Conservatives Talk Rap Music: Rap Ain’t the Same Since Sir-Mix-A-Lot Quit the Game

National Review authors Mark Steyn (who hates Big Bird) and Jay Nordlinger (who likes calling Mexicans “wetback”) did a podcast where they discussed the decline of rap music.

Douche One thinks rap music lacks human feeling. Douche Two thinks rap music fell off since Sir Mix-A-Lot quit the game.

Yes, I’m serious.

[read full post at ABLC]






146 replies
  1. 1
    TR says:

    I would’ve gone with “Hairplug 1” and “Hairplug 2” from De La No Soul.

  2. 2
    Jay says:

    I’m kinda/sorta blanking on the dude’s name, but there used to be a guy who wrote alot of un-dumb, un-racist hip hop commentary for NR and other righty publications. It’s not McWhorter because I don’t remember McWhorter zeroing in on specific albums like this guy.

    Maybe I’ve got his last name: LeRoy?

    Something like that.

  3. 3
    Michael G says:

    Rap recommendation open thread? I’ll start: Big Beast, Killer Mike. NSFW.

  4. 4
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Rap journalism in general is pretty weak, but conservatives talking about rap? Just so very, very embarrassing.

  5. 5
    Mnemosyne says:

    I know I’ve heard people lamenting that a big part of the problem with current rap music is that white suburban teenagers started buying gangster rap in droves and everyone who was trying to do anything more interesting or creative got squeezed out. So is this the usual problem of Whitey ruining everything and then whining about his handiwork? ;-)

  6. 6
    ellie says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I have been meaning to download Monster Mack.

  7. 7
    Joel says:

    Well, considering that they’ve adopted the ethos, you’d think conservatives have a natural affinity for gangsta rap.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    I say, don’t watch. Shut ’em down!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxPjR4I-aRY

  9. 9
    TR says:

    I’ve always felt that Asheru is underrated.

  10. 10
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Noreaga, aka NORE has a terrible new name (P.A.P.I.), but a really nice new cut produced by the great Large Professor.

  11. 11
    Michael G says:

    Putting a twist on conservatives talking about rappers, here’s Killer Mike talking about conservatives: Reagan.

  12. 12
    taylormattd says:

    Well, these wingnuts obviously aren’t in Seattle then, because if they were, they’d know Mix-a-Lot still shows up on local radio, singing songs about how the Sonics are about to return. :)

  13. 13
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    That’s a giveaway, Douche Two. Now we know what you like!

  14. 14

    @TR: HA! That’s good.

  15. 15
    SatanicPanic says:

    Jay actually says that it lacks melody. Duuuuuuude that’s dumb.

  16. 16
    Sophist says:

    Neoconz Wit Attitudes.

  17. 17
    Suffern ACE says:

    Oh, lord. I can’t bear to read. So a music genre that I’m fairly certain the Buckley crowd saw as hallmark of cultural decline when it first burst out, is now in lamentable decline. Do they really care or are they just hoping that it is going away?

  18. 18
    Carnacki says:

    When Pat Boone released his rap album about his gangbanger past, I knew the genre was dead.

  19. 19
    RareSanity says:

    The “decline of rap music” happened once the rich white guys at record companies realized that rap music could be exploited just as easily as any other genre.

  20. 20
    Sophist says:

    @TR:

    I would’ve gone with “Hairplug 1″ and “Hairplug 2″ from De La No Soul.

    With their new album “3 IQ Points and Falling”.

  21. 21
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Agreed. Even if what they were saying were true, why are they discussing rap music? Isn’t there a Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist who has usurped the Constitution and wants to take all of our guns in the White House with his Black wife and kids and black/white dog?

    We have so much more to worry about, Guys!

  22. 22
    jibeaux says:

    ….and that’s why Thrift Shop is #1 on the music charts right now.

  23. 23
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Oh, they’re wondering why people don’t make densely-layered beats like the Bomb Squad anymore, and they get into a very interesting discussion of the way Kool Keith’s styles on the first Ultramagnetic MCs album completely changed the way rappers used cadences and where they placed their rhymes, and…

    …hahaha! No, the best they can do is a grudging admission that maybe rap does count as music.

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    As long as Cube is still in the game, Im sated.

  25. 25
    Bruuuuce says:

    Just ran across this earlier today. Via Kottke, have some video of a 17-year-old LL Cool J playing to about 100 people at Colby College, in Maine. This is before his debut album, and apparently he was there because the organizers couldn’t afford Run-DMC. It’s not something I’d go seeking out (I’m more a prog, folk, and rock guy), but it’s a hell of a performance.

