Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Friday, June 30, 2006

A trend that has lasted 30 years

Eugene Kane of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote an interesting column about the lack (again) of hip-hop acts at Summerfest this year. But even more interesting is this blog post about reader reaction to the column.

Some agreed with me there isn't a great range of diversity in this year's line-up, but many others said it was smart to avoid hip-hop music because of the threat of violence.

It made me realize, many of you simply don't understand what hip-hop music is.
It's not a "fad" or "trend". Hip-hop music has been around for THIRTY YEARS now!!

It's the music used on popular movie soundtracks, MacDonald's commercials and as bumper music for sports talk shows.

Many hip-hop icons like P-Diddy, Jay-Z, Kanye West and others are the biggest stars in music today.

All the time I talk to people who treat hip-hop/rap music like it's some passing fancy that will (hopefully) fade at any moment, or music that only African-Americans listen to. I don't get it. How can people be this clueless? I bet at least as many white people buy Jay-Z and Kanye West records as black people. And it's not all teenagers. I'm 28, and rap music has been on the radio and MTV almost my entire life. I remember going to the roller rink in third grade and hearing the Beastie Boys, Fat Boys and Run-DMC. It doesn't get any more mainstream than that, and that was 20 years ago!

Did people treat rock 'n' roll the same way when it was 30 years old? That would have been about 1985. I was only 8 at the time, so I could be wrong about this, but I don't think so. Ronald Reagan, not exactly the most socially progressive guy around, was yapping (cluelessly, but still yapping) about Bruce Springsteen, the biggest rock star in the world at the time, in his campaign speeches the year before.

I can't imagine George W. Bush doing a shout-out to Jigga on the campaign trail. "Loved 'The Black Album,' Hov!"

The difference between rock and rap at 30 is that rap still is made mainly by black Americans while the roots of rock had been completely whitewashed by the mid-1980s.
Not coincidentally, while rap has been assimiliated into pop culture (or, more accurately, taken it over),it still scares the hell out of a lot of white Americans who long for the dulcet tones of the Eagles and REO Speedwagon.

Wake up, people! Hip-hop/rap IS pop music now. Rock music (which I love, but still) is jazz.


Anonymous cheddar said...

Agreed and agreed.

There's that oft-quoted statistic from the 90s that 70 percent of the purchasing audience for hip hop is white. Don't know what the percentage is now, but I can't imagine it's gotten lower.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

I guess I just assume hip-hop shouldn't be at Summerfest because it's the biggest ROCK festival. I like some hip-hop, but I can't see it at a rock show.

By extension, I think the country should be gone, too, and they should stop putting it on July 4.

They can keep Those Darn Accordions and Pat McCurdy, though.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you write about how many people wasted their money and time to see the joke of a band cowboy mouth at waterfest this past week?

12:11 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Gavin, Summerfest is a MUSIC festival, not a ROCK festival. It says so on the Web site.


4:21 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

Hmm... sure enough. I stand corrected.

7:57 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

The point was to keep the violence to a minimum. When was the last time a rock and roll star shot the living shit out of another rock n roll star?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Stop sounding so olde-timey, Road Apples. You've clearly never been to a hip-hop concert and have no idea what goes on there. To lump all hip-hop artists as potentially violent shows your ignorance of hip-hop.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Olson said...

Dime Bag Darrell, former guitarist of Pantera, was shotand killed on stage in 2004 at a rock concert in Columbus, Ohio.

11:33 AM  
Blogger road apples said...

Now hold on there you little whippersnapper. My specs ain't so scratched up that I can't still read the daily rag, dag nab it. I would rather be old-timey than a young'un who don't know his Nat from his Nate. Why I was listening to hip hop when you were still in short pants.

2:48 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

Thank you for making my point Mr. Olson. The crazy that shot dime bag and four others was a local crazy person with no apparent motive. He was not a rock star.

I would be willing to bet that a band like Damageplan or Pantera would never be booked Summerfest. Too much of a chance for bad publicity.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Great White burned down an entire stadium. The last night of Woodstock '99 was a riot. Metallica's lead singer set himself on fire onstage about 15 years ago, and when Axl Rose subsequently pulled G'n'R offstage, a riot broke out ... in MONTREAL, of all places.

Rock concerts are no more or less dangerous than rap shows. Rappers just catch the heat worse, and you can take your pick of reasons why.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Olson said...

Rollingstones at Altamont,they hired the Hell's Angels to run security and all Hell broke loose. Yes, I guess that pun was half intended.

10:24 AM  
Blogger road apples said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:03 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:04 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

1) No one was sot by another rock star.
2) None of those bands have ever played Summerfest.
3) Summerfest has never been or will ever be a "Woodstock". (Actually there could never be another Woodstock. That generation is now running Summerfest)

Once again, thank you for making my point young'uns.

the old timer

4:05 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Kurt Cobain shot himself in the head. Does that count as a rock star shooting another rock star?

4:53 PM  
Anonymous debi said...

Kurt? No, that was just a desperate and successful attempt to get away from that nutbag wife.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

No rapper has ever shot another rapper, either. Sure, there have been fistfights, but rock has had those, too. Rappers have BEEN shot, but not by each other. Lennon was shot, too. *shrug*

By the same token, however, no rapper has ever OD'd on coke or heroin, or choked to death on their own vomit while drinking, or any of the other "romantic" deaths rock stars seem to have on a fairly regular basis.

6:58 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:26 PM  
Blogger road apples said...

Biggie and Tupac deaths were results of the well kown feud between East and West Coast rappers (protecting their hoods so to speak). Since no one was ever caught I suppose you will say it does not count. Just a bad rumor maybe.

Both were an execution not a suicide, acidental fire, or overdose. A very violent end to two talented men.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Well, they didn't kill each other. They were shot as part of a feud, yes, but neither pulled the trigger on the other.

9:58 AM  
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