Sunday, May 9, 2004
I'm halfway through with a...challenging...transcription of an interview with the verbose Dose One, and as I'm listening to this guy, it strikes me that the fact that in terms of (stylistic) prostitution, The Whore of Babylon has got NOTHING on hip-hop could in fact be the BEST thing that the genre has going for itself.
In other words, the less 'real' it is, the more 'hardcore' it is, which makes the quest for authenticity about as fruitful as the one that took place for The Holy Grail. But anyway, in the meantime, we'll still have to humor our crusaders, won't we?
So this 'downside' to the 'real' itself is interesting...When the question "Where and when will the zenith of hip-hop take place?" is finally posed (of course posing 'final' questions is SO passe), the evidence seems to point one in the direction of the place that points in all directions except inwardly: Tokyo...that place turned inside-out, itself already partially 'afloat' in a zero-gravity cultural state. There will be no zenith, only a anti-peak...a kind of nadir. But not in negative, black-t-shirt-wearing, Metallica-sort-of way. It could be fun...and bubbly for that matter.
The city could prove the ideal brooding ground for a style in which it is important to 'MIS-UNDERSTAND' as many other styles as possible, where 'cool' capital is gained the bank of the polyglot imbecile; The world may find itself quickly not needing the hermetically sealed aesthetics of the polyglot genius (e.g. Stockhausen, Cornelius) anymore. The old and the new(er), have they not both, each in their own way, already gone the way of the dodo? Now dawns the era of the artist cum Cockoo! (see pic below...)
In America, certian areas of hip-hop seem poised to outstrip the ultra-narcissim/self-abnegation dichotomy that was already achieved in the 70s in other genres, such as in punk's heyday. Which, if anything can be learned by that history, means that in about 5 year or so, hip-hop will enter a kind of period of duality, where there will be a 'glamish' kind of hip-hop (i.e. everything you 'love/hate' about LA) and then this kind of 'underground' hip-hop...but if we listen just to the sounds themselves, there won't be much of a difference actually.
The point of departure will probably wind up being be ONLY in the attitude of the listener, and perhaps in the artists themselves, if they are able to 'isolate' themselves, and be able to be identified as being in either one group or the other. Even today, hasen't it already become possible to listen to even the most 'mainstream' hip-hop in a 'cool' and 'insider' way? Call it kitsch, call it what you will, as long as hip-hop can 'open out' on hip-hop - on its very self - it's still deserving of that nomenclature.