Today in rap music

I don’t have the time to digest it for you now, but still want to call your attention to a “roundtable” discussion on rap music, hosted by The Atlantic.  Big ups to Hua Hsu, to whom I owe a big debt.

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One response to “Today in rap music

  1. AsherR

    “Sure, it’s easy to see formerly controversial gangsta rap group N.W.A. being played at frat parties today and think it was all for nothing. But without N.W.A. there is no Dr. Dre and without Dr. Dre there is no Eminem and no Asher Roth.” And that would be…what? I am looking forward to the results of your digestion.

    My digest: This piece put me in a sour mood when I read it yesterday. I know you study the stuff, and I presume you (still) enjoy it, but, for me, the discussion has a very moldy smell about it. Change the labels and the artists, and much the same can (and has) been said (over and over) about every musical subculture populated by young people since the 1920s. For a moment, it “matters,” but that moment passes. They always do. In the end, there is something unseemly and more than a little sad about a group of shiny young things looking to Young Jeezy and Cam’ron for inspiration or, more modestly, “sociological freight.” So hip hop has become mainstream? And it didn’t need an Elvis to do so? Great, that IS important, but why would anyone expect its fate to be different from that of any of the two dozen trends in pop culture that preceded it? There’s nothing much oppositional about it today, unless you are the sort who gets a charge out of blasting “Straight Outta Compton” when the Cornell Five-O show up to close down the party at the SigEp. Come to think of it, man, I love college.

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