  26. 26
    SatanicPanic says:

    @RareSanity: I disagree. For one thing, the “bad rap” that people find lamentable was originally promoted by guys like Eazy E and P Diddy and only grudgingly accepted by major labels, well after it was already highly profitable. And I don’t don’t think mainstream Hip-Hop is in decline, I think it’s better than ever. YMMV but I find the “concious” rap of the 90’s pedantic and annoying, and don’t even get me started on the clunky rappers of the 80’s. It should be noted that I get 99% of my hip hop knowledge from what’s on Top 40 radio, which I listen to daily.

  27. 27

    MF DOOM/Madvillain.

    Intricate rhymes, no choruses and smart.

    couldn’t find an ad-less video. my apologies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Daa3saz2vDU

  28. 28
    Tim C. says:

    Oooh! Oooh! I can be a white guy who vaguely remembers Rap from a long time ago too!

    (assuming serious and patronizing voice now)

    Rap really has been in a downhill slide since Biz-Marque and “ooh baby you got what I need”

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    I think these conservatives are the kind of people who would call this heavy metal rock. I wonder what they would consider good rap.

  30. 30
    Suffern ACE says:

    Let me guess…in this story, Sir Mix-A-Lot plays the role of MLK while everyone else after him was either Malcom X or Stokley Carmichael and once it got to that point, rap had just gone too far…I Sir Mix-a-lot were still popular, I could support it, but those others…

  31. 31
    Cassidy says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Easy way to get their bigot on, without that pesky risk of saying something blantantly racist.

    If we’re doing recs, you can’t go wrong with B.o.B or Deltron 3030. B.o.B is a little easier on the ears than Kanye, but similiar styles of music and mixes. If you like Gorillaz, then you’ll enjoy Deltron 3030; that’s if you like your hip hop a little quirkier along the lines of Andre 3000. The Roots and The Coup if you like your’s a little more politically charged and leftist.

  32. 32
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Oh, they’re wondering why people don’t make densely-layered beats like the Bomb Squad anymore, and they get into a very interesting discussion about the way Kool Keith’s styles on the first Ultramagnetic MCs album completely changed the way rappers used cadences and where they placed their rhymes, and…hahaha! No, the best they can do is a grudging admission that maybe rap does count as music.

  33. 33
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Gah, stuck in moderation for reasons I cannot discern.

  34. 34
    Ohmmade says:

    The evolution of rap music has been depressing.

    http://9gag.com/gag/3086982

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: I agree. I think we’re in a golden age of hip hop where the artists themselves don’t feel pigeonholed by record labels and genres. The level of experimentation and artist/ genre crossover is just insane right now. I have a feeling Tony Toni Tone weeps everytime Lil’ Wayne gets a glowing review.

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cassidy: Wasn’t there a freak out that the Obamas invited a “gansta” rapper to the White House poetry night? I’m guessing that the concern is still 30 years on that rap might be staying around and become culturally acceptable. Sometimes even decent people like it.

  37. 37
    scav says:

    “And the dress sense of organized crime has declined atrociously. I mean, they used to wear hats!”

    no, still fails to capture the internal zeit of whatever the hell it is they’re attempting in proving their cred to those that are failing to acknowedge them properly.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    So a music genre that I’m fairly certain the Buckley crowd saw as hallmark of cultural decline when it first burst out, is now in lamentable decline.

    And yet they cared enough to try to make their own godawful version of it, “Christian Rap,” in order to stay cool and hip. Been doing it for years now.

    Conservatism = That kid who’s not part of the cool crowd and is constantly in bipolar flux between trying to get into the cool crowd and yelling “YOU KNOW WHAT, I never liked you people ANYWAY!”

  40. 40
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Love B.o.B, haven’t heard much from him lately though. I had high hopes for Whiz Kalifa, but he’s turned out kind of boring.

  41. 41

    @jl: DOOM uses one of my fave songwriting techniques, deceptive resolution. Blawged about it here: http://ranchandsyrup.com/2012/.....-and-deal/

    ETA: Sorry for blogwhoring

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @Suffern ACE: I remember that. It was Common. He was never part of the gangsta rap scene. He was more of the street poet/ social type rapper. To Faux news and conservatives he is black and a rapper and therefore a gangsta rapper.

  43. 43
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah. I think he’ll hit his stride at some point. The downside is that there is way too many influences that people are trying to pack into one song. It’s hard to have a screaming guitar and some dancehall as well as a guest female rapper/singer. lol

    I feel the same way about Lupe Fiasco. I love his influences, but he’s got such an axe to grind. He reminds me of Zach de la Rocha in that he’s just angry at everyone.

    B.o.B just put out a new mixtape and I think a new album is coming soon.

    I’m still blown away by Gangstagrass and Rench right now.

  44. 44
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I always wondered what would happen if wingnuts ever found out about UK hip-hop outfit Hijack aka The Terrorist Group. Their stage show was legendarily violent, featuring simulated execution of hostages and such.

  45. 45

    Also, watched the documentary on A Tribe Called Quest for the 5th time last night. Highly recommend. It is called Beats, Rhymes and Life.

