Lately, as in the past two days, I’ve been listening to hip hop real hard core. And no, it’s not Korean. Yeah you read that right.
I though that I should educate myself a bit more in the original genre considering I got into honours for next year and am going to write my thesis on Korean hip hop and how it’s reported in the US (I’ll talk more about it in another post). So that was the initial reasoning for this and I’m loving it.
As I’ve said, I’ve only really gotten into hip hop this year with Korean hip hop. And in the past, it was not as if I hated it, it was just that I never really seeked it out like I did with post-punk, for example.
So I feel like people could be like, ‘who is this bitch, thinking she knows all about hip hop and shit now’ considering I’ve just gotten into it recently and I’m going to head off a write a thesis about it.
Firstly I think the whole point of doing research is looking into something you don’t know about because what’s the point. Secondly, after watching that TED talk and a bunch of videos of People Under The Stairs talking about music, I really got to thinking about it, and it’s just a natural progression for me, particularly since I’d been listening to a lot of jazz prior. I’m surprised it’s come so late to be honest.
For such a long time, honestly as long as I can remember, I’ve always really loved when classical and traditional instruments were used in modern music. A string or brass section always makes songs better! And I think that when this fusion initially seems abstract and opposing, actually makes the songs so much better when they come together to form a true piece of art.
Take Patrick Wolf’s record Wind in the Wires (or even his music in general honestly). This is one of my favourite records ever and it’s a true testament to his categorisation as folktronica. By folk I don’t mean Mumford and Sons banjo strumming, I mean Gaelic, cloak wearing, moor rambling soundtrack probably created using a super rare renaissance instrument (yep he’s one of those weirdo’s that can play every instrument in existence). Then imagine, accompanying that is the loop of a fuzzy electric drum beat and with his haunting poetry on top. Ah jeez, just listen.
And even if you look at my favourite bollywood songs, they have one layer of the song that is a really classic Indian sound with a pipe or violin section and then the rest of the song is made with more modern instruments. Oh but there are always killer dhol beats! Check it.
Ok, so going back to hip hop it’s completely built on this idea of taking from the past and putting a new spin on it, pun not intended. Then I don’t think it’s hard to guess that I have an inclination towards jazzy hip hip. I really love songs that you can chill out to. So far I’m really into Hieroglyphics, A Tribe Called Quest, Deltron 3030 and Madvillan, with the list surely to grow and grow. But People Under the Stairs are hands down my favs; not only is their music slick, but they also have sincerity in that they write about both sides of life, as opposed to just writing about getting money and bitches. True poets.
I leave you with my current jam and the expectation that I may complete that k-hip hop post soon.