Old Skool Review: Doriella Du Fontaine

Today, kids, we’re going to have possibly the oldest Old Skool Review possible. Depending on who you ask, a lot of folks credit the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight as the first “true” rap record.

But I’m here to tell ya, there’s something else.

Rapper’s Delight came out in 1979 . The much lesser known Doriella Du Fontaine was recorded in 1969. You do the math.

Enter one Lightnin’ Rod aka Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin aka Alafia Pudim. He of the many handles was a member of the seminal The Last Poets. Many folks now argue that The Last Poets actually started hip hop, and if Doriella Du Fontaine is any example, well, that argument seems to hold a lot of water.

What’s so big about an even older rap song, you might be asking yourself. How about the backing band? Um, yeah, that’s Jimi Hendrix on guitar and bass and Buddy Miles on skins and organ. The story goes that this recording was a one-take jam session. Rod came in and started laying pimp rhymes over Miles’ beats when Hendrix overheard the two and stepped into the room to start recording. While the bass and organ were added to the mix later, it’s still one funktastic groove from beginning to end. This may not be the explosive Jimi that a lot of folks are used to, but damnation, the man could play a funk lick like nobody’s business.

And that’s your Ancient Hip Hop Lesson for today.

mp3: Doriella Du Fontaine (Lightnin’ Rod, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles from the Doriella Du Fontaine maxi-single)
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