Thursday, 21 June 2007

So What Kind Of Music Are You Into?

This, believe it or not, is the most difficult question to answer when someone asks me.

For example, a conversation can go like this...
A: So what type of music are into?
B: Hip hop.
A: Really? I like Eminem as well!
B: Hmm...
Or like this...
A: So what type of music are into?
B: Underground hip hop, people like Masta Ace, Little Brother, Binary Star, that kinda thing.
A: Oh really? I like Eminem, do you listen to his stuff?
B: No, he's a mainstream rapper who made his money and sold out. I hate people like that, treating hip hop like shit, with all his wigger fans.
A: Hmm...

I'm sure that every fan of hip hop will have had either Conversation A or B at least once in their life. At the end of the day, one of the people in the convo is gonna lose interest, and your relationship is going to end there and then. So the question is, how do you answer a simple question like without giving in or sounding like Chuck D?

I'd love to say I've got all the answers, but I haven't. At the moment, I'm going with Conversation A, but now everyone may think I'm a hardcore Em fan (don't get me wrong, the guy has probably done more for hip hop in the last 10 years than anyone else I can think of, but there are better MC's out there!). I mean I could go on for days and days talking about what I like and why I like it, but obviously the question is pretty vague and I suppose the person asking it doesn't wanna really know the history of hip hop a la 'Can't Stop, Won't Stop' (by Jeff Chang).

I yet to meet a person in the 'real' world that has heard of any of my favourite MC's, but that's a whole notha post, and I'll leave that for another day.

So post comments on how you handle the situation, and I may copy your style!

On to today's album post...

Talib Kweli - Quality

I'm sure 90% of you already have this in your collection, but nevertheless, I've decided to post this album because it has some added significance for me. This was the first album I downloaded, where I hadn't actually heard of the artist. As a result, it opened my eyes to a whole new world of music.
The first Kweli song I had heard was the 'Get By (Remix)', featuring Jay-Z, Mos Def, Kanye and Busta. I remember seeing the song, and recognising every name except for Kweli's (I didn't even know how to pronounce the name). Anyway, I thought Kweli's verse was pretty dope and went about trying to find his album. I was not disappointed.
To date, I still think this Kweli's album (although I haven't yet given 'Eardrum' a full listen as of yet). My favourite cut has to be 'The Proud', a fiercely political track, which features one of my favourite lines...
'The President is Bush, the Vice President's a Dick
So a whole lot of fuckin is what we gon' get'
Production is taken care of by Kanye, Dilla and Ayatollah among others. Although Talib has become a lot more mainstream as of late (everybody's gotta eat), this album was made when he was raw and hungry. After this, I checked out 'Black Star' (a masterpiece) and 'Reflection Eternal/Train Of Thought' (Hi-Tek at his best).
But this still remains as the album that introduced me to underground.


Kazeiro said...

That happens all the time, people only know shitty artists like Eminem or 50 Cent... and then one of the 2 options happens:

A - They love Eminem and 50 Cent
B - They hate Hip-Hop

If it's B and you say you like Hip-Hop, then they assume you like Eminem and 50 Cent and think you have a shitty taste in music.

In my English class the other day, there was a group making a presentation about an Hip-Hop article and asked me what Hip-Hop artists did I like. I said I liked artists like Common or Kanye West (well, everyone knows Kanye right?). And they were like: "Uh.. Ok.."

So I'm sorry but I also don't know how to continue that conversation and I'm also still to find a person in the real world who knows real hip-hop.
I usually try to say try to say "Well.. Hip-Hop is okay..." when someone asks me, and then quickly try to change subject to another genre of music.

Perfecta said...

lol, not really a answer to your problems, but i sell the odd mixtape or cd to people at work, and whenever a new person starts word gets around that i'm the man to buy hip hop from, but i ALWAYS ask them what they looking for before i offer my services, because as soon as they ask for Snoop, 50, jay z etc, i send them to the guy who sells pop music.....

Mystik Journeyman said...

I'm not too fussed about what people think. It's a shame that the media associates mainstream rappers with hip-hop when it's just rapping over pop music but if someone says, "...what like 50 Cent?", or whatever, I just say, "That's just pop music. I listen to proper hip-hop", and that's usually the end of the conversation.