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MUSIC 15 Week 8. The Takeover. General Themes. By the late 1990s hip hop had become the single dominant form in mainstream pop music What did this mean for the music? What did it mean in broader social terms? What does is it mean when a minority form becomes dominant?

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MUSIC 15 Week 8

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Music 15 week 8

MUSIC 15 Week 8

The Takeover

General themes

General Themes

  • By the late 1990s hip hop had become the single dominant form in mainstream pop music

  • What did this mean for the music?

  • What did it mean in broader social terms?

  • What does is it mean when a minority form becomes dominant?

  • How did it start to reflect and influence a global pop music context?

Tricia rose mutual denials

Tricia Rose “Mutual Denials”

  • Works through some of the more controversial issues surrounding hip hop from the perspective that the contested viewpoints are often based in the same (sometimes faulty) understanding of the situation

  • Much is a response to the film “Beats, Rhymes and Life” and both provide a useful guide to thinking about more recent popular hip hop

Tricia rose cont d

Tricia Rose cont’d

  • Creative Disregard

  • Unadulterated Products

  • Profiting from Black Suffering

  • Invisible White Consumption

  • Sexism Isn’t Really a Problem

  • Homophobia is OK

Mase feel so good

Mase “Feel So Good”

  • Definitive Bad Boy pop rap single

  • Produced by P Diddy (or Sean Puffy Combs at the time), as the hook says “take songs from the 80s, make them sound crazy” basic concept was rapping over already hugely popular songs

  • Based on the party DJ practice of “blends” or mixing acapella over one song over instrumental of another (later mashups)

Jay z nigga what nigga who

Jay Z “Nigga What, Nigga Who?”

  • One of Jay Z’s more technically complex raps, at least rhythmically

  • Beat is by Timbaland and (as do many of his beats) shifts between regular and double time: some elements of the song are in a slow tempo, others move twice as fast

  • Jay Z’s rhyming shifts between the two layers

  • Song also features Jaz O (his mentor)

Clipse grindin

Clipse “Grindin’”

  • One of the Neptunes most distinctive and influential beats: heavily syncopated drums, with barely a chorus

  • Pusha T and Malice rhyme in double-entendre heavy verses about the minutiae of the drug trade

  • Both Clipse and the Neptunes are from Virginia Beach

  • Clipse’s manager was indicted on conspiracy charges relating to drug dealing

Eminem stan

Eminem “Stan”

  • Story of an obsessive fan, told in first person via letters to Slim Shady (Eminem’s alter ego)

  • Actually quite a subtle examination of the fan dynamic, including implications of homoeroticism and projection

Eninem way i am

Eninem “Way I Am”

  • Pushback to criticism of the first record which was made in the voice of Slim Shady

  • This is from the Marshall Mathers album (I.e. under his real name) but explicitly plays games with the relationship between his various images and personae

Jay z big pimpin

Jay Z “Big Pimpin”

  • Because of the video, the gold standard for hip hop’s embrace of the culture of excessive consumption

  • Jay Z is way past street metaphors here, but pulls in UGK as guests to maintain credibility/authenticity

  • Built around an uncredited sample from an Egyptian cabaret song

  • Part of a wave of “orientalist” samples of Indian and Middle Eastern music in hip hop

Missy elliott get ur freak on

Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On”

  • Another Timbaland production built around, this time a Bollywood sample

  • “Orientalism” as a term is used by literary scholars to refer to Western use of an idealized/stylized image of Eastern culture. What are the dynamics around this in hip hop?

Panjabi mc feat jay z beware the boyz

Panjabi MC (feat. Jay Z) “Beware the Boyz”

  • Bhangra song with Jay Z verses on it

  • Symbolic of both the popularity of the Bollywood sound within hip hop and of hip hop’s international influence

  • In a curious circularity the original Indian record is actually built around a Timbaland beat (itself based on the Knightrider theme)

Terror squad lean back

Terror Squad “Lean Back”

  • Summer street record from 2004, the year that all the number one songs were hip hop or hip hop related

  • Features Fat Joe, Remy Ma, DJ Khaled I.e. mixtape rappers rather than pop figures

  • Song about not dancing

  • Beat by Scott Storch again draws on Middle Eastern music

Damian marley welcome to jamrock

Damian Marley “Welcome to Jamrock”

  • Dancehall became increasingly hip hop influenced and increasingly influential on hip hop in the early 200s

  • This is a kind of retro move back to a more obvious reggae sound. Was known as “one drop” and is built on a sample of a 1970s reggae track

  • Slice of life of the streets of Kingston, one of the most violent places in the world

Kanye west jesus walks

Kanye West “Jesus Walks”

  • Notable for being an explicit and detailed religious statement within hip hop. Plenty of artists dedicate records to God, make occasional statements, but few mainstream artists have made an entire song like this on a religious subject

  • Representative of Kanye’s career in general in terms of being almost deliberately unpredictable and leftfield, while tapping into big mainstream issues

Snoop pharrell beautiful

Snoop/Pharrell “Beautiful”

  • Strong flavour of exoticism, especially the video. Both exoticism of place (Brazil) and the exoticism of the women Snoop leers at throughout the video (mostly mixed race)

  • Also functions as clearly as an R&B song as it does as a rap song

Dead prez hip hop

Dead Prez “Hip Hop”

  • Hip hop as conduit for radical politics

  • Dead Prez have combined real world activist work with making music that expresses those political positions

  • The imagery here owes a lot to third world revolutionary movements

  • Critique of hip hop as cultural form as well as of broader society

  • Theme of Chappelle’s Show

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