Reminisced over some old school hip hop tonight:
Vine exists because of new smartphone technology but it also replicates older forms of mashup culture. In particular, it mirrors what pioneering hip-hop artists started to do in the 1980s — taking sounds from myriad sources and sharing them through records like Paul’s Boutique and Ready to Die.
Vine is the most exciting social tool because it provides much more context than a Instagram photo. The overlooked strength of Vine however is sound.
CEO of SoundCloud Alex Ljung once predicted that “sound will be bigger than video.”
How about the fusion of sound plus video?
We’re still stuck in an image dominant world. But Smartphone video capabilities are getting more advanced, also improving sound quality. Taken together, video and sound can compete with photography.
For many, the word “Brooklyn” now evokes artisanal cheese rather than rap artists. The disconnect between brownstone Brooklyn’s past and present is jarring in the places where rappers grew up and boasted about surviving shootouts, but where cupcakes now reign. If you look hard enough, the rougher past might still be visible under the more recently applied gloss. And if you want to buy a piece of the action, Biggie’s childhood apartment, a three-bedroom walk-up, was recently listed by a division of Sotheby’s International Realty. Asking price: $725,000.
Go Brooklyn? Too soft.
If the industry started pushing underground music straight, then people would be like ‘Wow, hip hop is not dead. This is amazing.
Many beatmakers use a method known as quantizing, which lets you perfectly subdivide electric drum-machine sounds into positions within a measure. From there, the pattern can repeat indefinitely as a loop. Dilla preferred to play beats on a drum machine by hand in real time. That allowed him to color his creations with a signature rhythmic sway: languorous, leaned back, landing just behind the beat. In some ways, it was a new paradigm for the swing rhythm that had been born in West Africa and grew up with jazz.
In other words, Dilla merged the analog and digital worlds to produce true sonic magic.