Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

History of Hip Hop


The Guardian has a look back at 30 years of hip-hop. It’s a pretty interesting article, and I intend to use my p2p powers to compile the included “ultimate mix tape” listing. But I remember listening to rap back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and taking nothing but flack from my high school buddies for my apparent lack of taste in music. I recall they were “Hootie and the Blowfish” fans, but no matter. 🙂

I’m of the firm opinion that as a young’un, there are two or three songs that knock you flat on your ass and say “now listen to this, bitch!” One of those (for me) was Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit,” but the biggee was “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy. There was so much intelligence, anger and musical innovation packed into that tune I was blown away. Years later I got to see Public Enemy live, and it’s by far the best concert I’ve ever seen.

Now watered down and Wal-Mart friendly hip-hop is pretty much inescapable, though I’m willing to bet those same high school buddies are safely cocooned in “hits of the 80’s, 90’s and today (but no rap)” radio station bliss. 🙂

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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