Thursday, October 13, 2005

Decline of East Coast hip hop and video games

In my My Top 15/20 of 2005 list, I lamented how there was little hip hop that I enjoyed this year and that I didn't like Little Brother as much as I wanted to.

And I have to ask the question - is East Coast hip hop, specifically the New York scene, dead? Or at least in a prolonged state of lull? The answer is "Yeah, probably" if 50 Cent is the reigning King of New York while Fat Joe and Ja Rule contend for the throne?

Then I was listening to samples off 2K6: The Tracks over on iTunes and thought "This shit isn't half bad." It's the old boom-bap, the Jeep shaking bass that wouldn't sound out of place in the summer of '95.

But isn't it a little silly to get excited over a video game soundtrack of all things? Is there no 2005 equivalent of Illmatic or Midnight Marauders or The Infamous or Illadelph Halflife, all the great albums that seemed to pop up every couple of weeks 10 years ago?

I started typing this post thinking I'd reach some sort of conclusion but I really don't have an answer. Maybe I'm not paying close enough attention (Joey would probably tell me to listen to AZ). Or maybe Ghostface is the one to hang my hat on. I mean, who bridges the old and the new, the Jeeps and the backpacks better than Tony Starks?

  • Did Adam Levine of Maroon 5 find Justin Timberlake's Street Cred Card on the bathroom floor? First, he's singing the hook on Kanye's "Heard 'Em Say" (which he actually sounds decent on) and now, he's on Alicia Keys' Unplugged, doing the Stones' "Wild Horses" (not so good). Next thing you know, he'll be hanging out with ?uestlove and bumping John Mayer off the Token White Guy seat.

  • Have I mentioned Salon's Audiofile blog already? I probably have. I don't care, it's well worth the trouble of getting the Site Pass. The news items tend to be more mainstreamy but there's plenty of under-the-radar downloads. And the thing I like is that they post the archived mp3s on the left hand side. I wish more mp3 blogs did that.
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