Twice monthly, The CFR is delighted to feature articles from our partner The Brown Tweed Society, who also contribute the best of the best of their beloved Entertation Index. The Brown Tweed Society is your source for pop culture commentary, reviews and humor.
Follow Brown Tweed on Facebook and Twitter.
Porter is the author of this music review.
Can you remember the first time you ever heard hip-hop? I can. I was eight years old, and Ronnie, the eldest son of the lady who baby sat me after school, had come home from high school with a new album that he immediately proceeded to put on the family’s record player. It was Whodini’s Escape. Soon the needle began chewing through the first track, “Five Minutes of Funk,” and I knew, as soon as I heard it, that my life wouldn’t be the same going forward. My whole world had changed. To this day, I can recite, at a moment’s notice, the bulk of that song (and many others from that record) even without having listened to the old BASF tape I dubbed it onto in 15 years.
As a fan of the genre still, one thing I have come to love is being able to witness the myriad and surprising ways in which it has continued to grow in the past 30 or so years. I’m going out on a limb here, but hip hop might be one of the few distinct styles of music that has managed to maintain both a large-scale commercial presence and an extremely healthy and dynamic underground. Every 7-10 years, when the prevalent commercial sound has run its course, something new and slightly different percolates up from the underground and breathes new life in to the genre. One of the most exciting developments has been the break down of barriers separating the influences on/of hip hop and vice versa. Such break downs give me hope that we may be in the midst of, or on the precipice of, a new golden age in hip hop.
A$AP Rocky is one of those rappers who is in the process of moving from the underground to something with wider exposure, and his just released first studio album, Long.Live.A$AP, may be one of those that helps to redefine a sound.