Saturday, September 23, 2006

Get Hyphy!!!

Evidently hip-hop cannot exist unless it is some part of a movement, be it crunk, snap, screwed, trap, mobb, and now hyphy. Hyphy is a bay area movement that is basically uptempo, danceable hip hop that allows you to "go dumb". It's sort of like less aggressive crunk, or techno and house mixed with hip-hop. There are some hyphy gems out there - Wolfpack's "Vans", DJ Shadow's "3 Freaks", and some of the tracks off of E-40's album. I like the fact that an underground Oakland phenomenon is suddenly the next big thing. It's a little lame that so much of hyphy revolves around doing stupid shit like "ghostriding your whip" (ie. walking alongside your moving car), and doing other not-so-smart car-related things. Of course, they do call it getting dumb, so i guess it fits.

I've never been a fan of bay area hip-hop. Mac Dre, Mac Mall, C-Bo, even E-40....none of those guys have ever rocked my world. More underground/indie artists like DJ Shadow, Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Blackaliscious have put out some innovative and exciting stuff in the last ten years. The whole hyphy movement isn't rocking my world too much, although i can appreciate it from the sidelines. The one thing that bothers me about the whole movement is that it has to be a movement: it can't just be regional rappers. They all have to be part of a certain sound with a certain dance and a certain drug of choice and slang and aesthetic. I feel like that dooms all of these artists to obsolescence once the public burns out on hyphy in a year or so, and moves on to the next big thing.

Whatever. At least the bay area is getting some attention and props. Maybe hyphy will force bay area rappers to crank it up a notch and make hip-hop that is a little more innovative and interesting.

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