The rhythmic speaking or singing of rhymed lyrics to a beat was a big thing among New York's African-American youth in the late 1970s. Sprechgesang also became popular outside the Bronx and Harlems following the sales hit "Rapper's Delight", with which the Sugarhill Gang shot the new hip-hop music genre through the ceiling in 1979.
Those were the days when Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa became icons and shaped a sound that purists today appreciate as old school. The compilation "Boombox", which is lovingly compiled by Soul Jazz as usual and comes with a thick booklet, delves into this period with 17 innovative recordings from the years 1979-82.
At that time, the songs were released by small, Harlem-based labels such as Enjoy, Winley, Delmar or Rojac and Tayster, which until then had specialized in Rhythm & Blues. They were the first to recognize the commercial potential of hip-hop and produced tracks with Mr. Sweety G, Super 3, Bon-Rock & The Rhythm Rebellion, Sugar Daddy, Master Jay, Harlem World Crew, Black Bird & Kevski, Spoonie Gee, Mistafide or Count Coolout. A selection of their tracks can be found on "Boombox".