Rappers wandered the Earth long ago. They were entertainers, but also advisors and diplomats adept at synthesizing histories with the present. Both scorned and lauded, lavished with jewels and praise and well-travelled, they rapped their tales for slaves and kings alike. Cultural writer Lafcadio Hearn relates in a letter to Henry Edward Krehbiel:... through the yellow desert northward into the Maghreb country, often a solitary wandering … they play old Congo airs for the great black population of Stamboul, whom no laws or force can keep within doors when the sound of griot music is heard in the street ... [griots] carry their music with them to Persia and even to mysterious Hadramant, where their voices are held in high esteem by Arab masters...the transplantation of negro melody to the Antilles and the two Americas, where its strangest black flowers are gathered by the alchemists of musical science and the perfume thereof extracted by magicians like Gottschalk. (Afro American Folksongs by Henry Edward Krehbiel, 38)