Bring that beat back!
Woke up quick, at about noon and put some old school on my stereo this morning. I was listening to hits like Can I kick it (Tribe Called Quest), Letterman (K Solo), Straight out da Jungle (Jungle Brothers), Warm it up Kane (BDK), Pete Rock and CL Smooth, La Schmoove (Fu Schnickens), 3rd bass, etc., and noticed hip hop used to have fun and funky beats to it and the lyrics were well thought out and fun. Then I put on some of the new stuff, and it seems totally different than those older tunes. The beats weren´t quite as catchy and funky as the older ones and seem more electronic music than the funk and soul samples used in older beats. Also, the lyrics were about violent fantasies or experiences, or they were just words that rhymed and didnt say much of anything with substance. Now, I recall hip hop being fun, witty, and funky - (who can forget Scenario or Dwyck or Curtis Blow), but some of the stuff out now is whack - frankly, 50 cent and eminemm arent quite as soulful as the older stuff (Emminemm is now considered top notch, but I cant taste the flavor of his beats or rhymes when I listen to it, I mean he is intelligent, but not yet equivalent). Can somebody bring that beat back?
I think you've pretty much summed up how the *WHOLE* industry has changed, not just beats in hip-hop. Everything is just too commercialized now.
True. The industry fell off. Hip hop used to rely on soul and funk tracks to create good beats and on witty rhymes, not on yelling and lame, slow electronic beats. I have no problem with well thought out electronic beats like Wu Tang, but Nelly, DMX, 50 Cent, and Emminemm I would define as chicken wing, hip pop music. I´m not knocking down their commercial success, more power to them. But I do give their music the gas face.
I was commenting on this just the other day. I grew up with all that early-mid hip hop stuff you mentioned. I don't think the stuff today sounds anywhere NEAR as good as the older hip hop. It may be done on better-sounding equipment, but it just doesn't excite you the same way.
A lot of it may be that they were sampling things like Clyde Stubblefield and James Brown - and THAT stuff is really what moves me. The new stuff is all strange drum cadences with weird break-beats, etc. and lots of sharp percussive sounds.
I know that the new gear is capable of better sounds, but something about a 12-bit drum loop still sounds PHAT to me in a way that this new JUNK doesn't. ANd besides that, it's not fun anymore.
De La Soul, FuShnickens, Tribe Called Quest, all that stuff was great. Even early Naughty By Nature, Dr. Dre's The Chronic - more fun than what's out there now.
Hip hop never made me groove like old Motown/Stax, though.
This is my first post on this site/forum so before I add my comments to this thread, if I may, I'd like to tell you a little about myself.
I'm an ex-DJ/presenter of mainly (but not only) Hip Hop from London. I remember when I first got into Hip Hop the big tunes of the time were Planet Rock (Afrika Bambaataa et al), Adventures on the Wheels of Steel (Grandmaster Flash et al), It's Yours (TLA Rock), etc. - we're talking pre-historic skool here!
Back in those days there were at least two paths taken by beatmakers/producers. 1. Sample James Brown (or anything that emulated James Brown), 2. Make your own beats using whatever gear that was available to you at the time, e.g. Mantronik with his TR909.
There were others, of course, like Arthur Baker who did a bit of both as well as doing their own thing (e.g. Trans Europe Express = Planet Rock).
The point I'm trying to make is that Hip Hop has always been diverse in terms of both beats and lyrics. Whilst it may be true that the commercially successful Hip Pap that we hear today is a load of twaddle compared to some of the old skool classics, it's also true that if you're prepared to look a little deeper than at what's in the charts you'll still find some contempory Hip Hop gems. Furthermore, there was an awful lot of shegries being pushed out in the old skool era(s) as well, though thankfully most of it has been selectively erased from our memory banks.
Anyway, I've only had a brief tour of the site so far and it seems cool so I apologize if my opinion has offended anyone, but I truly believe that real Hip Hop - not the 50 cent/Ja Rule type BS that's in the charts - is as good, if not better, today as it always has been. :cool:
it's also true that if you're prepared to look a little deeper than at what's in the charts you'll still find some contempory Hip Hop gems.
Also, there's a great deal of really great music with roots in the original hiphop styles appearing out under various guises of electronica - funky breakbeat, downtempo jungle etc.
As popular hip hop has artisticly disenfranchised
it's creators in favour of glittery, grunting frontmen, much of the creative talent is seeking other, more expressive genres to be a part of.
Just to add to my earlier post, here is a copy of a post I made in an, ahem, alternative forum in answer to a query from someone just starting to get into Hip Hop (he's from Scotland btw, not that it matters):
Just thought I’d put together, in no particular order, a list of some of my favourite Hip Hop albums. A diverse selection and probably not all will be to everyone’s tastes, however that’s what I love about Hip Hop the most – the diversity of sounds, ‘flavours’, arrangements, etc.
Anyway, I’m not sure of the current availability of all these (some of them are 15 – 20 years old) but have a hunt for them – that should be fun in itself – and, of course, wherever possible try before you buy.
Cypress Hill – Cypress Hill
God’s Son – Nas
Black Sunday – Cypress Hill
Critical Beatdown – Ultra Magnetic MCs
Like Water for Chocolate – Common
Back To Wreck Shop – Tuff Crew
Step in the Arena – Gang Starr
Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli
Illmatic – Nas
By All Means Necessary – Boogie Down Productions
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
Derelicts of Dialect – 3rd Base
Follow the Leader – Eric B & Rakim
Predator – Ice Cube
The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
The Main Ingredient – Pete Rock & C L Smooth
The Mis-education of… - Lauryn Hill
Bizarre Ride II The… - Pharcyde
Supa Dupa Fly – Missy Elliott
Stress – Organized Konfusion
Infamy – Mobb Deep
Stillmatic – Nas
The Realness - Cormega
Wu Tang Forever – Wu Tang Clan
Return of the Boom Bap – KRS One
The Sun Rises in the East – Jeru the Damaja
Labcabincalifornia - Pharcyde
Raisin’ Hell – Run DMC
Let’s Get Free – Dead Prez
Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions
Enta da Stage – Black Moon
Three Feet High and Risin’ – De La Soul
AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted – Ice Cube
Take a Look Around – Masta Ace
Behind Bars – Slick Rick
Wu Tang Iron Flag – Wu Tang Clan
The Coming – Busta Rhymes
Whut? Thee Album - Redman
The Infamous – Mobb Deep
Straight Out ‘a Compton – N W A
Marshall Mathers L P – Eminem
The Chronic – Dr. Dre
Eyes on This – M C Lyte
Gangster and a Gentleman – Styles
Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik – Outkast
Unfinished Business - EPMD
Enter the 36 Chambers – Wu Tang Clan
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – Black Sheep
Long Live the Kane – Big Daddy Kane
Straight Out the Jungle – Jungle Brothers
Beats, Rhymes & Life – A Tribe Called Quest
Renegades of Funk – Afrikaa Bambaata & The Soulsonic Force
Back To the Old School – Just Ice
Business, Never Personal – EPMD
One Love, Spy!"
Like I said to Gregster, probably not all to everyone's tastes but I've always been kind of eclectic when it comes to music - if I like it, I like it!
Anyway, I don't DJ anymore (except for (close) friends and/or fun). Now I'm trying (very trying as y'all no doubt discover ;) ) to make and, for me, more importantly engineer/produce my own music. Like my eclectic taste(s) in music I buy/listen to, the music I make is quite diverse - some of it electronic and some of it analogous in 'feel' - within the genre of Hip Hop (or otherwise) and I think (hope) that's a good thing.
Whether my music is a good thing is an entirely seperate issue... :p