musical journeys (or how I came to like hip hop)

it all started one fine day about a million years ago when I called a local college station to make a request and won tickets to some band called “Mr Bungle” who?
anyway on to the show. the opening acts were some band whos name I sadly cant remember and “Gratis” one seriously twisted set of dudes who ran footage of a slaughterhouse while they played.

Mr Bungle it turns out was a Mike Patton project, I knew Patton from “Faith No More” and kinda thought they sucked…alot.
Bungle on the other hand was completely stunningly shockingly amazing. I moshed til my kidneys were begging for mercy and my spleen was filing for divorce. in a word Fucking Awesome.

years later they came to Seattle again, this time with a new album…that you absolutely could not in anyway shape or form mosh to. (I was seriously standing in the “Pit” talking to some chick about fucking politics DURING THE SHOW. (yes I was standing with a drink in hand talking…cause it was that boring and that slow and that lame) but all was not lost because Melt Banana was mind bogglingly fantastic.

inspite of the second Bungle show I was a fan of Patton from that point on, its not even that the second show was bad it just shouldnt have been played as Bungle it was such a massive departure from the previous album.

Many Many moons later a friend sends me some mp3’s and tells me to check them out…oooo sexy goodness wtf is THIS??? Nathaniel Merriweather, Lovage, Music to make love to your old lady by. Produced by Dan the Automator and written and performed by Dan, Mike Patton, and Jeniffer Charles its a Looooooooooong way from Bungle, but its a damn sexy great album all they way through. it was here that I discovered Dan the Automator (aka Dan Nakamura) and his trip hop/hip hop blend that was so damn strange, creativity from another planet. so I checked out “Handsome Boy Modeling School” then “Deltron 3030” and “Bombay the hardway”
and finally "Gorillaz "

so yeah actually I do like hip hop, so long as its served with a side of talent and creativity.

(I am not sure if this came out the way I intended, its sort of a hey these are some great bands and heres how I found them thread I guess. So tell me, How did you come to like whoever you are listening to now?)

I grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters who all had differing tastes in music, but the albums I grew up with were thus:

Rocky Horror Picture Show. (My Oldest brother would dress up as Frank N Furter and go to the showings.) The Blue Brothers, Grease and Split Enz (The very first song I ever sang was “I Got You”) At the age of 14, and a huge radio buff, I accidentally tuned in to RRR’s Metal for Melbourne and heard Slayer and Metallica for the first time. I bought the first four Metallica albums over the next month, and made the conversion to metal head. Two years later, I had friends who really started listening to hip hop, I resisted but then grew to love Public Enemy, around the same time another friend got me listening to Dylan, the Dead Kennedys and Tom Waits. SBS then started showing music docos, and I found Einsturzende Neubauten and Elvis Costello. Cue many years later, and I somehow got employed by a FM Rock Station to produce a show for Rock Historian Billy Pinnell. Billy, in his graciousness, introduced me to pop/rock from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Around the same time I started looking into spoken word, and started tracking down Kerouac and Burroughs albums. Long after leaving radio, I took a security gig at a large music store chain, while there I picked the brains of the various employees about Jazz, as I’d never really “gotten” it. They introduced me to Mingus and Davis. I went back to Uni, got into theater and stared working as the music researcher for the Student Union Theatre. From research there I learnt about the Finnish tango, Runegrammofon and ECM. I sought out the Uni Library’s music collection as well, and learnt more about classical, jazz and unclassifiable things like Diamanda Galas. These days I work at an apartment building, and my co-workers are introducing me to all the prog-rock and indie stuff from the 70’s and nineties that I missed out on.

Yep - whenever people tell me they can’t stand hip hop, I always play 'em some HBMS (or something off Music To make Love To Your Old Lady By, which isn’t as good musically, IMO, but is even funnier, so that makes up for it). You should check out some of the hip hop artists that appeared on the Handsome Boy stuff (Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, old De La Soul, etc.) - you might enjoy them, too. Also try The Coup, from my hometown, who kick much ass. And maybe Aesop Rock. Peanut Butter Wolf is similar to Dan the Automator in the way he uses sampling, too.

ETA: And yeah, Dan the Automator is a genius, for damn sure.

I don’t listen to much hip hop at all, in fact I own precisely two hip hop cds. As luck would have it, they are both amazingly good; **Supreme clientele ** by Ghostfacekiller and The Cold Vein by Cannibal Ox. The second in particular is a jaw-dropper. So, I don’t need any convincing - I don’t listen to enough music right now to properly get into hip hop, though. To get into a new genre you really have to listen to the shite as well as the quality, I find. Something for the future for me.

thats only sort of true, if someone turns you on to new music and they have any taste at all you can usually bypass alot of crap. I am not really that new to hip hop, one of my favorite cd’s is Tribe Called Quest Peoples instinctive travels and the paths of rhythm. its a damn good cd. Old De La Soul was good stuff too. I have checked out alot of Dan’s stuff and he works with some great people. I think the biggest problem I have with hip hop and rap is that the 90% rule is more like 99%, there isnt a single (or closely related pair) Genre of music that I could give less of a crap about. listening to radio stations that play those types of music is like listening to a station that plays nothing but Brittney and Jessica, and 3 other sucky white cant sing girls whos only talent is looking good. there is just nothing on worth hearing even once.

I think thats why I found this stuff so refreshing, just because its damn good.

I came into this thread to post about De La Soul. Whenever I hear someone say, "I used to not like hip-hop, " or, “I don’t normally like hip-hop, but” I always expect that person has either recently heard some De La, or needs to hear some.

A lot of fans that can accept the Gorillaz with the statement, “they are more creative, not like most hip hop” always make me pause. I always assume that person has not heard Tribe, Jungle Brothers, KRS ONE, Rakim etc. You betta believe the Gorillaz have heard of them though, and has utilized them liberally!

If people are dead set against liking hip hop, fine. But if they are on the fence because they have heard certain bands that they find acceptable, but don’t think there is tons of good stuff out there, I hope that they really make an effort to open up some more. Good hip hop is out there. Lots of new stuff, tons of old school.

Labor Days - Aesop Rock. Amazing album (and another Dan the Auto project.)

May I suggest more by the Automator: Dr. Octagon with Kool Keith, and A (much) Better Tomorrow. I think they’re the best he’s ever made. And if you like the slow, beat heavy samples, then what about DJ Shadow’s Preemptive Strike?

Oh. I just realize I rambled in this thread, but did not give suggestions like everyone else did. I recommend everyone I mentioned in my post, and also Wu Tang and MF Doom.

I don’t listen to much because it’s all got too stupid and is almost a parody of itself.

But I can still listen to The Chronic and Doggystyle. Ice Cube was pretty good too.

Nope, those beats were made by Blockhead and Aesop Rock.

I agree with Nzinga - when people get turned on to nonthreatening stuff like the Lovage album or Bombay the Hard Way, it’s not that you found “the good stuff, unlike all that other (c)rap out there!”, it’s that you found something nonthreatening and ear-pleasing to you. I mean, not to be harsh, but there’s only one REAL rap record on your list.

If you only listen to radio rap, you’re only going to hear crap - you’re going to hear the test-marketed Nickelbacks and Linkin Parks of the rap world, real lowest-common-denominator stuff.

There’s a ton of AMAZING hip hop out there from the past 30 years - check out some of our past threads on it for recs.