Does any 30-year stretch of rock ‘n roll sound as similar to a non-rock ‘n roll lover from my grandparents’ generation’s ears as 30-plus years of rap sound to mine?
Honestly, I don’t want this thread to sound like the rumblings of an old white man, but I need perspective.
I own a few rap/hip-hop albums: a Sugarhill Gang Best of, a couple of albums each by Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys… I like them. Whenever I try moving beyond that small circle of artists (and trust me: I own some other rap/hip-hop albums and have had friends burn me collections of various artists in an effort to broaden my mind) it quickly sounds the same: people talk-singing in one of a couple of standard meters about a) how cool they are, b) how tough they are, c) how pissed they are that someone dissed them, or d) all of the above. Oh, and some of the more adventurous artists mix in “Eastern” beats and name-drop stuff that indicates a degree of nerdiness, turning on the likes of Quentin Tarantino: kung-fu movies, obscuro soul artists from the ’70s, ABA basketball legends…
I know this is a horrible generalization, but let’s hold a mirror up to my weakness, if not your own. Does any 30-year stretch of rock ‘n roll sound as similar to a non-rock ‘n roll lover’s ears as 30-plus years of rap sound to mine? Reggae? Rockabilly? Metal?
How do those of us in the know differentiate within one of these given genres? What would we tell me, for instance, to look for in terms of differentiation among rap/hip-hop artists?