A Tribe Called Quest: Ham ‘n’ Eggs
So, when was the last time you heard a rapper worrying about cholesterol? Back in the days when Hip Hop was both funky and fun it was more than okay just to talk about what kind of food was palatable or otherwise, and being a "finger-lickin' winner" just meant that Q-Tip enjoyed his KFC. No gold, no diamonds, no pretensions toward mafia-chic or the accoutrements of political clout: just beef jerky and asparagus tips. But by all means, no ham and eggs. They kind of smell bad, plus, you know, fatty blood.
And I wonder: were we really ever that young? The hope and fun, the ramshackle sense of enjoyment: all of these things are missing, not just from Hip-Hop but from just about every genre of popular music. We can do earnest - we're pretty good at that, and nowadays very few 'serious' artists arrive with chins unscratched and navels un-contemplated - and we can certainly still do throwaway, but everything just seems so premeditated, so calculated. Every rhyme, every run, every Auto-tuned coo has been A&R-ed and focus-groupped to death, even in these days of waning record company power. And who knows, maybe the Tribe were too. They just sounded like they weren't, and that's all that matters in the end.
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