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RE: [fearnwhiskey] Clip: You Failed Hip-Hop

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  • David Atteberry
    Fifty years ago - 1954, David? That sounds a bit off for Hentoff s biography, to me - Hentoff was an editor and columnist for Downbeat from 1953-57. While he
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 28, 2004
      Fifty years ago - 1954, David? That sounds a bit off for Hentoff's biography, to me -

      Hentoff was an editor and columnist for Downbeat from 1953-57. While he may not have been wondering about genre survival itself, he certainly was asking questions about the conflicts of art and commerce.

      And yes there is a lot of incredible hip-hop being made. What I find interesting is the development of regional styles beyond the played out traditional east/west coast. Outkast helped develop a distinct southern style, here in the midwest there is a unique "no coast" lyrical flow -- a strange mix of Eminem and El-P style rapping. I'm sure there are many more scenes establishing their own sound. Very similar to alternative rock in the late seventies and eighties.

      And I think hip-hop's got a lot of amazing stuff going on right now too, but there does seem to be a hardening barrier between the commercial stuff and the arty stuff - a few years ago, "underground" hip-hop was considered more "real," but now it's become a dirty word, considered white kids' "undie" music. That's a real step back in the economy of authenticity that hip-hop trades in.

      But personally I find the Jay-Z/Outkast phenom more intriguing than dispiriting - I mean, the older rap generation (and in hip-hop terms Jay and Andre both qualify now) has often cast scorn on the ones that follow, it's kind of that post-grad syndrome, the kind that gave rise to the term "old-school" as a compliment in the first place. But this kind of public destabilization and sense of rut, I suspect it means interesting things are coming up next.

      Maybe I'm being overoptimistic, but it's got my curiosity buttons punched.

      > Carl W. wrote an excellent piece on Prince Paul that raises
      > some of these questions and is worth checking out.

      >ahem<. thanks - if folks wanna read it there's a link on the "In Print" page on my website, address below.

      > Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but when asked if I think
      > Outkast and Jay-Z have let hip-hop down I can only say no,
      > hip-hop has let them down.

      yeah, but you know, didn't pop music let the Beatles and the Beach Boys down too? the big bulky middle of pop is always mediocre, but that doesn't mean the *genre* is in trouble...

      just thinking aloud,
      and yes, thanks for the clip -

      carl w.

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