  46. 46
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: And that’s been a part of a loooooooong process of mostly black label execs protecting what they had. Lil Wayne can do whatever he wants to now because Birdman spent 20 years building Cash Money. It’s really quite an accomplishment what some of these guys have done.

  47. 47
    NonyNony says:

    @Chris:

    And yet they cared enough to try to make their own godawful version of it, “Christian Rap,”

    Hey now, let’s not blur the lines here in our taxonomy of conservatism.

    The group that we’ll use the shorthand “Buckley crowd” to discuss thinks as much of Christian “music” as most people who haven’t been brainwashed do. Of course, the “Buckley crowd” also thinks that any musical genre that emerged after they turned 8 is as a whole a “symbol of the downfall of Western civilization”, as they do with any innovation that took place after they turned 8.

    The conservatives in the “whackjob fundamentalist” group like Christian “music” because it gives them another outlet to feel simultaneously smugly superior to their non-fundy neighbors (by being so pure that they only listen to Christian music) while also feeding their need to be an oppressed outsider.

    And of course there are the “conservatives” who produce things like Christian “music”. Those guys are just in it for the dough.

  48. 48
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @Ohmmade: >linking to 9gag

    Get out.

  49. 49
    Sophist says:

    @Ohmmade:

    The evolution of rap music has been depressing.

    Yeah, that’s bullshit. They had annoying repetitive choruses back in Grandmaster Flash’s day too.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Totally agree on Lupe -“Show goes on” was a great song because he toned it down a bit.

  51. 51
    TribalistMeathead says:

    @Jay:

    Kevin D. Williamson?

  52. 52
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    No way am I clicking a link for conservatives discussing rap. One or more of them is bound to do a painful rendition of “black dialect.”

    (The house wingnut does that at my job every now and then, when he’s not bitching about Al Gore. It’s horrible.)

  53. 53
    jl says:

    @Sophist: White man rock n roll certainly does not have repetitive lyrics. Classical music neither. Everyone knows that.

    let us hope for the dawning of new era, where everyone sings like songs like Andy Williams (PBUH)

    Dawning of new era is not rap, but couldn’t help myself.

  54. 54
    Librarian says:

    Did they also say that rock n roll has been in decline since Paul Revere and the Raiders broke up?

  55. 55
    RP says:

    I absolutely hate to agree with anyone from NR, but there’s some truth in their argument. I think many people feel that the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s was the “golden” era of rap, and that we’re in a fallow period right now. That’s not a comment on rap itself — almost every genre or art form has fertile and not so fertile periods. Part of the problem with rap was the federal court decision in 1991 or 1992 that said that artists had to pay for samples. That had a pretty significant impact on the industry and creativity IIRC.

  56. 56
    Cassidy says:

    @Chris: I wouldn’t knock all of it. I have no clue about their personal beliefs, but DC Talk was actually pretty damn good. Like all Christian music, though, they didn’t have a very flexible set of lyrical material to work with.

  57. 57
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @TR: HA! Perfect. “De la No Soul” is right. Reminds me of the handwringing headlines in the MSM: “Republicans do soul searching in wake of November defeat”. Right. “Soul searching” in the sense they’re looking for one, which they definitely don’t have.

  58. 58
    Lawnguylander says:

    @TR:

    You might have gone with Buttplug 1 and Buttplug 2 but it’s good you didn’t because I already put that in the Young Cons. Or as Kevin at Rumproast called them, De La Soulless.

    And I hope Common appreciates this moment in time, Prez and 1st lady be knowing his rhymes.

  59. 59
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    This white dude thinks rap went down hill when Ice-T and Ice Cube decided to become actors.

    In all reality, this is just another get off my lawn argument. Cranky old man voice: “Back in my day, football players wore leather helmets and were happy.”

  60. 60
    muddy says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that it was only about 5 years ago that my adult son had to explain to me the different between rap and hiphop. I said, there’s a beat, there’s fast spoken word, it’s the same. Well nooooo dumbass Mom and showed me the diff. Oh! Interesting!

    He sends me new music that he thinks I will like, if not for that I probably would not hear any, and listen to my old stuff.

  61. 61
    ruemara says:

    I’ll say it. Metal has been in decline since Pantera went soft.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Great white singers, like, Sinatra, never tried to act. They knew their place.

    White composers never used other people’s material. Bach would never do that, for example, except when he wanted four harpsichords running at once.

  63. 63
    Cassidy says:

    @jl: I think you’re snarkmeter might need some recalibration.

    Admittedly though, it’s funny to think that two of the hardest core West Coast gangsta rappers from the beginning of the scene are now playing a cop and some dude in family comedies.

  64. 64
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @jl: I like to make that joke because, except for the Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince album that every white kid at the end of the 80s owned, Ice-T and Ice Cube were the first two I ever listened to. If others are going to make a “It was better in my youth,” I figured I would too.

