Friday, December 08, 2006

Throwback!

13 comments:

Brother Spotless said...

The best song the Clipse ever made.

Brother Lightness said...

Not to get at you Spotless, but it's funny what we consider "throwback". How many years old is this song? Such labeling is truly demonstrative of the disposable nature of hip-hop.

Brother Spotless said...

Maybe I was a bit quick to give the song the "throwback"label, but in my 24 year old opinion any song that was released when I was a freshman in high school (1997) is indeed a throwback.

However even if I am quick to give this or any song the throwback label, I do not understand why that makes the song "disposable." Being a throwback doesn't mean that it's forgotten; an example of this is seen in this very post. Maybe I am one of the few, but it is a very common practice of mine to play "All Eyes On Me," "Paid In Full," or any number of CD's traditioanlists would call "throwbacks."

The fad and popularity may die off, but the poetry lives on...

Brother Smartness said...

First off Spotless, great song. Not sure it was the best song they ever made, but definitely a fierce one.

"demonstrative of the disposable nature of hip-hop."

Are you serious?!?!

It lives and breaths...and so long as there is struggle, there will be hip-hop.

I wouldn't be so quick to retract the "throwback" label, Spotless. It's quite fitting given the circumstances.

Brother Spotless said...

1st: "The Funeral" was so much better than the rest of their songs, when they released "Grindin'" after their 5-yr hiatus I refused to believe it was the same group. (Exaggeration? Of course; it's what I do...)

Seriously, I don't know if there is an official amount of time a song has to be out in order to be considered a throwback. In my opinion, if a song was released in a different musical era within the genre (and in this case, I believe BIG was still alive, so I consider that to be an era ago), it's a throwback.

Brother Smartness said...

The Funeral is probably among the best tracks the Neptunes produced for the Clipse. Lyrically however, this track doesn't touch some of the Lord Willin' tracks, namely "Virginia" the "Intro" and "Grindin"

Brother Lightness said...

“Inevitably Hip Hop records are treated as if they are disposable, they’re not maximized as product even, not to mention art.” - a segment from The Roots' “Act Won” (Things Fall Apart)

Brother Smartness said...

Is a quote from the Roots supposed to win us over Lightness?

Brother Spotless said...

As I read this Roots quote, it seems as though The Roots don't listen to the radio. Furthermore, it seems that this phenomenon, if true, is believed to only exist within the rap industry. With all due respect to The Roots, who are among a small handful of truly quality artists, I have to disagree on both accounts.

While I am not a part of the industry, it is clear to me that the industry is designed to maximize product; at the very least it is designed to maximize profits. Radio plays popular songs (or dictates what songs will be popular and plays only them, depending on the level of conspiracy theorist in you) at nausea. If that is not maximizing product, I don't know what is...

As far as art is concerned, the adage "truth is in the eye of the beholder" rings factual. Since the artistic content of a song is far more subjective than placing a value on product or profit, it is difficult to put a quantative value on it. However I value the art of the music.

And rap music is no different than any other genre in this regard. Every genre has classics, one hit wonders, songs that are great to some and not-so-great to others, and so on. As an industry, rap is no more or less exploitative than any other, so even if there is some level of "disposability," it is true for other genre's as well...

Brother Lightness said...

Industry is ONLY set up to maximize profit. All else is a means to that end.

Brother Spotless said...

I agree.

What does that have to do with the disposability of rap songs, or why "The Funeral" shouldn't be considered a throwback?

Brother Lightness said...

An easy way to maximize profit is to offer disposable items that have little long-term value (see: contemporary rap songs), creating a regular stream of consumers.

Because the majority of songs made in this mold have little lasting value, the recgonizable efforts among the bunch are easily referred to as "throwbacks" once they fade from recent memory.

I find this quite peculiar.

Brother Spotless said...

The flaw in your argument lies where you equate a quality song with a recognizable song, but I am also at fault for not being clear with my argument.

A song is not a throwback simply because it is of a certain vintage. It's a throwback because it is of a certain vintage AND is a quality song (at least in my opinion). Most if not all songs are simply recognizable, but a smaller number have been quality.

This goes further into whether a song has artistic value (and is therfore quality), and such conversation has to be understood as being subjective. I made it clear that I think "The Funeral" is a quality song, but I was not clear on what I consider a Throwback to be; my mistake.

Not all rap songs are disposable, because some do more than simply linger in our memories. Those are the songs that I would consider to be throwbacks, once they are of another era within rap music.