I’m starting to feel sorry for the records. Not all of them, but boxes upon boxes.
Even though my taste in music runs pretty slim these days, i’m not ignorant; i know my Evelyn Champagne King, my DJ Shadow, my No Limits crew, and my Jets singles with blue rainbowed MCA labels on them. Still, i find myself going through boxes of LPs and singles, primarily Hip Hop, and not recognizing a single name. At first i was prone to write this off to ignorance, but after a week i’m sure that isn’t the case. The records i’m pawing through aren’t all big name acts … instead, they are debut singles, self-owned labels, and one hit wonders looking for a rebound. I don’t know them because they aren’t known.
The thing that gets me about these records, though, is the effort they took. It takes a couple of hours for me to get ready for a Trio, not counting the time i spent writing, arranging, and practicing. It took me an on&off month in the studio to record my demo cd, which is nearly all solo. How long do you think it takes to record a solid hip hop track? Brainstorming and refining the rhymes, finding a hook or a sample to build on, getting into the studio to lay it down, adding other instruments, remixing and editing …it’s a long labor. And, a labor of love. Singer-songwriter snob that i am, i tend to marginalize a lot of urban artists because they don’t write their own music and play their own instruments. But, they’re not Celine Dion, that’s for sure. They own the words, they built the beat, and they might have produced on it as well. Forgetting for a moment about their ridik-u-lezlee mizspellled namz and overblown posturing, they took the time to create something, and they were hoping to get noticed because of it
And they’re in my $6 bargain bin.