Re: "The end of the hip-hop era"...

Gibo (
Tue, 22 Aug 1995 19:00:19 -0500 (CDT)

> >Why do I get the feeling, though, that we're at the end of the hip-hop era?
> Man oh man.... That's flame-bait if I ever read it. Serious question
> though, what makes you say this? Sure, the stuff coming out today may well
> be different to the stuff coming out 5 or so years ago, because THAT WAS 5
> OR SO YEARS AGO!!! Why do P.E. fans keep on expecting another "Nation of
> Millions"? It won't happen!!! I think hip-hop is undergoing a natural
> evolution whilst many of us (listeners,) remain stagnant, wanting to hear
> more and more of the style that first switched us on to the music. People
> and circumstances change (and in this case, the consequence being that the
> music they're producing also changes.)
to quote an adidas ad, don't laugh - you were once a fish. hip-hop was
once simply a way to jazz up disco. if something evolves to the point
where it is no longer recognizable, calling it the same thing is
pointless. I would agree that hip-hop's undergoing evolution. the
question is what it's evolving into, and how quickly.

I think the degree to which white people co-opt hip-hop will determine
how quickly rap fades from importance in the lives of black people, who
historically have created new musical genres more or less every decade.

not to simplify racial issues - obviously, they're more complicated than
that and, ultimately, less significant than musical issues anyway - but we
shouldn't discount the social context of this music. when rap becomes
relatively irrelevant to the black experience, something new will arise.

I'm white, btw, but that doesn't change the fact that white Americans are
a less significant cultural force than black people - as far as music is
concerned, that is. because of the disproportionately less innovative
tendencies of white musicians, with exceptions we lag behind black
Americans in creating new styles of music.

black music responds to the black experience. I forgot who wrote it, but
there's a book called "B-Boys, Buppies, somethings and Bohos" (I forgot
the third one) which argues that the essence of the black experience
today is diversity. I think acid jazz is a music more conducive to
expressing and responding to diversity than is hip-hop per se; acid jazz
draws on more diverse sources, and the interplay of live musicians is
itself a model of diversity. imho.

as far as the "Waiting for more PE" argument goes, what -is- going on
in hip-hop these days? the most interesting stuff IMHO is Quest and
(flames notwithstanding) Jazzmatazz, along with similar jazzy experiments.
I would say what's going on in hip-hop these days is a transition to acid jazz.

whether I'm right or not will be a question of time.

giles bowkett -
"May the four winds blow you safely home"
Writing and music samples available