I have always been a fan of The Mills Brothers. Those great harmonies that would only need a archtop guitar for accompaniment. They were cool, to say the least, and I have spent a lot of time on YouTube watching their vintage videos.
While YT surfing, I came across The Jubalaires. Wow! Same set up (four guys singing together, accompanied by a guitar), but where The Mills Brothers had a slightly jazz feel that kept them popular with the big band crowd, The Jubalaires had some gospel influences, but could also be considered the Grandfathers of Hip-Hop/Rap. They talked a lot of their lyrics in a lot of songs, with hard rhymes that would put many modern rappers to shame.
One video of The Jubalaires has them performing a song called “Brother Bill.” This is one of those black cinema shorts popular in the African-American community in the 1930s-40s. I like the one comment stating “Guns, groupies, dollar sign on suit, they are truly the pioneer of gangsta rap.”
I won’t go on about these guys, I’ll just post these videos for you to enjoy.
Chew on it and comment.