    ETA: 20+ years later, I buy rap as often as I do any other kind of music. If there’s actually a decline, I don’t see it. Evolution, yes.

  65. 65
    RareSanity says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It’s not about bringing back “conscious” rap of the 90s, it’s about the level of talent that was required to actually get a record deal.

    There are a handful of truly talented artists is rap right now…Kanye West, Drake, of course Jay Z. The rest are non-descrip, mish-mash of “me too” clones…leading the way is Lil Wayne.

    Artists like B.o.B aren’t really “hip-hop” artists. They have been heavily influenced by hip-hop and rap to be sure, but in the same way that the pop boy bands of the 90s were influenced by R&B music. No one would say that N’SYNC was in the same genre as the O’Jays…know what I mean?

    Not making any judgement, just a distinction…I really like, for lack of a better term, “fusion” artists like B.o.B., I can listen to all kinds of music and be happy. I am sad about what has become of true hip-hop music. The kind that was never really made targeting Top 40 stations, in the same vien as alternative rock and grunge bands operate.

    That’s the hip-hop that has been killed over the years.

  66. 66
    sylvan says:

    Like everything else, rap is subject to Sturgeon’s law.

    I like some narrative stuff like Tyler The Creator, but I’m more into J Dilla and Flying Lotus these days.

  67. 67
    Lawnguylander says:

    As for today’s hip hop, industry rule # 4,080, winger rap critics are shaaady. There’s tons of great hip hop being made, some of it popular, some underground and in between. As mentioned, Big Mike. Lootpack, Big Boi still puts out great music, but I’ve been looking back on YouTube and finding stuff I missed in my favorite era, ~ 94 – ~ 02, lots of amazing J Dilla, Prince Paul, DJ Quik stuff I missed. And Goodie Mob. Cee Lo was amazing on a couple of Outkast songs. Can’t believe I never bought a Goodie Mob CD.

    http://youtu.be/u-FBjYlEaok

  68. 68
    rea says:

    Sturgeon’s law. It’s not really much of a criticism of rap to say that 90% of rap is crap–90% of everything is crap.

  69. 69

    @sylvan: YESSSS flying lotus.

  70. 70
    Cassidy says:

    @RareSanity: B.o.B is every bit hip hop as the early days of the Dirty South with OutKast. It’s just a natural progression and evolution of the genre. There is a lot more fusion because the artists are being recognized as artists by the musical community, which was unheard of in the early days of hip hop. Even in the 90’s the only other people to embrace it were the skaters, punks, and alternative musicians (Judgement Night).

  71. 71
    Sophist says:

    @RP:

    “I think many people feel that the mid-80′s to the mid-90′s was the “golden” era of rap, and that we’re in a fallow period right now.”

    Yeah, it’s called nostalgia. The stuff from your youth is always better than the crap the kids are listening to nowadays. In 20 years people will be saying the same thing about the music of today. So it goes.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    @Lawnguylander: Lol Goodie Mob. Haven’t heard that name in a while.

  73. 73
  74. 74

    @Lawnguylander:

    As for today’s hip hop, industry rule # 4,080, winger rap critics are shaaady.

    Check the Whine

    Again, I highly recommend ATCQ documentary.

  75. 75
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: I tried, dude. It’s just that in every song he’ll do something I really like and something I can’t stand at the same time. Great guitar riff, Nicki Minaj.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    OT…Another day, another school shooting. This time at a middle school in Atlanta. One student in the hospital and the suspect is in custody. http://www.ajc.com

  77. 77
    Punchy says:

    Metal has been in decline since Pantera went softMustaine found Jesus

    Its been a train of consequences ever since.

  78. 78
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Since we’re trading rap artists and exposure, I might as well bring up my favorites.

    Firstly, Jurassic 5. Sadly, I never got into their later albums much, but Quality Control was ridiculous.

    And secondly, even if they’re not precisely rap in and of themselves, Ozomatli uses it to great effect when they do use it (and Chali 2na of the aformentioned J5 was a former member, as featured on this track).

  79. 79
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @RareSanity: I like Jay-Z and Eminem among others. Don’t like Drake.

  80. 80
    Djur says:

    @SatanicPanic: He should ask Rakim about that.

  81. 81
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, I can see that. He’s got a bit of what I call the Led Zeppelin problem- no one around to tell him when to quit while he’s ahead.

  82. 82
    soopertrooper says:

    Just wow. Can’t make this stuff up.

  83. 83
    scav says:

    @JPL: OT PS And Assistant D.A. shot and killed in Texas. Business as usual in this here bastion of law-abiding polite freedom central.

  84. 84

    @scav:

    Too bad Texas doesn’t allow conceal carry…

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @muddy: I thought the rap vs. hip-hop distinction was just one of those arcane things that serve to signal insiders as insiders. Like how people in the navy don’t call ships “boats.” I think. I never know.

  86. 86
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @RP:

    Part of the problem with rap was the federal court decision in 1991 or 1992 that said that artists had to pay for samples.

