Instrumental Hip-Hop? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Instrumental Hip-Hop?

Tim Stelloh writes for Pop Matters: "It sounds like a paradox: instrumental hip-hop. For all logistical purposes, it is. 'How can it be instrumental when there ain't no instruments!' barks the 'real' musician. 'How can it be rap when there ain't no MC and there ain't no wicky-wicky-wicky!' shouts the hip-hop purist. Of course sometimes there are "real" instruments, sometimes there is an MC, and sometimes there is scratching. But on the whole, sample-based instrumental artists like DJ Shadow, RJD2 and Prefuse 73 are a long way from the sound of their forebears. In one sense, they've pushed rap music to the apex of its identity crisis, thus alienating a hell of a lot of hip-hop artists and fans. But in another sense, they've taken rap back to square one."

"I'm not going to pretend that I know what square one was like, because I was no taller than a twelve inch, and nowhere near The Bronx, when guys like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Wizard Theodore, and Grandmaster Flash were laying hip-hop's sonic groundwork. Nonetheless, its story is one that's well known."

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A nice way to check some of the latest hip-hop inspired electronic instrumental music like "Prefuse 73", read the review for the compilation under JFP music reviews for "Gooom Tracks vol. 2". It's a good sampler of the whole label.


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