He Got Blame: Essay and Unrelated Mixtape
Given the relatively short existence of rap music, tracing its lineage appears fairly simple. The advances in the genre are well-documented: Kool Herc started turntablism, Kurtis Blow first brought rap to the mainstream, Prince Paul popularized skits, Afrika Bambaataa rocked the sample, and so forth and so on. Then there is Dr Dre’s classic 1992 album The Chronic, which represents perhaps the most perplexing turn in hip hop history. The album essentially brought West Coast thuggism into the forfront of commercial rap – effectively bulldozing the industry into clear-cut wasteland. Dre and his team of Compton gangstas (including, but not limited to Snoop D-O-double-G) pioneered 10+ years of violent, misogynist, style-over-substance G-Funk rap. Gone from the mainstream consciousness were De La Soul, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest (ie New York intelligentsia) and virtually any artistic variance from the fat, laaaaaaid back Dre beats. The Chronic was the turning point that brought on the hyper capitalist, sexism as a norm, drug-n-thug culture of rap today. Now, after the re-emergence of the creative emcee, Dre is looking to take back the balance of popularity from the Andre 3000’s, Mos Def’s, Roots’s and Freeway’s. The Game, who is the latest addition to Dre’s group of muppets called the G-Unit, is every bit the regressive 1992 rap that maligned the genre for years. His nostalgia for George Bush Sr.-era thuggism may represent a change of pace that appeals to critics, but we can’t seriously be considering returning to the “Bitches Ain’t Shit” sloganism and ultra violence of past…can we? Here’s this week’s completely unrelated mixtape.
1. Hot Hot Heat – “Goodnight Goodnight”
The new Triple H song. Thank you Stereogum.
2. Cass McCombs – “Sacred Heart”
New Order-esque you say? Hardly! Rather, good segue into the next pick.
3. New Order – “Krafty”
Just added on to Coachella!
4. Kaiser Cheifs – “Oh My God” Video
Toured with Bloc Party and have a crush on Franz Ferdinand. The next revolution in the UK, or an extension of the Killers?
5. The Radical Dudez – “Blame”
Care-free pop. Sing along to Dudez lines like, “no work all play / trackpants every day,” on this website .
This week’s lesson: don’t hate the figurative game, just the literal Game. Until next week.