    This!

    Whether it was looping a beat and/or groove or dropping in snippets of dialogue from tv, film or radio (“All this scratchin’ is makin’ me itch!”) as added commentary, found audio was the heart of hip hop that was ripped out.

    ETA: Fuck Flo & Eddie!

  87. 87
    dedc79 says:

    Wagner was a nazi jew-hater. Therefore classical music symbolizes the decline of the west

  88. 88
    RP says:

    @Sophist: I don’t agree. What you’re saying is that all periods of art are of the same basic quality or that there’s simply no way to compare the quality across eras. I don’t buy that.

    Because of luck or environmental factors, some periods of art have a greater concentration of talent than others. Is it simply nostalgia to say that British rock in the 60’s and early 70’s (Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin) is superior to the 00’s? Is it simply nostalgia to say that more great American art was produced in the 1950’s and 60’s than in the 70’s or 80’s? Conversely, is it wrong to say that the last 10 years have been a golden age of television drama (BSG, Sopranos, GoT, The Wire, Breaking Bad) as compared to previous decades?

  89. 89

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Like how people in the navy don’t call ships “boats.” I think. I never know.

    Unless they are boats (submarines, for example).

  90. 90
    RareSanity says:

    @Cassidy:

    I really wish I had more time to discuss this…gotta head off to a meeting.

    However, I see where you’re coming from, I just don’t agree. Kanye and Jay Z, to me, represent the evolution of “true” hip-hop. An artist like B.o.B has created something unique unto itself.

    He’s an extremely talented dude, and makes great music. I don’t want you to think that I am in any way disparaging him with my opinion. It doesn’t matter what someone is classified as, good music is good music. But, since we are talking about a specific genre, it is just my opinion that he isn’t hip-hop.

    You disagree, and I respect that.

  91. 91
    Suffern ACE says:

    @dedc79: I think Wagner would be very happy if you placed him at the zenith and that everything after him was a decline.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    @RP:

    Is it simply nostalgia to say that British rock in the 60′s and early 70′s (Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin) is superior to the 00′s?

    Depends. I really enjoy Franz Ferdinand, The Arctic Monkeys, and the Fratellis. I’d rather listen the Sex Pistols than the Stones.

  93. 93
    The Red Pen says:

    Every April 11th, I celebrate Mark Steyn day in honor of this. (FR link — no ad revenue)

    Was Steyn humiliated by the wrongness on most of his predictions? No, a year later, he declared that he got it all everything right. Money quote:

    [WMD] were found. In Libya. Close enough for me.

    This guy is an international treasure.

  94. 94
    Djur says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): There’s still been good work done with samples since then — RZA’s entire career came after that case, and his signature sound is based on samples.

    There’s probably not going to be another Paul’s Boutique, but fairly heavy use of samples is still workable. Part of it is that rights holders have loosened up about allowing their work to be sampled by those awful hippety-hoppers.

    And, hey, the legal issues with sampling were a big influence on the development of the G-funk sound (because George Clinton encouraged DJs to use P-Funk samples). Hip-hop has matured just about as well as any other musical tradition, I think.

    ETA: Odelay and Entroducing aren’t rap albums (although they have heavy hip-hop influences), but both of them are just jam-packed with samples, and were released commercially after the legal status of sampling changed. It’s still possible to make creative use of samples.

  95. 95
    Cassidy says:

    @RareSanity: I don’t think that at all, being disparaging, etc. I look at hip hop through a punk lens. A lot of today’s “punk” is nothing like the bad ol’ days or the 80’s and 90’s and I know a lot of older punks, like me, who don’t like the newer stuff or any of the stuff that’s crammed into the “post-punk” label. I have my favorites, of course, but I can see the evolution from the Ramones to My Chemical Romance and I try to appreciate that progression.

    I hear ya, though.

  96. 96

    Because who knows more about rap music than two conservative white men in their 50’s?

    “Well, Jay, whatever happened to that, uh, ‘Fresh Prince’ fellow? He was, uh… ‘dope?’

    Wait, Mark, is dope bad or good?

    Well, Jay, obviously, dope usually means bad, because it’s also the word we use for drugs. But as conservatives, we all know that the urban Negro community uses all of their food stamp money to buy drugs, so they love drugs. Therefore, dope is a word signifying something that is good.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Librarian:

    Since Mark Lindsey went solo, and went all Cherokee on us all.

  98. 98
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Djur:

    There’s probably not going to be another Paul’s Boutique

    Heehee…I was thinking of this, though.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dedc79:

    Wagner isn’t “Classical Music” so much as “Sturm and Drang”, Wagnerian Opera is all about the heavy sweating and beating people over the heads thematically.

    So very appropriate for fin de siècle Germany.

  100. 100
    jl says:

    @Cassidy: I was resnarking.

  101. 101
    dedc79 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I will plead ignorance here. Was just trying to come up with something equally absurd to dismissing all rap music because some of it is obscene.

  102. 102
    Raven says:

    @RareSanity: Couple of years ago Big Boi was the halftime show at the Tech-Hokie game. I hav NO idea who he was but it seemed like all the nerds in the crowd did so I felt pretty good about NOT knowing!

  103. 103
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @soopertrooper:

    If you did try to make it up and pass it off as authentic, you’d be laughed at. It’s that absurd.

    The people at National Socialist Review are, indeed, that fucking out there. They are constantly presenting lists of “conservative” movies, pop songs, games, whatever.

  104. 104
    jl says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’m an middle aged white guy who likes East coast style. After West Coast dominated, rap went to hell.

    I don’t go out exploring much rap or hip hop now, so appreciate any links to new good stuff.

    You damn kids get off my lawn. Back in my day, Perry Como, now there was some good rap.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dedc79:

    Well, your point is well taken aside, because it’s got lots of strings and bassoons at least some of the classical forms of guys like Beethoven, Bach, and so forth, it’s easy to lump in with them.

    It ain’t Michael Jackson, that we know…

  106. 106
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl:

    You damn kids get off my lawn. Back in my day, Perry Como, now there was some good rap.

    Mel Tormé The Velvet Fog.

  107. 107
    Cassidy says:

    @jl: Ahhhh, gotcha.

    @jl: What? Oh hell no. Tupac , baby.

  108. 108
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: When I heard Franz Ferdinand it was like hearing music I always hoped someone would make. Rad disco punk! I was super excited

  109. 109
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Cassidy:

    I loved Goodie Mob’s stuff–I was down south when their first album came out, and while people were really proud of Outkast, they really were all about Goodie–and I still rate it extremely highly, but with the possible exception of Liz Phair, no artist has done more to make me embarrassed to have ever been a fan of theirs than Cee-Lo.

  110. 110
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Djur:

    As to your added comment: Yeah, I know. I’m a big fan of MoWo. Good stuff, heavy on the sampling. But the hip hop the kids at work are listening to isn’t.

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    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Eleanor Put Your Boots On is my favorite song.

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    jl says:

    I do follow Chuck D. He has become like a rap Johnny Appleseed. I’ve seen some interesting rap clinics he’s done all over the world (Edit: on youtube mainly, since I can’t get to Australia and similar far off places much).

    Last big effort I made to explore stuff was when rap and arabesque starting interacting. most of that was from Europe and US, since the old Islamic fogeys in Middle East, Iran and North Africa had same opinion of anything new that the old farts at NR do, so the groups had to relocate.

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    Cassidy says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Hey man, you can’t hate to hard on Liz Phair. You spend that long in the business, a girl’s gotta make some cash at some point. Same with Jewel.

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    sylvan says:

    @ruemara:

    I’ll say it. Metal has been in decline since Pantera went soft

    Meshuggah never went soft. They keep getting heavier and more popular with each new release.

    Extreme polyrhythmic metal featuring 8 string guitars is a thing now, thanks to them.

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    Joel says:

    @SatanicPanic: I liked Arrested Development, who were the Yanni of rap.

  116. 116

    @Joel: A game of horseshoooooooooooooooes.

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    Cassidy says:

    @Joel: I saw them live at Lollapalooza back when RATM was the opening act.

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    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: He CAN lie, though.

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    Calouste says:

    @Djur:

    IIRC, Endtroducing is only samples.

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    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: You see Jewel in “Ride With the Devil”, Ang Lee’s film about Quantrell’s raid on Lawrence?

  121. 121

    @Calouste: Yup. It made the Guinness Book of Records for being the 1st entirely sampled album.

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    Cassidy says:

    @Raven: Neither. I was never a big Jewel fan. I just remember her string of ballads and then she tried that dance pop thing. It seemed like everyone was pissed, but I understood it. Ended her career, though.

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    gene108 says:

    The kids of the 1980’s and 1990’s are all grown up.

    What’s hurting rap music is the failure to lure these middle-aged adults to music they will like.

    The lack of adult contemporary/smooth/easy-listening rap music is awful.

    There needs to be rhymes to address the issues of a middle-class adulthood, like wanting to buy a 90 inch TV but wife just doesn’t understand.

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    Cassidy says:

    @gene108: We could always get Will Smith to put another album out.

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    SatanicPanic says:

    @Joel: Yikes, I had forgotten about them and looked up their video… 90’s flashbacks! De La Soul is still one of my favorites

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    Raven says:

    @Cassidy: It’s a good film, she doesn’t sing. Check it out.

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    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cassidy: I love hearing Steve Poltz talk about how he wrote her hit. It’s the kind of story that doesn’t have to be true.

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    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Djur:

    RZA’s entire career came after that case, and his signature sound is based on samples.

    RZA has all but abandoned samples, and it shows, because his beats are weak these days.

