December 18, 2004



Hey, I am still Felizitas. I am not Sasha, and believe I have mentioned I am guest-blogging pretty much every time I've posted. So what the eff is up, do you not really read very carefully?

And while I am head-spinning about the mega-not-reading-the-words-ness, let me remind you. None of this is about, say, whether Green Day is really punk or not. These are examples, just like John Kerry is an example of a Democrat. You do not need to like him or hate him for him to be a useful-but-not-absolutely-necessary frickin' tool in striving to understand what has become of the Democratic party, a project the goal of which would be not to express your opinion about John Kerry but to think about the present and future of Democracy in the United States (that sound you hear is God laughing...).

Listen: I am striving to make a little set of ideas that hang together about the nature of vital musical genres. I am doing this because I want to participate in a conversation about a topic that sometimes makes me feel a little uncomfortable, but is important to people I really care about and also to me.

I would like to have a useful thought in relation to many but especially the revered J-Shep's recent and real furies about misogyny in hip-hop. I said this at the beginning.

If you don't want to engage with stuff other people think, but are looking to talk about the bands you identify with because you can then always find yourself in the conversation, check this out!

Okay, here's the last proposition, which I hope will bring some relief to Franklin:

Given that social content is always turning into sonic formalism, a genre—to stay vital—needs to find cunning ways to maintain a wealth of social content.

There are basically three ways to do this.

a) Have incredibly sturdy social content, so solid that it erodes into sonic formalism very very slowly.

b) Bring in new social content...without becoming a new genre in the process.

c) Find ways to convert sonic form back into social content.

Okay, those are the Five. I'm going to come back soon to ponder some implications of the five taken all together in relation to hip-hop, and then I'll begone, because I can feel The Master Of This House stirring with the awakenings of an early spring, and I am happy to get the frick out of his way. But here are some things I'll be wondering about:

Is the use of terms like "bitch" and "ho," and even dalliances with woman-beating, part of rap 2005's social content, or sonic form? Or sometimes one, sometimes the other?

Is the musical inventiveness and pleasure of, say, Timbaland and the Neptunes a sonic formalism or a social content for hip-hop?

Is it useful to think about what's happening in these terms?

What is hip-hop's social content, anyway?

If a genre has the most loaded social content, is it inevitable that it will draw the most intense and compelling sonic form-makers (we call it maize. we call them producers)? And vice versa?

I still like Red Vines; ship'em if you got'em. It's Christmas time in Hollis, Queens...

Posted by at December 18, 2004 09:14 PM | TrackBack