Sunday Grab Bag with new E-40

I haven’t made a habit of posting on the weekends, but I decided that various odds and ends warranted a day of miscellany, overlooked items or unsolicited submissions. It’s a good way for me to catch up, and maybe give the readers some breezy weekend material.

The first installment of the Grab Bag starts with the new E-40. I’ll be honest: I’m more of a “backpack rap” (ugh) kinda guy. Gimme some Hiero, some De La, some Digable and I’m a happy dude.

Seems the backpack vs. street rap debate has been heating up, with Pitchfork contributor Tom Breihan staunchly defending placement of certain artists (Beanie Sigel, Young Jeezy, etc.) on P-Fork’s year-end Top 50 list. Breihan calls the indie-rock backlash against mainstream rap “more than troubling, it’s shameful.” He makes a valid point – that “indie-rock supposedly prides itself on open-mindedness and liberalism and independent thought” – though I resent him calling De La Soul “granola-munchers.”

I’m not one for arguing this point, as my grasp on the latest surge in street/mainstream rap is limited. But for some crossfire, listen to Oliver Wang’s excellent commentary on NPR: “Has Hip-Hop Lost Touch With Reality?” In it, Wang states, “As hip-hop gained popularity and power it’s become more enraptured with its self-created worlds and less engaged with the actual world around it.”

To that end, I will say that seeing these videos and MTV’s Cribs, who can relate to this stuff? Breihan argues that there is no discussion of the rap itself, as an art; it’s more “outright dismissal.” But the image some rappers put forth is a turn-off. There’s nothing in the lyrics that strike me personally, and that’s what part of the listening experience is about. (Did I say I wouldn’t argue the point?)

So, with all that as a backdrop, I present Tell Me When to Go, the new track from E-40, who might well fall under that “street rap” category. The song has a cool beat and catchy chorus (loop copped from Run-DMC’s Dumb Girl).

E-40 | Tell Me When to Go

7 thoughts on “Sunday Grab Bag with new E-40”

  1. it is a curious arguement, and i guess my only question is what are they gaining by being being inclusive of all genres. Tom brags that they are “making room on the albums list for Fiona Apple and Robyn and Young Jeezy and Konono No. 1 and Dominik Eulberg and SunnO))),” but what is the point of that? shouldn’t their list just be a list of the 50 best albums that came out? they are reviewers and critics: can’t they be confident enough to point out what albums have storng merit without having to forcibly include albums for what they represent rather than what they are?

    and though i generally prefer the indie/backpacker genre to the mainstream, this year i alwo found myself more into The Game than MF Doom or Little Brother releases. but i just wonder why they are including “unimaginative and redundant” albums when there are so many more works that don’t require an apology.

    nice post.

  2. Topo,

    I totally agree. In a sense, I think Breihan (and Pitchfork) knew what the indie-rock reaction would be, and now it gives them this righteous soapbox to stand on.

    Really, nobody is reading Pitchfork for reviews of Young Jeezy, so it is curious as to why they decided to start including mainstream rap in its reviews and year-end lists. I guess good for them for tackling it, but they have to know their audience and they had to know this would happen, which, coincidentally, gives them a little more pub, yes?

  3. wait wait, i thought it was “ironic” for indierock douchebags (aka pfork (or bfork?)) to like hip hop. it’s so urban and not like their whiny indie stuff and who would think that skinny white boy would be bangin the hottest new track from young jeezy or three 6 mafia? I mean, i know irony is dead and all but c’mon, isn’t that what they’re up to?

    don’t get me wrong, i LOVE hip hop AND indie rock, but i know a lot of kids who play the game because liking hip hop is “funny.”

    hey pitchfork, thanks for making hipstsers awesome. ugh.

  4. wait wait, i thought it was “ironic” for indierock douchebags (aka pfork (or bfork?)) to like hip hop. it’s so urban and not like their whiny indie stuff and who would think that skinny white boy would be bangin the hottest new track from young jeezy or three 6 mafia? I mean, i know irony is dead and all but c’mon, isn’t that what they’re up to?

    don’t get me wrong, i LOVE hip hop AND indie rock, but i know a lot of kids who play the game because liking hip hop is “funny.”

    hey pitchfork, thanks for making hipstsers awesome. ugh.

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