Camille Yarbrough

Camille Yarbrough

The Iron Pot Cooker

Vanguard

This is it. This has always been it. The old skool hip hop before “Rapper’s Delight.” The ghetto according to a young, articulate black woman. What? Yes, The Iron Pot Cooker was immense in soul power and idealistic about its future. From the ashes of the ghetto comes forth this wonderful dignity of having survived such a tragic, misunderstood place. It was 1975. There was Roberta Flack, Angela Davis, and Cicely Tyson talkin’ social issues. Twenty five years later, Fatboy Slim can’t get enough “Take Yo’ Praise,” and reinvents it with “Praise You,” and Lauryn Hill is speakin her mind. All this is possible because of the brilliant vision of Camille Yarbrough. The Iron Pot Cooker is monumental not only for its time but for its content. Young, black women didn’t often have the forum for their political and social views. Camille told me ’bout the ‘hood, and I listened with awe. The Iron Pot Cooker is essential listening for those that have ever wondered how in the world we got here.

Vanguard Recording Society, 2700 Pennsylvania Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.VanguardRecords.com.

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