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Fatback Band Was A Real Pioneer

(Billboard, May 22, 2004) -- Fatback Band had the first hiphop album, first live hiphop album with original music, not Blondie.
(note: this letter appeared in Billboard May 22, 2004)

Dear Editors,

I read with interest the Q&A with Debbie Harry (billboard April 3, 2004).  As a hiphop producer and avid fan and record collector, I can state that her influence on music and hiphop specifically is undeniable - she has been cranking out club bangers like nobody's business consistently for years.

However, she is mistaken in her claim that "Rapture" was the first rap record to original music.  In fact, that record came out in late 1980.  The year before, the Fatback band released "VII" which contained the track "King Tim III (Personality Jock)", widely thought to be the first rap record.  Fatback  featured drummer Bill Curtis, trumpeter George Williams, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, saxophonist Earl Shelton, and flutist George Adam, and this track featured King Tim III, a popular MC of the time.  Fatback were true pioneers.  The music was all original.

Marc Lindahl

p.s. references:

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Last modified 06-05-2004 03:26 PM
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