First off, let me big up my fellow LionStarr founder, and editor of this blog, a Mr. Paul Glanting aka PeD. Not only is he a genuinely pure soul, he also has a knack for identifying good music, better than all you readers (all 14 of you).
Ok, so big time disclaimer aside, I would like to add my own take on Coachella. Now for the record, my exposure to indie rock/alternative, or whatever the hipsters choose not to call it, is minimal. It’s like this, I know who The Killers are, kinda, I know who Franz Ferdinand is, kinda, and I kinda know who MSTRKRFT is. Does that count? No! I do believe that I indulge in what can be described as an”eclectic”composition of music. But I reserve my dogmatic speak for discourse related to Hip Hop, specifically gangsta rap. Why? Because that’s what I know, it’s what I’ve immersed myself in for over a decade, and it’s my consumption of choice. I’ve listened to hundreds if not thousands of mixtapes, and purchased many LP’s, vinyl, CD, mp3. I have all of Tribe on vinyl, and I own every mixtape put out by DJ Scream. I knew who Lil Wayne was when most of you were finishing up your fantastic voyage with Coolio. Put simply, I know rap, hence I have an opinion about it, and it’s worth something.
Over the years I have wasted countless hours of my life debating with my fellow college and high school friends about the integrity of rap music. It was usually met with some cliché Caucasian claptrap (alliteration is so white). Realizing that I do not get these hours back at the end of my life, I made the sensible decision to detach myself from these fruitless conversations. But Coachella and festivals like this have reminded me of an old frustration that I have really not let go up until now. These types of Super Festivals are perpetuating the myth that the only laudable rap out there is intellectual/backpacker/conscious rap. You know what I’m talking about, the type of rap that can be blasted in the car whilst your father tells you he “kinda digs it” as he points out the instrumental value of Jurassic 5’s sound. Excuse me for a second while I use my air sickness bag.
Ok I’m back, and ready to emphasize my point with more poignant facts. Take a look at the hip-hop acts being showcased at Coachella this year. Here they are in no particular order: Lupe Fiasco, The Clipse, Atmosphere, Public Enemy and People under the Stairs. Many of you may be able to draw distinctions between these groups, and that’s because they are distinctly different. However, they do mold into what can be best described as a palatable meal for White America. At some level groups like this have a similar type style or message, and that message is, “we may come from the hood, or maybe we don’t, but either way, we’re into you guys liking us.” What compounds this problem is the fact that when these consumers come across the likes of 50 or T.I. they think of some song about being in a club with Rihanna. That’s because they have never copped a Whoo Kid mixtape or banged Urban Legend in their Cayenne. On the real this phenomenon makes me sick, but I’m over it for two reasons. One, I’mma do me, and bump these crackers with their notions of hood grandeur. Secondly, I know the genuine reason that the aforementioned rap acts enjoy a mutually gay relationship with the 21st century hippy is that they are not consumed by those that count. In other words, to quote 50, “they don’t bump Ja Rule in the hood.” And People Under the Stairs doesn’t get bumped in my Infiniti, I guess I’m too busy polluting my soul with irrelevant garbage. Ignorance is bliss hippies, enjoy your bohemian connection to rap, it won’t last.