“What the indie rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring…These concerts, they’re not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there’s 12,000 people in attendance. And the music that they’re making and the connection that they’re making to people is really inspiring. So I hope they have a run where they push hip hop back a little bit so it will force hip hop fight to make better music…Because that’s what rap did to rock.”
Couple things come to mind:
1. Dame Dash is laughing his ass off right now and State Property is making a YouTube diss while we speak. Meanwhile, Kanye is buying yellow leggings at Urban Outfitters for $60 a piece.
2. Does anyone in indie rock describe anything as a “movement”? Everything in hip hop is a “movement”: Dipset, G-Unit, hyphy, krumpin, crunk, intimate club, snappin’, leanin’, jerkin’, trappin’, homophobia, etc. Actual movements aren’t self-promoted while they’re happening. Sorry guys.
3. Jay-Z talking about how crucial it is for indie rock to be thriving with little to no radio play while packing in 12,000 people at a show–isn’t that like Lars Ulrich co-signing zshare or Nelly championing Atmosphere? Indie “movements” are born out of the excess of the giants before them. I can’t think of a rapper bigger than Jay and only a handful of musicians currently bigger than him over a career. These indie movements were going on during Jay’s platinum plus run of ’96-’03 as an artist, and from ’05-’08 as CEO of Def Jam. I didn’t hear him praising Stones Throw or WARP Records or Bloc Party or MF Doom then.
Since he’s entered the artsy fartsy phase of his career, I guess Jay is being inspired by all of this new music of outer genres that Kanye uploaded to his iPod (Coldplay, MGMT, G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band). But like Jeff Weiss said, “Jay is Speilberg, not David Lynch. And I think he forgets that.”
The indie movement exists BECAUSE of Jay and Celine Dion and TRL and Ja Rule and Seether and Nickelback and Hot Topic and Limp Bizkit and 50 Cent. It’s when those folks stop selling records that they might open their eyes to the alternative which is selling records, albeit on a smaller scale.
I’m not mad at Jay for getting his Pitchfork on. But just because he has the clout and budget to work with Fischerspooner and Pedro the Lion and Zombie Elliot Smith doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
And for the record, I do have Grizzly Bear’s Vecktamist in the car right next to Mase’s Harlem World CD.