I am not talking minor crimes like smashing up a motel or drugs, but serious crime such as gun crime and violence. And it is not only in the actions of rappers, but in their song lyrics, which are violent and misogynistic.
I’d say risky, sometimes-violent, on-the-edge behavior just comes with the territory of rock’n’roll (and I’m including hip-hop as an extension of the rock’n’roll lifestyle.) The only exception I can think of is indie rock - I can’t think of a single indie rocker who’s ever been in any kind of trouble going beyond drug use.
How about Jack White punching the lead singer of the Von Bondies in 2003? He was arrested for that. Of course, that isn’t really the same as drive-by shootings or murder for hire, but it’s still trouble.
I’m not a big fan of musical labels, but I wouldn’t classify Jack White as indie rock. When I say indie rock, I mean groups like The Shins, The Decemberists, Built To Spill, Pavement, TV On The Radio, etc.
Scott Weiland self medicates with illicit substances and Pete Doherty is just a junky.
I am talking about serious crimes - i.e. relating to guns and violence. There just seems to be a tighter correlation in the incidence of rappers linked to violence, both in action and talk. (I don’t have statistically sound data and I don’t care)
I would say look at when “gangsta rap” started making lots of money for both record executives and artists. Previously many rap artists might have had a reputation of being from the “street”, but the brutal, mysoginist, mysanthropic, materialistic, thuggish racial characatures that seem to be the norm now were rare.
I would wonder “why is it that this negative stereotype of black men and women sells lots and lots of records to white people”, because if it didn’t, I am sure you wouldn’t see so much of it.
To be clear, my point is not that all white people are closet racists. My point is that you can not go triple platinum in this country without white people buying lots of your records.
Could you picture Chuck D, Rakim, Queen Latifah, KRS-1, De La Soul, etc. with fake grills, showing off their guns and cars, throwing dollars at women’s butts (or in the Queen’s case showing hers off) and bragging about who they shot? The wide range of artists and styles that used to be around have been in large part replaced by what sells the most, and what sells the most is apparently rappers linked to criminal activities.
You’re conflating the portrayal of criminal activity with actual criminal activity. Additionally, there’s been old school or non-gangsta rappers who have gotten in serious (non-drug) trouble with the law, like Slick Rick or Chi Ali. And I’m not sure what grills have to do with breaking the law, but Chuck D’s partner Flavor Flav wears them quite a bit.
By who? The majority of people I’ve ever heard use the label indie literally mean artists on small(er) labels. I can’t imagine what it would mean as a “type” or genre of music considering independent artists range every imaginable subgenre… Bright Eyes and The Photo Atlas, for example, have about as much in common as Britney Spears and Limp Bizkit.
Anyway, back to the OP. Doesn’t being famous often make a person feel entitled? Many people don’t handle fame very well.
What they both have in common is that they’re not in the mainstream spotlight very much (compared to Limp Bizkit and Britney Spears,) they play music that tries to be musically and lyrically different than the mainstream, and they appeal to people who listen to music that’s more out of the mainstream. As someone has firsthand experience with a huge indie/underground music scene (Bloomington, Indiana, home of Secretly Canadian records) I can definitely say that the label “indie” is used as a catch-all for a certain type of music. What that kind of music is is hard to say unless you’ve seen and experienced the scene. But if you look up Built to Spill and The Decemberists on Wikipedia, they’re classified in the very first sentence as being indie rock bands despite the fact that they’re on Warner Brothers and Capital Records - I think there’s a reason for that.
Well, go on then. Granted, I don’t know a whole lot about music theory, but I think you can classify music pretty well based on instrument use, vocalists, etc.
So what is different about it? What instrument selections do most bands use, and what time signatures do they play in? What vocal parts do the lead singers tend to sing in, and do they do any particular vocal tricks?
I apologize for what will probably turn into an explosive threadjack, but up until now I’d always considered ‘indie’ to be more of a political/fashion/haircut thing, or home of the really wierd yet often technically-gifted sort of guitar/xylophone bands. So, as a musicologist, what is it?