Pioneers of Hip-Hop Tour

As the nation's first president to blast hip-hop on his iPod takes office, this package tour could be considered a Council of Cultural Advisers. (Not a bad idea, that.) Anchored by the genre's god­fathers, the Sugar Hill Gang — who laid some rhymes over the bassline of Chic's "Le Freak" and sparked a phenomenon that swept the South Bronx and then the world — this boom-bap wagon train also hitches up sing-songy electro trio Whodini ("Friends"), inimitable "Children's Story"-teller Slick Rick, "The Breaks" MC turned man of the cloth Kurtis Blow and the original First Lady of rap, MC Lyte. No better time to revisit the roots of hip-hop, after all, than when its profile on the world stage has never been bigger.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray