When our keen eyed production coordinator managed to take this close-up pic of rap mogul Jay-Z
and his lovely bride Beyonce
at the Grizzly Bear
show last Sunday, he was repeatedly being told that the party was full, go to a bar, go home, get your nails 'did, but you can't stay here, hipster kids. Then an SUV with tinted windows rolled up, and after a sizable entourage, out popped Hov. Now Jay-Z is talking about how he is inspired by the "indie movement" and stuff, and music blogs are going nuts! They love this stuff. We love it too, but we're taking a closer look. According to MTV
, some members of the Hipster Nation accused Jay of attempting to stir publicity for his new record. Really hipsters? The man is a mogul
. He doesn't need cheap stunts. It also leaked today (timing!).
In reality, Jay-Z just likes music. Who would've thought? No one, apparently, but at least the inquisition provided some insight (thank you media prodding). When questioned about his appearance, Hov said some really interesting stuff about the relationship between rap and rock:
"...what the indie-rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring. It felt like us in the beginning. These concerts, they're not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there's 12,000 people in attendance. And the music that they're making and the connection they're making to people is really inspiring. So, I hope that they have a run where they push hip-hop back a little bit, so it will force hip-hop to fight to make better music, because it can happen, because that's what rap did to rock."
This probably isn't a new claim, but coming from an influential man like Hov, it will send the internet a twittering. Jay proposes that first off, excellent rapping created the indie rock movement, and secondly, that hip-hop has fallen behind rock due to a combination of auto-tuning, and an insurgence of Dirty Projectors-loving hippies who love weird (and hailed as brilliant) music. This all seems a bit hasty when fleshed out, but Hov isn't entirely wrong; the so-called "indie rock" movement does feel like rap in it's youngest and barest form (street heavy, huge fan base, no radio play, etc.). But then it's only a matter of time before Veckitimest III
is hailed as the worst in the series, especially the part with the helicopter and Emilio Estevez hooking up with his cousin or something
? Jay Z has frightened us that the movement towards appreciating good music is just part of some larger cyclical battle, a giant game of one-ups. Rock will trump rap eventually, and rap will fight back and beat rock, and then Veckitimest III: Rise Of The Machines
, and... you get it.
Are rock and rap forever doomed to battle for supremacy, with one always out-pacing the other in trendiness? This perspective seems a little bleak. Can't both genres coexist? What ever happened to Linkin Park? Saying that rap has had a "stranglehold on music" seems unfair and vague, and why is no one talking about Radiohead
now? But Jay-Z seems like a reliable source of good and bad, considering he is a bazillionaire thanks to his rap smarts, and also likes Grizzly Bear.
Whatever. The point here is that Jay-Z has an album coming out next week, and now you hippies know. -joe puglisi
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Jay-Z on Myspace
Grizzly Bear on Myspace