Beat The Knees by Ray Jones - Roots of Rap

June 11, 2020

Beat The Knees by Ray Jones

Beat The Knees
is a funky rap song by Ray Jones. It was released in 1976 on Jones' record label Wee-Too!

Ray Jones

Jones a sailor from Philadelphia, was stationed in Norfolk. In February of 1967, Jones' ship was sent to Vietnam. The ship would return to Norfolk seven months later. In Norfolk Jones' musical career started.

Church Street

Like many black sailors Jones was drawn to Church Street, the center of nightlife. Later he began singing in the ship's band and began doing shows around the region at venue. He decided to start his own label, called Wee Too!. In 1975, Ray asked bassist Maurice Glass to enlist the mighty 35th Street Gang to back him on a recording date at Lenis Guess Studio in Norfolk Virginia.

In the video below Ray T. Jones talks about being a sailor from Philly stationed in Norfolk  in the mid 70s and falling in love with the city and it's music's distinctive sound.

"That Norfolk Sound" from Digital Fruit Snax on Vimeo.

Beat The Knees

The song Ray was most famous for was Beat The Knees: an awesome funky protorap track with hard hitting drums of Grover "Groove" Everett, a pumping basline by Maurice Glass's and the sound of a hypnotizing Fender Rhodes keyboard.
He Leroy
What you do?
Beat the knees
In Beat The Knees Ray raps about a guy called Leroy. He was Ray's shipmate who was quite the ladies' man. Later Leroy pointed his love arrows at Jesus and became of the church, a preacher. 

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