Throwback: Black History Month: Cab Calloway

Today is the 26th day of Black History Month. I tend to use this time as a way to remind readers – and everyone else of a couple of important facts:

  • You can’t love Black artists and their work, and not see them as people 
  • Black lives — and Black art matters 
  • Black culture is American culture 

So as we go through the month, I’m going to talk about a collection of Black artists. It’ll be fairly comprehensive and eclectic list — although it won’t be a complete list. 

So far I’ve mentioned the following artists:

Today, I wanted to celebrate the legendary Cab Calloway. Calloway’s work has been massive influential on later generations of performers including James Brown, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson — and importantly on hip-hop. There’s an argument that Calloway was one of the first ever recorded rappers, ever, In some way that isn’t off-base: His songs often talked about street shit — i.e. hustling, scamming, mooching, pimping — in an entertaining way, full of ribald double entendres.