Just read an article in today's New York Times about Jennifer Lopez's new CD, "Rebirth." Apparently a quarter of a million people bought the CD last week while four times that many people purchased 50 Cent's new CD "Massacre." I must be getting old, or something because my initial response was, "so what." I'm not flippin with excitement here.
But you should have seen my moves yesterday when I discovered and downloaded Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," an old-school joint from the late 80s with a revolutionary beat that gets a brotha up and away from the drawing board, jammin' like a crazy man when no one is looking. I'm kinda shy like that.
Today's popular music is nothing more than old-school, overly-sampled, mixes played under loud noise with a loud-mouthed rapper, dressed like anybody's nightmare, screaming something offending that he couldn't spell if he had to. White ones, too. Used to be they kept their loud-mouthed screaming in the genre of Rock or Metal. But anymore, music has sort of melted into one big cooking pot of wish I had a better vocabulary to describe it. Whatever it is, it's no good.
Remember in the day when a new black artist would debut on MTV and the pride you felt at how we were finally able to display our talents to the world and the world was taking note? Now I just cringe with embarrassment and turn the channel.
There are a few bright spots. Usher and Outcast. And I do like Kanye, but why's he telling our kids that college is a poor choice? That education leads to drugs and jobs at the Gap. I've met some kids who dress like gangsters, can't talk without cursin' and will be lucky to even be considered for employment at the Gap.
My example of Public Enemy might not be the best. They rap. They're loud. They curse. Possibly even over sample. But I like 'em and this is my rant.
So what's an illustrator like me normally listening to while creating the next wanna-be Caldecott winning book?
Dr. Laura, of course. Yes, I tend to run against the tide.
Guess I'll zip on over to iTunes and give Ms. Lopez a listen to. But 50 Cent won't get my dime.
Unrelated thought for the day: I really didn't have a problem with Dan Rather. With the exception of his David Letterman crying episode, I kinda liked him.