TheeEssFo t1_jcmfh4t wrote

DJ Shadow Endtroducing is a sampling masterclass, Massive Attack's Mezzanine and The Flaming Lips Soft Bulletin are darkhorses for best albums of the 90s*.*


TheeEssFo t1_j96k8rk wrote

There's so many ways to look at it. It's as bloated or overstuffed as any classic rock double album (if not more), and songs like Hitsville definitely are very commercial. Almost like a distant cousin to The Who Sell Out.

I wonder if it were released today that its dub/reggae elements would be accused of blackface or cultural appropriation. We'll never know.


TheeEssFo t1_j932b2e wrote

Their first two albums are archetypal punk rock. Third album is a crossover masterpiece. Sandinista divides the fanbase. Then they mailed in Combat Rock. The ouster of Mick Jones (who sang/wrote Train In Vain, Should I Stay Or Should I Go?) had the effect of turning their music to shit. So if you like Train In Vain, you should really listen to Big Audio Dynamite, because that's what Jones did next.


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.


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_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.


TheeEssFo t1_iv2uieg wrote

But not when compared to Italy. A Bavarian didn't look at a Dortmunder like an inferior race the way a Milano did and does think of a Sicilian. A Bavarian would recognize a Dortmunder as a German. Divisions in Germany were religious (Protestant North vs. Catholic South) and economic (the North industrialized earlier than the south). The peasants were mostly illiterate and knew nothing of one another. The educated classes had the philosophy that unification would elevate the whole of the German people who, without a state, were (in their words of the time) otherwise no different than the Jews.

The Italians were throwing off the yoke of an alien culture (the Austrians) and the north effectively conquered the south.


TheeEssFo t1_iv2s6tm wrote

I can go with this. Germans were by no means homogenized, but they were more than the Italian states. Divisions in Germany today tend to be the prosperous West vs. the still re-emerging East. In Italy, there's outright racism directed toward southerners. Italy is more like the former Yugoslavia.

Plus, while both Italy and Germany were ruled by the Holy Roman Empire, the transfer to a more Austria-based kingdom would have been less severe to the Germans than the Italians, who would have felt driven to unite in order to remove an invading alien culture as opposed to Germans just wanting statehood. Maybe. I wasn't actually there.


TheeEssFo OP t1_itr0tt2 wrote

That is a great song. I didn't mean to knock KEXP; the albums list was generated by listener voting. My impression overall of the music press is that they genuinely try to get listeners into a wide variety. The Grammys has taken a huge step forward, perhaps realizing Bad Bunny and J Balvin could help their sagging ratings.


TheeEssFo OP t1_itr01o4 wrote

Funny you should write that: one of the pulls of Latin pop vs US Top 40 is that they could be singing about the dumbest shit in the world but my limited grasp of the Spanish (I can read it, but they sing too damned quickly) keeps me in bliss.

I remember during the Iraq War that Vice did a documentary on an Iraqi metal band that eventually acquired funding to tour.