, keys, a drummer on his left and right hand
4 horns, 3 singers, 3 dancers, and a hype man
One part made the party go wild and the ground shake
When they all stopped but the drummer, this was called the break
grandmaster flash developed new techniques
To make sure they gave the people their beats
He would get two copies of the same record
On two record players, a turn table double decker
He put a mixer between each record player
Which includes many buttons including a cross fader
He would line up the records to the same place
Where the break beat started and put on his game face
The records going at the same rate he’d let the first rotate
Switch at the right time, release the record with style and grace
He did this for as long as he wanted the break to last
The dancers went crazy, they really had a blast
They’d break into James Brown inspired moves
Groups of kids would get together and be dance crews
Created B-Boy and B-Girl stances, the Freeze, and footwork
With some acrobatic moves, if you fail it could hurt
But this was all history in the making
Because the style they created is now called Breaking!

Chorus (6x)

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