There are just some things that shouldn’t mix. Oil and water. Nitro and glycerine. Tequila and–well, it’s probably not a good idea to mix tequila with anything except maybe salt, lemon, and some fruit juice.
They used to say this about rock and rap music, too. And they–whoever “they” were–were pretty adamant about that.
When rap and hip-hop started seeping into the mainstream in the middle 80s, it immediately polarized people. Those who didn’t (or refused) to get it, were aggressively dismissive of what rap brought to the table.
“That’s not rap! It’s CRAP! It’s not music! It’s just bad poetry over beats stolen from other records!”
It took a few years, but by the time we got to the 90s, rap and hip-hop were becoming very powerful musical and cultural forces. And today, it is THE genre when it comes to driving culture. After half a century in the driver’s seat, rock has fallen to second place.
And not only that, but a chunk of the rock scene has been co-opted by hip-hop, creating a new series of hybrid sounds.
The original post-punk alt-rock population had aged. The older, set-in-their-ways crowd was pushed out by a new generation which didn’t have any preconceived notions or baggage when it came to these new sounds. To them, rap and hip-hop were just new forms of exciting music. *Bonus fact: Their parents hated it, too. That’s always a plus.
By the end of the 80s, there were signs that punk, funk, rap, hip-hop, and metal were all becoming inextricably intertwined. But who knew that in a few years we’d all be talking about this thing called nu-metal?
This is part five of our look back at the alt-rock of the 1990s.
Songs heard on this show:
Faith No More, We Care a Lot
Beastie Boys, Fight for Your Right
Living Colour, Cult of Personality
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Higher Ground
Faith No More, Epic
Body Count, Body Count
Anthrax/Public Enemy, Bring the Noise
Metallica, Enter Sandman
Rage Against the Machine, Bullet in the Head
Eric Wilhite has created the usual playlist.
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The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
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