Lynne d Johnson

 

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06.20.02 09:25 PM

Y'all want mo' fiyah! QT

Y'all want mo' fiyah!
QT clip of Missy Elliott's "4 My People," as remixed by Basement Jaxx. It's a banger.

Real love, True love
Have you heard Slum Village's "Tainted?" I am really feeling this track. That ATCQ passed the baton to these cats is no mistake, especially with the addition of rapper Elzhi. He definitely helped T3 and Baatin step up their lyrical skills. Karieem Riggins breathed soul into this track very much in the same way that Vikter Duplaix gave De La's "Copa," and Bahamadia's "Philadelphia," new life. IMHO this is how hip-hop is supposed to sound. Funky, fluid, and melancholy with skillful lyrics bouncing off the beat.

hip-hop dead?
Speaking of hip-hop, the media pundits are at it again. Geoff Boucher wrote in the LA Times
yesterday:

Consumer surveys show that the majority of rap album buyers are suburban white males in their teens. And a significant chunk of that base has turned in the past few years to guitar-driven bands that tap into hip-hop beats and rap-style vocals, often with an aggressive sonic presence. Rage Against the Machine may have made the template for the sound, but Limp Bizkit and Korn were the bands that made it an MTV-friendly music sensation.

Hip-hop is no afterthought, of course. The Recording Industry Assn. of America's survey of 2001 sales showed that rap and hip-hop accounted for 11.4% of all U.S. music releases shipped by the industry in 2001, its second-highest percentage in a decade and trailing only rock releases (24.4% of all shipments) and pop (12.1%).

No one expects rap or hip-hop to disappear, but is it in danger of losing the vibrancy that has made it the most exciting real estate on the pop music landscape in the past 20 years? The sharp first-quarter sales decline might be explained away by a lack of high-profile releases, but some observers say the genre may also have a drought of true superstars.

Eminem has ascended to a stratum of his own, Jay-Z remains a powerhouse (the disappointing sales of his recent "Best of Both Worlds" seem due to the controversy surrounding his collaborator on the album, R&B singer R. Kelly) and OutKast has been able to meld critical acclaim with platinum sales, but after that there are questions about the longevity and heft of the genre's other young artists.

A Google search for hip-hop is dead turns up an article on the Pacific News site from February 2001. The article, "Rap And Hip Hop Is Dead — Long Live Funk," by Kevin Weston, editor of the San Francisco Bay View and co-editor of YO! Youth Outlook, points to entirely different reasons for hip-hop's demise:

In 2001, the premier vocalists on the music scene don't rap. They sing, they soul, they funk, they tell stories, they write great songs, they do spoken word poetry. If the soul died when Marvin Gaye was gunned down by his father, then it was reborn in this generation of young hip hop-influenced musicians and vocalists.

As we move forward, we are rediscovering our past -- soul/funk/jazz. Hip hop, once anti-pop and now just a style of popular music, has been wack for a while now. The tightest young vocalists in our musical world are not MC's. DeAngelo, Badu, Musiq Soulchild (also from Philly), and Angie Stone have a retro feel that, infused with hip hop and funk, comes off as new.

Hip hop used to be funky, but the funk is leaking out of the form. Pop can never truly be funky, because it's an imitation of the soul/funk. Black urban artists are doing the new thing that happens to be old, while destroying the dominant vocal styles and giving the movement of African-American music new life.

I'm more inclined to go with the words of KRS-ONE, "Hip-Hop Rules."

Me say hip-hop rule, hip-hop rule
And these other industries out here cannot take it, come again!
Hip-hop rule, hip-hop rule
And these other industries out here cannot take it, we want!
Rap music, we want the rap music, bo!
Rap music, we want the rap music, come again!
Rap music, we want the rap music, bo!
Rap music, we want the rap music
Way back in the days, 1979
Fatback Band made a record usin rhyme
In the same year come the Sugarhill Gang
with the pow pow boogie, and the big bang bang
R&B, Disco, Pop Country Jazz
all thought Hip-Hop, was just a little fad
But here comes Grandmaster Flash nonstop
And right after Flash, Run-D.M.C. dropped
Now, they had to pay attention to the scale
Where other music failed, hip-hop prevailed
See rap music has gone platinum from the start
So now in eighty-nine we gettin present as an art
Me ask, is it because, we've got the eighty-nine vision?
Whoa whoa whoa!
Or is it because, it's a unanimous decision
Hey hey hey hey

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