Bold By Aesop Rock, Rob Sonic, Busdriver and James Lynch
I haven’t done a “Song of the day” in ages cause, well, I’ve pretty much given you guys all the music I own at this point. So, every now and then, a song pops up that I forgot about or slept on that needs to be shared.
This song, in particular, is one that Aesop, Rob Sonic and Busdriver made while on the tour. I could be wrong but I think it may have been recorded on garage band. Aesop gave it a way a while back on his website 900bats.
This one is kinda special to me cause it touches on something that any old rap fan can relate to. Getting old in hip hop. Not just that, but looking back at it asa formerly “cutting edge” type artist who is now earing his 40’s. As one of these people, I can say there is an undeniable balancing act we must do to keep to our roots while staying open minded enough to stay relevant. Some pull it off better than others.
When dealing with extremes, tt usually goes one of two ways.
1)The old rap fan who just hates everything new. Complain about how it’s not like it used to be and that everything is “soft”.
2)The old rap fan who breaks their back to stay up on the new rap trends. So much to the point that they end up championing some shit they probably would have loathed 4 years earlier.
I fashion myself somewhere in the middle. I like a lot of new rap and have for some time but I still scratch my head at some of the shit people lose their minds over nowadays. At the same time, I also have very little interest in revival rap that just re-creates the stuff I listened to when I was coming up. It’s a lot like when musicians go into studios and attempt to make funk music that sounds like it was made in the 70’s. When they pull it off, it’s great but , most of the time, it’s just a copy cat act.
The problem with getting old while hip hop stays young is that you do start to see a distance form between you and the current music. I try and be rational about it. I swear. As beats have gone from samples and breaks to blips and bleeps with some weak 808 kit beneath it, against all I believe in sonically, I’d attempted to keep an open mind. Sometimes, this has been to great benefit with acts like Sparkmaster Tape. After all, it’s music. Sometimes it takes, sometimes it doesn’t. But, to age like this, there is an inherent fear that the ship is leaving you behind at all times. Thing is, while i don’t wanna be that “old dude shaking my fist at the new bold youth”, I also don’t wanna be that guy that pretends to like something I know is not for me. Music is about a feeling you get. That’s not something you can force when it comes to what you like and dislike. As much as i wanna be able to be playing ball at the YMCA and relate to the 17 year olds telling me J-Cole is a genius, it’s just never gonna happen. But, you know what? Those kids call me “sir” and “mister” anyway so who the fuck am I trying to relate to in the first place? I’m literally as old as some of their dads. That said, i bet their dads and I could talk about hip hop for days but I digress…
I think the right way to be an old dude in hip hop is to both embrace your past but don’t be so willing to shut down everything cause it’s new and different. The same shit I think about someone like Young Thug (I don’t get it…at all) is probably what the generation before me thought of Company Flow and the generation before that thought of De la soul. Part of getting old is that you’re literally getting old. There’s no way to stay on point with the youth culture when you’re so far removed from it. unless, of course, you wanna be THAT kinda old dude…