Mar 6, 2011
Lest you think that I'm stuck in a singer/songwriter rut, if there is such a thing, I though we might switch it up here and try something different this week. While I can't say that I will ever "get" hip hop, after meeting several of the guys in the scene here in town, I am starting to learn more about it and, consequently, have learned to appreciate it more and more. Heck, I've even listened to a bit of it on my own, trying to get a feel for the lay of that land. Now, obviously Brad Real is not your stereotypical hip hop artist, you figure that much out after talking to the guy for about five minutes. Rather than take that as a disadvantage, however, he embraces it and uses it as a bridge to bring the genre to people who are outside the traditional hip hop demographic. You know, middle aged suburbanites who are more apt to buy an album from Wayne Shorter than Lil' Wayne. (Uhhhh ... Lil' Wayne is a hip-hop artist ... right?)
Many times on the show we have discussed the concepts of "real" and "genuine" as they relate to many of our local acts, and I find this is an underlying theme in hip hop just as much as in other styles of music. Even in the course of doing these podcasts I make a conscious effort to make sure it doesn't look like I'm projecting false enthusiasm, or pretending to be something I'm not just for the sake of getting a few more listeners to the show. Basically, my rule of thumb is: Always assume the audience can tell when you're B.S.-ing or being insincere. Brad seems to get this too. His approach to his craft strips out much of the culture, politics, and even fashion that so many of us stereotypically identify as being inseparable from the music, and reduces hip hop to the essential core of what it should be about -- music and lyrics. So, does this make his work something less than "good hip-hop?" Frankly, I'm probably not qualified to say, but I can tell you this: I definitely respect and enjoy what he has created.
Links referenced in the show: