As of lately, I have been listening to a lot of hip-hop and rap music… Chances are my mother would not approve. However, the only reassurance I can offer is that I tend to be rather particular with what I subject my ears to. The hip-hop market is fickle and is one of the most saturated markets in music today and it sometimes can be a rather daunting challenge to find an artist that has both something intelligent to say and the beat to back it up.
Artists and producers like Talib Kweli, Nujabes (may he rest in peace), Madlib, MF Doom, Dangermouse, and even Kanye West have one my loyalties over forever, or at least till one of them decides to fuck their career and make a track with the Jonas Brothers cough Common or even better yet Justin Bieber cough cough Ludacris. But who am I to judge what an artist does with his career? …perhaps a discussion better suited for another time? Yet, I would never claim either style as being part of my “musical roots,” but hip-hop and rap music have always intrigued me both culturally and musically. I don’t know if it’s because it made me feel something different growing up in rural Illinois where pop, oldies, and country are the status quo or if I just liked the way the bass hit me in the chest. It seemed to be a change of pace from my everyday norm. Variety is the very spice of life, right?
I could never stand (and still cant) when someone would say, “Rap? Ughh. That’s not music.” Really guy? Anyone with the ability to detect a beat or even count to four should know otherwise. In reality hip-hop/rap music is one of the fastest growing genres in music today and its cultural influence is profound when it comes to influencing ideas such as fashion, art, cinema, television, and even our language. Even with the bad stigma hip-hop and rap music often gets, I feel it still offers a very diverse and necessary component to our melting pot of a music culture. Without it great dances such as the “harlem shake” or the “booty bounce” would never have been formed and I know these are a couple of my favorites to showcase on the dance floor.
And so I leave you with the image of me “harlem-booty-bouncing and/or shaking” across the dancefloor… Oh and some of my favorite hip-hop/rap tracks on Epitonic.