So then the nineties brought intellectually based hip-hop that sought to provoke social questioning about culture. Hip-hop is distinctly American. It's one of the latest in a long line of American musical innovations. Most music historians will say that it was born from East Coast DJ/club environments. The DJ kept the vinyl screaming on the turntables, and the MC kept the dialogue going, and the call and response bits made party people yell back and cue up what was next on the song list. Early hip-hop people had the "DJ", or the "MC" in front of their names, to show which side they came from. DJ's made beats happen, and MC's developed their onstage verbs and nouns into long flowing gymnastics. How organic an art form? It came right from the people. Hip-hop was a full cultural movement with it's own fashion, attitude towards everything, and all important musical style.
The eighties into the nineties turned party time into gangster rap. I could write an entire article in itself of the relevance contained in these different rap styles. The point is, though, that party time turned into seriousness, and intellectual rap gave way to the mid nineties to the 2000's version of Rap. Hip-Hop and Rap's values changed from provoking thought to thoughtless promotion of materialism. Anyone can feel free to argue this with me, but it's what I myself, observed. I got used to watching DIY (do it yourself) style rappers who created their own fashions, and scraped money together to go in a studio and cut mix tapes they sold me from the back of their car...to corporate backed superstars who toss dollar bills everywhere, and drop the names of fashion designers they are wearing. HUH? I have always compared Punk Rock to Rap, in that both movements started as a defiance of formula. Punk was thumbing it's nose at glam rock. Lambasting the rich and politically connected. Painting portraits of gritty street living and maintaining credibility. Punk Rock adopted the leather jackets and torn jeans of the counterculture and set out to LOUDLY wake audiences up to a reality based definition. Sound familiar? Hip-Hop did this too, at first. But like Punk Rock, it got purchased by corporate interests, and began to lose it's novelty. For me, at a certain point, Hip-Hop lost it all together and ended up just cycling the same boring message. Just like a commercial on TV that you tire of watching. I get it already. I began to tune a lot of it out.