    But speaking of samples, on of the greatest sample-flippers of all time, Diamond D, spun a great set of all 45s in San Francisco this past weekend.

  129. 129
    sylvan says:

    @gene108:

    Richard Cheese was a pioneer in attempting to overcome these boundaries.

  130. 130
    Roy G. says:

    I look forward to their list of Best Conservative Rap Songs of All Time.

  131. 131

    @Roy G.: I think we could guess. Baby’s Got Back, Rapper’s Delight (although it gave them the vapors when it first came out), Summertime by Will Smith, any Emininem song, Bawitdaba by Kid Rock (misclassified), Bust a Move.

  132. 132
    Sly says:

    @RP:

    Is it simply nostalgia to say that more great American art was produced in the 1950′s and 60′s than in the 70′s or 80′s?

    Depends on how old you are. If the art produced in the 50s and 60s was discovered contemporaneously by you, then it’s nostalgia. If you were not yet alive when it was produced, then it’s a reactionary impulse.

    Nostalgia is for people who romanticize the period of their youth because, well, that’s when they were young, and everything was great when we you were young (except all the times when it wasn’t, which we tend to forget as we get older). The reactionary impulse seeks to remedy dissatisfactions with the present by reinventing the past. But both entail an idealization of the past as an unjustifiable critique of the present; the good is remembered (or created), the bad is forgotten.

    When you ask if contemporary music is as good as the Beatles, the Stones, and Zeppelin, you’re asking us to compare what is regarded as the best of yesteryear (which often wasn’t even regarded as the best at the time… Zeppelin, for instance, didn’t achieve major critical or popular success until the mid-late 70s) to everything of today. And while there is a lot of shit today, there is also a lot of shit from yesteryear.

    A song so bad they could only get a cartoon band to play it was the most popular song in 1969, the same year that the Beatles “Something,” the Stones’ “Honky Tony Woman,” and Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” was released. Along with some more great songs, and a whole lot more crap not worth remembering.

  133. 133
    Crza says:

    Some good or great albums from just the last year or so, this just off the top of my head because I play them constantly:

    Kenrick Lamar – good kid m.a.a.d. city
    Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions
    A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP
    The Coup – Sorry To Bother You
    Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
    Big Boi – The Son Of Chico Dusty
    Raekwon – Only Built For Cuban Linx Vol. 2
    Big K.R.I.T. – Return of 4Eva
    Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day In Hell
    Pharoahe Monch – W.A.R.

    And there’s tons of good or great artists who are rap-ish or maybe sing first and foremost but have a huge hiphop influence, from THEESatisfaction to Idle Warship to The Weeknd to Santigold to M.I.A….

    For crying out loud.

    Now none of this stops my 30-something pasty-white ass from insisting that Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad-produced albums are easily the pinnacle of… everything, forever. But those insisting that rap music fell off for good are just not paying any attention at all.

    Yeah, right, let’s pretend Sir Mix-A-Lot could fuck with the likes of Kendrick Lamar.

  134. 134
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sly: Aw. “Sugar, Sugar” is a well-executed piece of pop fluff. There are far worse pop songs from that era. I mean, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”? “Close to You”?

  135. 135
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Sophist: Yeah, it’s called nostalgia. The stuff from your youth is always better than the crap the kids are listening to nowadays.

    True. The relatively recent (i.e., only in the last 30 years) wrinkle is to attack the recording media too. There are some newly-turned-40 men in my office who had a discussion the other day about how all the new music is not only CRAP but they COMPRESS the audio all to hell and gone and ruin whatever redeeming qualities it might have had but doesn’t.

    It was the newest iteration of constipated Boomer whining about CDs and the death of “analog warmth.”

    For the real connoisseur of rote kvetching, there were probably a few water-cooler rants about that grunge on MiniDisc for the space of 15 minutes in the 1990s.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Crza: OK, I’m white and marginally over 40 myself, and it’s not like I have cred or anything except for having been a fan of Run-DMC and Public Enemy…

    I thought Kendrick Lamar (at least on SNL) was some of the worst, mumbliest, and most annoying nonsense I had ever heard.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: Blessedly, as far as I’m aware, we have never been subjected to 8-track nostalgia.

  138. 138
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Indeed. Apart from vinyl, I’ve only ever heard recording media mentioned disapprovingly.

  139. 139
    Mike Nilsen says:

    “I hate Big Birds and I jus’ can’t lie…”

    – Mark Steyn

  140. 140
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    they COMPRESS the audio all to hell and gone and ruin whatever redeeming qualities it might have had but doesn’t.

    Well, they pretty much do.

    See: Brick-wall limiting

    See also: Shitty compression algorithms for turning WAVs to MP3s.

  141. 141
    danah gaz says:

    MF Doom
    El-P
    Mos Def
    Aesop Rock
    Vast Aire
    DTFH (Del)
    etc.

