In hip-hop circles, you often encounter self-appointed arbiters of hip-hop taste who decry certain supposed negative trends in hip-hop. One frequent target for these musical Taliban is the prevalence of "bling," which is regarded as a new corruption of the scene (conveniently ignoring Gucci-clad, Rolls Royce-flaunting, "paid in full"-singing Eric B and Rakim
or the massive gold ropes that adorned every rapper from Big Daddy Kane
down the alphabet to Yella
.) These paternal advocates of fiscal responsibility feel that rappers should be saving their money, I suppose, and not spending on ostentatious jewelry.
These conservative cultural watchdogs usually then go into an oft-repeated, well-rehearsed diatribe about meaningless, party-centric lyrics, the lack of reliance on DJing, the importance of being real and other things that place them ideologically in the traditionalist camp alongside their trad jazz forebears that griped when jazz moved beyond its Dixieland roots, the guy that yelled "Judas" when Dylan plugged in and prog-rock fans who decried the lack of humorless, showy, technical proficiency when glam began took over the charts and hearts of rock fans in the 70s.
But music evolves, regardless (and sometimes in defiance) of the griping and sniping of those stodgy snobs who stand scowling and motionless with arms folded whilst the masses keep on getting down. In 1968 Nik Cohn
virtually created rock criticism with his book Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom: The Golden Age of Rock. As the title suggests, Cohn viewed the meaningless, shallow, fun music of rock's dawn in higher regard than the pretentious progressive rock of his day. Another genre of music that
haters love to hate is Bounce music
. I felt like my love of this despised genre was validated, in a way, when the same Nik Cohn moved to New Orleans and worked with Choppa
, an under-rated rapper from Algiers on the West Bank who had a big regional hit with "Choppa Style." Choppa dubbed Cohn "Nik the Trik" and Cohn wrote another book of criticism about his experiences, Triksta: Life and Death and New Orleans Rap.