Monday, September 17, 2007
When I was a teen growing up in NJ, I consumed massive amounts of hip-hop, most of which came out of NYC. There were bands like A Tribe Called Quest, Naughty By Nature, Das EFX, Black Sheep, Redman, Wu Tang Clan, Nas, and countless others. I had a hunger for hot beats and great rhymes. It used to be that you could only get your hands on mixtapes by guys like DJ Clue if you went to NYC yourself, or if you knew anyone who had a copy. Those days are long gone. Artists now in the hip-hop scene have more potential to reach a larger audience other than those in "the hood". Not only that, but we are seeing many artists cross genres to make songs with musicians in other scenes. And what better example of that than Kanye West. You gotta admit, the man knows how to promote himself. From public rants to a confidence that's mixed with a narcicisstic complex, he draws attention. So naturally you had to assume there would be much publicity surrounding his latest album Graduation.
The guy's not a drug dealer, didn't grow up in the hood, and doesn't have much street cred. But he's a slick musician. And that's evident all throughout the album. Whether he's doing a collaboration with Coldplay's Chris Martin on the song Homecoming, or banging out a radio hit like Stronger, his capability to cross musical genres puts him at the top of his game. You'd find more lyrical depth in his songs more than you would other rappers as he sings about persistance in reaching for your dreams and the flesh and blood of striving for a better life. Sometimes I think the guy bitches too much and tries to make a scene all to promote himself. But listening to his music, I realize it's not all hype and he is talented in his craft.
at 9:55 AM