Elitist Retro Purism is Turning Hip-Hop Playlists Stale
I can stay at home and listen to all the Danny Brown I want. I can follow it up with a little Beastie Boys and then cue in the Weekend. I can start off with a little classic Snoop Dogg on my playlist, go into some Rakim Allah, and then play some newness from Lil Wayne or Meek Millz. I can sit right on my couch and crank up some Ab-Soul, follow it up with some Pharoahe Monch and M.O.P., then hit myself over the heard with a song from Jay-z's Magna Carta album. You can't claim to be a hipster, dress like a hipster, try to act like a hipster, but for some reason not play one single record the actual hipsters want to hear. It all starts with the assumption that playing records from the '80s and '90s makes you a real hip-hopper. If it's not from a certain timeframe, purists act like it doesn't exist. They're really just lazy consumers and convenient music lovers.
They complain and deride the radio at every chance but when it comes to progressive hip-hop music they have identical playlists. They will complain about Drake for naming a record after Wu-Tang, but they will neither spin Wu-Tang nor Drake tonight. These people sold millions of records, so clearly we know the music because we're the ones that bought it at some point.
I'm about to walk home from Coffee Cartel and listen to a little bit of Puffy's new lyrical beast King Los. Then I'll follow up with some goodness from RZA and maybe a little Freddie Gibbs (produced by Madlib), or maybe even some newness from 2Chainz. By the time I get to my door I'll be playing either Rick Ross or Kool G Rap. It's all about variety, so this walk home will be more enjoyable than going out on a Saturday night in St. Louis.
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