Following its release earlier this month The Anthology Of Rap has been met with much criticism due to several inaccuracies in lyrics placed in the book. Inaccuracies that may stem from the fact that a large number of lyrics from the book were obtained using online sources.
Jay Smooth, founder of WBAI’s “Underground Railroad” radio program, recently spoke with NPR about the inaccuracies in the anthology. Among the inaccuracies Jay Smooth pointed out were the lyrics to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Brooklyn Zoo.”
The Anthology Of Rap listed a portion of the lyrics as “Energy buildin’, takin all types of medicines” while the actual lyrics are “In a G Building, taking all types of medicine.”
“Knowing that what they mistook as ‘energy building’ really refers to the storied folklore of Brooklyn’s most famous mental ward, the G Building, would give you a much fuller sense of the flavor and context of O.D.B.’s song,” Jay Smooth explained to NPR.
It was also noted that many of the book’s lyric sheets appeared to be directly reprinted from longtime lyrics archive, OHHLA.com (Original Hip Hop Lyrics Archive).
Attempts from NPR to get in contact with Adam Bradley, the book’s editor, have failed due to a current promotional tour Bradley’s on although a publicist for the books publisher did send over a statement explaining that some criticism of the book has been “a bit overheated and not fairly representative of the book itself.”
Aside from the statement from the publicist the inaccuracies in The Anthology Of Rap have yet to be addressed from the editor or publisher.
“It’s not like we’re studying tapes that Lomax dude made in 1933 or something,” said Jay Smooth. “So it should be possible to capture these nuances properly, and this sort of project ought to better accomplish that while we still can.”