Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #259 - Gang Starr, "Step In The Arena"

Some more Golden Age monuments from the Peel Archive. But another album I never really listened to. I think at the time, Gang Starr was a bit too jazzy, a bit too subtle for me at the time. I wanted Public Enemy bellowing at me, or the cartoon postures of De La Soul or The Jungle Brothers. But there is a flow, again I can hear links being forged between Eric & Rakim and Biggie Smalls. And there isn't much (or any) cussing either. Conscious rap; how I loved that idea.

Very much based in the same R&B and soul patterns as Classic Hip Hop as well. I think they've been forgotten a little since their heyday. Perhaps because they didn't side with any larger lineages that we can trace from today. No Dre influence. No hint of Sean Sugar Puff Sugar Daddy. So their gene pool died out a bit really. Maybe it reached its perfection and had nowhere to evolve to. Angels with turntables but no genitals.

I'm not sure where the ideas of hip-hop hypermasculinity ("not to be bragging or lolly-gagging") have gone. It's the word. Guru says something about being raised a Muslim (I don't know if this is a metaphor) but it seems that the masculine power is in intellectual discipline. "Check The Technique" is heavy with adulthood and seriousness. That version of hip hop seems to have dipped below the radar these days - everyone's partying or thugging or rockstaring or the three of them piled together. Who's watching the cooker?

Rating: Evolved out of Masculine Discipline

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