Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hip-Hop Pioneer Inducted in the R&R Hall of Fame

It’s official: Hip-hop is rock ’n’ roll.

At least according to the title of the New York Times article. Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first ever hip-hop band to receive induction.

"Dont push me, cause Im close to the edge
Im trying not to loose my head
Its like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from goin under"
For me, Hip-hop was so cutting edge in that it was a pre-curser (Jamaican Dub being the first) to the eventual post-modern musical expressions of digital sampling and remixing. These guys (and gals) were creating juxtapositions of music, film, TV, and street culture into a deeply expressive art form which would later be adopted by virtually every genre of contemporary popular music, including country. 

Some scholars have argued that hip-hop is fundamentally American, as American as Jazz, Blues, and Rock and Roll. However, America can no longer claim hip-hop as its own, as it has exploded as an art form on 6 Continents and in too many languages to mention.

Today’s digital decedents of Jazz, (they were shunned early on as nothing more than musical pirates) continue to explore combinations and layers of music and sounds, expressing a quintessentially "post-modern experience".

NPR’s All Things Considered has a nice piece here.