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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Frank Hamilton Is Rap Folk? (146* d) RE: Is Rap Folk? 27 Oct 99


Hi Rick,

I'll get in touch with you. Thanks!

As I understand it, Aunt Molly wanted to be "used" in any way she could to advertise the plight of the coal miners. I don't think that Leadbelly was really "used" any more than any performer is "used" by an audience. I think I know what you mean but I'm not sure. I think you're talking about the political scene in the left-wing movement of the time. (This is probably another thread but it might relate to rap). There was a political agenda. As there is with many rap artists. They have some point-of-view to sell which can be interpreted as political. If you say that Leadbelly and Aunt Molly were dupes of the CP then I would have to disagree. If you say however that the audiences for folk music including Leadbelly and Aunt Molly were predominantly left wing I would thoroughly agree with you. Also, there was the other way of looking at it. Leadbelly, Josh White, Burl Ives et.al. "used" the left-wing to furthur their own careers. I don't have a problem with that, though, unless they didn't agree with that philosophy in which case they would have been disingenuous. In those times, regarding the left-wing movement considering the state of the country in the aftermath of the Depression and at the inception of the war years, what was not to like? Not all Lefties were CP-ers or dupes for Stalin. Many were for social reform (maybe like some of today's rap artists) and they thought they had a handle on how to create a better world.

Frank Hamilton


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