So, The Guardian published a typically misinformed article about "the death of hip-hop" last week, called "When Will Hip-hop Hurry up and die?" Having read many of those, I could smell its racist, classist, ignorant Wrongness a mile off, and lo I did shrug it away, like so much dandruff, until my guitarist Evil James Harrison turned up for rehearsal going, "did you read that article in The Guardian? It made some interesting points..." and I had to refute those "points" at length. Points like this:
"...judging by [hip-hop's] output in recent years, it’s become a deadening force: as a listening experience, but also as something that maintains a deadlock on the musical imagination (and personal ambitions) of Black American youth. I doubt very much that this demographic has no more surprises up its sleeves in terms of sound and style, judging by past form(s) (jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, house, et al ). But that New Thing won’t come until they tire of hip-hop themselves and turn against it."
I know, I know. Anyway, you'd think the foolishness of such statements might be self evident, but some people are deeply, deeply stupid, and not everybody's had the pleasure of listening to mixtapes by Pill and B.o.B in the past few weeks, let alone all the awesome hip-hop-slash-rap-stuff that came out in all the other weeks this year. And regarding that bollock-naked-drooling-mental other point, "black American youth" has created so many "New Things" post hip-hop that to list them would require more words than a hundred similarly clueless Guardian hacks chained to a hundred Apple Macs pumped with a hundred thousand milligrams of mid-nineties-strength speed could mash out in a year, cotdamnit, and anyway, we're not going to take his nonsense that seriously are we? No, we shall just put his witterings in some context: the man who wrote that silly little article about "the death of hip-hop" for The Guardian last week was one Simon Reynolds, who said of Biggie in his end of the 90s round-up:
The odd nifty catchphrase and deft rhyme, but c’mon, this man was a pig—Notorious P.I.G. more like; Piggy Smalls, heheheheh-and with a little help from his buddy Sean he almost singlehandedly set rap down its current path of spiritual bankruptcy. And he had the most unappetising vocal timbre in all of rap- asthmatic and adenoidal and mucus-bunged-up and fat-fuck wheezy all at once.
AHAHAHAHA! Thank you, Mr Reynolds, for the gift of laughter. In these dark days we can do with all the chuckles we can get, eh?
Thanks to Ich Lüge Bullets for the heads-up.