OK - you lot probably know, I listen to a lot of (backpacker) hip hop, but I'm not a scholar so I'm putting this one out there as a statement to be discussed. Shan (my musical genii) informed me the other day that Massive Attack (late 80s trip hop group - Tricky & them) are curating a night called The Future of Hip Hop as part of the *Southbank Centre's Meltdown festival...the line up will include Flying Lotus, Dalek, Shape of Broad Minds and I'm informed the Cool Kids, and it's happening on June 19th - tickets go on sale tomorrow morning.
I have a few quandaries around this - first of all, I'm not entirely sure how qualified I feel Massive Attack are to tell me what the future of hip hop will be. Maybe I'm cynical but back in the day they were making what is essentially an off shoot of hip hop, of which there have been many, and successful as they were in their day they never became the future - so they're obviously not too hot at predicting it. (Is that really harsh?) I hear they have a new album out in June & this is fantastic marketing for them - but something about that programme and it's title doesn't sound to me like what a true hip hop fan would subscribe to. Don't get me wrong, I listen to all of the artists above & am a HUGE fan of Fly Lo (I can't express to you how amazing Cargo was on Saturday - I think all the screaming you can hear is me & Shan - he fucked with the legendary Window Licker by Aphex Twin),
I listen to a lot of the other progressive electronica influenced hip hop that's out too -Dabrye, Heralds of Change, Afta 1, Waajeed, Sa-Ra etc etc. Thing is we love that stuff right now - but England seems to have a very fickle love affair with new genres of music - garage, grime, dubstep, (you get the picture) - we're always searching for the next thing. At the same time however, we represent a strange dichotomy because we are also one of the only places in the world De La Soul, Public Enemy, Wu Tang etc can sell out to hundreds of adoring fans. Nobody cares in the US. The biggest nights in the calendar in the last year have included; the Primo BBE night, Mos Def, Wu Tang, the myriad Dilla nights, Livin' Proofs' Biggie special and Meth & Red. I would sell most of my family to go if The Roots played a gig to promote Rising Down. The crowd at Cargo on Saturday at Fly Lo was just not a typical hip hop crowd (Janeiro Jarel got up on stage too by the way, and he told me he's doing Glastonbury?! I hope I didn't put him off by giving him the 411 on the mud, flooding, toilets and ting) & the turn out at Deviation for HOC (a dude from Sa-Ra performed unexpectedly too) wasn't great - I held it down for us all to Hollywood & Glorious, trust.
People have been discussing the future of hip hop since it's inception in the 70s - everyone's waiting for it to die, (Nas seems to have hit self-destruct, did he really call his latest album Nigger?!), or everyone's trying to predict what it's future will be. To be honest I was so encouraged to hear Busta's wicked new heavily funk laced tune (click here to download & read Shans post about it), and Roddy Rods Whip is one of my current favourites (I think it pees on Bustas). They are not kidding bout the Low Budget on this video. Oh and can you see Muhsinahs l'il smile popping out the window?
To a certain extent people say The Cool Kids sound a bit old school - they're aight but I don't think I'll be playing Black Mags in 5 years.
Can you please just promise me the future of hip hop's not going to be this transsexual looking talentless twat?
*I can't talk about the Southbank Centre without posting a link to the Save The Southbank petiton