Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hip-hop Revival

Many of us high-fidelity types who came of age during the Clinton years came to hip-hop by way of rediscovery. Hip-hop was relatively young at the time, and many of us were introduced to it through the rare airplay received by select songs ("Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang," "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," etc) on alternative rock radio stations. While we were busy filling up our slip cases with Pavement and Pixies records, a vast array of hip-hop classics were being produced to which we were oblivious.

During the indie rock slowdown that was the late 90s, I found myself turning to hip-hop, and then found that the decade had hosted a creative boom. Through constant play of several popular artists (Tribe, Outkast, Wu-Tang) as well as some more esoteric, I became nearly as excited about hip-hop as I had about rock music 10 years before.

It was thus a rather tremendous disappointment to witness the prosaic turn the genre took in the 2000s. The most popular hip-hop of this decade certainly had its supporters, but I found it largely functional (with its function being the promotion of dance-floor grinding) and less innovative. Certainly, great music has been made with functionality in mind (see here), but this seemed out of spirit with the mission of hip-hop.

I could not be more excited, then, when I discovered Das Racist earlier this month:

Das Racist - You Oughta Know

While their music can't be characterized as anything but ridiculous, it's exciting to once again see a group that a) is interested in more than ring-tone play and b) has listened to something with more historic value than T.I. Specifically, it is clear (both by their name and their style) that they have spent more than a few hours listening to the classic Das EFX record Dead Serious:

Das EFX - Mic Checka

If you haven't heard this record, you should hear it immediately. Don't expect to understand anything that's being said. And if you haven't downloaded Das Racist's first mixtape Shut Up, Dude, you can do so here

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