Pop goes the early noughties, part two: My complicated relationship with hip-hop

“Dilemma” by Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland | If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’d probably guess I’m not really into hip-hop. For some reason it’s more unlistenable now, though. Sure, there are still some good things coming out, but if you listen to pop radio all you hear is, well, Pitbull derivatives. Or Flo Rida derivatives. Or Chris Brown. Back then – and yes, I know, I’m sounding like a pedant – you had Eminem. Oh, how I actually miss Eminem. He swore, he was controversial, but there’s some thought in what he’s saying. “Lose Yourself” and “Stan” are still favorites. You had more melodic stuff like this one (thanks to Joann for suggesting this when I asked around on Twitter) – as a kid I always wondered what the deal was with that piece of tape on Nelly’s face. Or maybe R. Kelly’s “Ignition” remix. Wasn’t that sexual? Is it because I grew up and understood these things more? Now that I do, I don’t want to hear them being sung, with increasing degrees of innuendo. Or maybe it’s because now that I understand it more, I tend to put meanings to things. (Rihanna implores to “come into me” on “Umbrella”, whatever that means.) Certainly miles away from the moment when I heard a song off the 8 Mile soundtrack that was peppered with “motherfucker”.  Or, as always, I am not seeing clearly. (Tomorrow: if you’re not into pop or hip-hop, you probably had a guitar. Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

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