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Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison

20 05 2010

Listened: Wednesday May 19

My theory: Johnny Cash was the first gangster rapper. He raps (one could argue he’s really not much of a singer in the traditional sense) about guns (Folsom Prison Blues), drugs (Cocaine Blues), jail (I Got Stripes), poverty (Busted), and death (25 Minutes To Go). He also says “bitch” in a song (the aforementioned Cocaine Blues) at a time when nobody did that.

He’s also a masterful showman, storyteller, and has great chemistry with June Carter. As a result, on this recording he plainly holds hundreds of inmates in the palm of his hand – how many performers can say they have done that?

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