One of the most succinct and articulate quotes on mainstream hip-hop over the past decade came from Erykah Badu and is doing the rounds on social media again. It goes a little something like this:
How y’all gonna stand by and let our music turn into pop techno cornball ass music?
Well Erykah, I don’t know, but I’m sure a lot of hip-hop heads agree. Since that comment was made, there’s been an undeniable expansion in the size of the ass and the frequency of the pop/techno/cornball qualities it dispassionately rides on. Thanks to the infectiousness of the hip-hop movement and its loyal fans and practitioners, though, there’s a global basement of good stuff to explore. In the States alone there’s a massive alternative scene so widely listened to it can hardly be called underground. If you want to look further afield, countries in Europe have for decades been churning out a spectrum of hip-hop varying internally and internationally.