  142. 142

    These are types of arguments I used to dream about. Being the hip-hop aficionado that am. I would be more than willing to destroy Mark’s arguments. Not to mention it bugs me when white conservatives, who spend most of their time demonizing black culture, try to speak authoritatively about it. I react the same way when they talk about abortion being a “black genocide” or black unemployment or black on black crime. Mufucka this shit BEEN going on. We’re out here trying to find solutions to it. But you care NOW that it pertains to whatever bullshit argument you’re making?

    But as I’ve entered my 30s I’ve realized this is a conversation more and more I’m loathe to have. I try to avoid them. Why?

    Because most people my age are abandoning hip-hop. They’re uninformed. They have lives. They’re disenchanted with the genre. They’ve turned off the radio. But most of all they just don’t care. Lots of my friends are stuck in a Golden Age time warp. They peak their heads out of the sand once in and while. But its mostly to say the same stuff our parents used to say: this crap sucks and my era was better.

    So I’ll try to keep my points brief.

    The audacity of a white conservative to call hip-hop an inauthentic expression of black identity still boggles my mind. I’ll just say when I listen to “Boobie Miles” by Big K.R.I.T. I do indeed feel like it expresses what it means not only to be a black but a 35-year-old married black man struggling to pass the Bar Exam.

    Here’s the chorus:

    “Get money, don’t be no lame
    Bench warmers never ride foreign, so play the game
    Never drop the ball, never accept a loss
    Get back up if you fall, and when your number called
    you better give your all
    I hope you give your all
    You gotta play until the end
    The only difference between a winner and a loser is a winner plays until he wins”

    Here’s a sample of the second verse.

    “Just be aware that everybody ain’t your friend
    They’ll be gone with the wind once your jump shot don’t go in
    or your ACL torn and you a couple yards short
    from a Super Bowl Championship and it was down 4
    Gotta play the field, be willing to ride, willing to dive
    for what you desire, call your pop fly but never collide
    with other players that play the game
    Don’t be eager to run with crowds, stay in your lane
    Pass the knowledge onto your team, but carry the flame
    cause it’s yours and yours alone to brighten your way
    Put God first and free your soul
    cause even Olympic runners sometimes lose their gold, so”

    Look. I’m days away from taking this exam. Not my first time taking it either. Some of my friends are not necessarily employed through legal means. But I’m trying. And if this song doesn’t speak to my need to persevere I don’t know what does. And nothing really speaks to that more than the sports analogies he uses.

    So you can tell me you don’t really listen to hip-hop. You can tell me you don’t like it. But don’t tell me it doesn’t speak to me. Ask me first Mark Steyn.

    Just as a bonus I’m posting “She Was Fly” by Full Crate & Mar feat. Eric Roberson. The other reason hip-hop speaks to me is because I’m in love. And nothing really expresses the love I have for my wife quite like hip-hop. Its a nuanced thing. A wink, an inside joke, a look, a smell. And no other genre can really capture that. I’m just happy to watch her walk. Can’t really get that in a sappy love song.

    I apologize for the length of this post. Started rambling.

  143. 143
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  145. 145
    PanurgeATL says:

    @jl:

    This is the most ironic song in the history of the world. Thank you.

  146. 146
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Sly:

    To say the old stuff was better is a reactionary impulse only if you believe that the necessary solution is to reinvent the past; to hold otherwise is to say that today always has the best of everything. (For all that, there’s been plenty of “liberal” reinvention of the past since the ’60s, from “new wave” onward, even if they were doing it “ironically”, so nobody has any business pointing fingers at conservatives.) But that’s the conservative conceptual trap–“the old stuff was better, ergo let’s go back to the old stuff”. But the point is to make the new stuff as good as the old stuff. In making the new stuff better, we might take some lessons from the old stuff, but that wouldn’t necessarily be the point.

    OTOH, all this isn’t to say that giving the past a future isn’t worthy at all. If you can give it a future, go ahead and do it, I guess. But let’s not confuse it with THUH FUTURRRRE.

    One problem, in our Postmodern Era, is the question of just what counts as “past” or “present” any more. The overwhelming majority of neo-retro referencing refers to the mid-century (i.e., before Them Damn Hippies Ruined Everything). There’s always going to be some of this, as the date at which The Good Old Days end keeps getting moved up, but to make that the main thrust of things is a sign of either exhaustion or frustration, not life. Sometimes it’s useful to remember that it doesn’t have to be All Revolution All The Time; if rock had remembered that in 1976, when there were plenty of problems to address and those in a position to address them decided to TEAR IT ALL DOWN AND START OVER instead, where might be we now?

    You might have guessed that I’m essentially one of those “reinvent the past” types; I’m just interested in re-inventing a different past than most other people are. But when there’s a counterrevolution going on, everyone’s a counterrevolutionary–and when people re-inventing 1975 get called on it and people re-inventing 1964 don’t, I call BS.

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