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applebott t1_j1sed22 wrote

Bob Dylan. Quiet debut to young superstar. Similarly weird voice.


KolhiiHead69 t1_j1sevcw wrote

It's a pretty silly scenario because it's impossible to determine the "best" in music.


Jugales t1_j1sfo9k wrote

Dolly Parton

Stevie Nicks


Title26 t1_j1sg9vc wrote

It's all taste, I don't think anyone could convincingly argue one is "better", but personally, I prefer Pusha. But I have a soft spot for the coke puns.

That said, Nosestaligia with both of them is just perfect.


silashoulder t1_j1sin1z wrote

It’s sort of split by genre:
Kendrick and Nicki Minaj have the Rap world, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are the largest names in Pop at the moment,
Lin-Manuel Miranda can do anything he wants on Broadway or for Disney,
South Korean artists are cornering the market on Dance/Electronica,
BUT there are no interesting guitarists left in Rock after Eddie. (When was the last time a band made the charts?)


TheeEssFo t1_j1sk8bj wrote

Does Kendrick completely dominate? Drake sells/streams more and has 4x more Instagram followers. On this list, K.Dot's 21st among richest rappers, even behind Akon. Akon. I'm not saying that these factors are most important, but the rest of the "domination" criteria is going to have to be really subjective and it's not as if money and popularity don't mean anything in hip-hop. (And if Kanye hadn't gone full racist, we don't even realistically have this convo.)

Pro sports is an awkward analogy because in that world, the best get paid the best. I love Kendrick and he's probably my favorite of his generation. But tbh, the rap game -- much less the "music industry" game -- does not bend and change tempo at the wave of his baton, not in the way that Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Daddy Yankee, etc. lord over their fields. Kendrick's a household name yet he isn't. He's kind of a fencesitter: chasing that status of Black Cool but, hey, Tay Tay wants a verse? No problem.


HistoryPaintings t1_j1sknti wrote

You're naming people who make a lot of money. That's not the same as being good.

Swift has a weird antagonism towards melody, and this year's Beyonce sounds like a poor imitation of Random Access Memories with more self promotion and less piano solo.

Miranda has his moments but he doesn't knock them out the park like Ashman-Menken.

The guy from Messa has a great Page derived sound- but if you want to hear new things done with guitar you just have to listen to jazz. Halvorson, Monder, Okazaki, Loueke. etc. There's no shortage of fresh ideas.


TheeEssFo t1_j1sp31j wrote

I love Kendrick and am not a Dylan superfan, but Dylan came to prominence with the anti-war and Civil Rights movements. Also had an incalculable impact on the directions of rock and folk. Kendrick was well-established before BLM and didn't really have much affect on the language of Black music during or post. He's more of a torchbearer for hip-hop, never as incendiary as Chuck D or KRS-One nor as Black aloof as Michaels Jordan and Jackson.

As I wrote in another post, I love Kendrick. But I just don't think he's pivotal. Not much is different because of him. He is this strangest of species, where he has all this respect and commercial clout, but I really don't know how you can characterize his effect. Almost the opposite: during his 'reign' as hip-hop's 'greatest' MC, the genre has arguably gotten worse.

He's not Patrick Mahomes; he's Frank Thomas.


TheeEssFo t1_j1sphb2 wrote

OP didn't say "good," OP said "dominate." How do you dominate without making as much money or having as much influence as your competitors? What does Kendrick Lamar dominate and by which metrics is he doing it?


HistoryPaintings t1_j1st5kz wrote

Kendrick Lamar is a critical darling... though you have pointed out he's not even particularly financially impressive in the rap field. Whatever dominance he asserts is through the quality of his work and the critical hype that follows it?

Granted, critics feel the need to hail everything Swift or Knowles release- but that's more s symptom of the power that's invested in their continued sales... "too big to fail" rather than a reflection of the quality of their work.

I don't follow football so I don't know who Mahomes is- but I have to assume that if he "dominates" it because he's actually good at what he does.

Herp Albert probably made more money than Dizzy Gillespie, but there's no real question who was the more influential and dominant trumpet player?

*OP also said "make a reasonable argument about somebody else being better than them".

I can make a reasonable argument that Weyes Blood is a better singer-songwriter than Swift.


thisizusername t1_j1t30dp wrote

Electronic music: Richard D James. No peers.

Are there any serious arguments to the contrary?


TheeEssFo t1_j1un0go wrote

This (the original) post has really gotten me thinking. I agree with you about Dizzy/Herb, for example. Also, I think by most subjective and objective metrics that Lamar is one of the greats. But it really bothers me that -- given he's been recognized as great for a decade now -- he doesn't overshadow rap, at least not the way the other greats did. From where I sit -- the suburban father of a teen and a tween who recognize his name but can't name a song (apart from Swift's "Bad Blood") -- he doesn't transcend rap.

I'd say that's partly because rap is so ubiquitous today, but then Drake . . . Kanye (pre meltdown) . . . Travis Scott . . . Minaj . . . Cardi . . . I'm not much of a fan of any of them, but I look at them and then at where hip-hop is headed and I see the connection. With Kendrick, I feel like I'm his core audience. That his fans skew older. Much older.


HistoryPaintings t1_j1ut54j wrote

I think part of this is just that the way music is consumed is more niche and insular now vs. when we were younger (I'm 35). Streaming has replaced radio in how a lot of young people access music- especially at the ages where they actively develop their taste/ identity. There isn't the same dominant source dictating what they hear- just algorithms.

I used to work in a High School and I can tell you Drake was everywhere, but none of the others felt ubiquitous?

Where is hip-hop headed exactly? When I did my year end lists a few weeks back jazz and hip-hop came out with (by far) the strongest output. A really weak year for pop. I have a focused interest in contemporary jazz, so my ability to glean the gold is no surprise- but my interest in hip-hop is secondary at best. Yet there were great records from billy woods, Fatboi Sharif, al.divino x Estee Nack, as well as Infinity Knives & Brian Ennals ( but don't listen King Cobra unless you're ready to be on a list. They say the kind of things that get your phone tapped).

Granted, they all cater to a sound that revolves around my Madvillain roots, but it sounds fine? The mumblers and crossover acts haven't prevented the creation of quality hip-hop- or killed its audience.

The cultivation of niche and eccentric voices with cult audiences is a healthy thing for pop forms that have existed for a few decades. Lou Reed, Frank Zappa, etc.

And uh, I could make a reasonable argument that billy woods > Kendrick Lamar.


DominoNine t1_j1vx5ts wrote

This is based on a faulty premise. I don't want to get too into the weeds but Patrick Mahomes isn't undeniably the best and it's not by such a great amount even if he was the best (which he isn't). Its a ridiculous question as well because no one is like that in the music industry anyways.