In 2008, two things occurred that changed the light colors of comic book heroes and hip hop into the darker bluer colors that infest it today.
It was the year that Christopher Nolan gave us the Batman as epic wipeout “The Batman returns” and made every single superhero on the block a whiter shade of pale: instead of the gleeful lightness of being “Spiderman” movies, the all dark brooding night lights of Christopher Bales American Psycho Batman. Never is a bat just a bat.
Ever since, every superhero, Captain America to Ironman, to, er Thor???, comes with enough issues to sink every single adventure into psychobabble. Blow something up, talking it over with your shrink, daddy and magazine issues.
Meanwhile… Kanye West was reeling from the death of his mom (a facelift gone wrong) and a break up and, as so often happens, he flipped em, so while he was writing about the break up, it was his beloved Mommy who was on his mind. The album, 808s And Heartbreaks, changed the face of hip hop that quickly, that rapidly. In 2013, there is only gangster and depression and mostly both at the same time: Drake, Kid Cudi, Kendrick, Frank Ocean, the Weeknd –all of the biggest names in modern hip hop, hell, Tyler’s Goblin album, all of them are reaching back to West for inspiration.
What West and Nolan is that it was alright to be both blessed and miserable. That you could have lives people could only dream of, billionaire Bruce Wayne (and the miserable nutcase who plays him Christian Bale) has every right to be a homicidal madman and West, who has a staggeringly great life, the very top of any food chain, can mope for an entire album about having nothing. And so can Kendrick: Kendrick can whinge about swimming pools and easy women, make it sound like the worst thing that can happen. Worse than the 1 Train.
It is really odd how successful these bands are. I mean, some of it is great, and all of 808s is a masterpiece and when Drake is in the mood… but it isn’t much fun when you get right down to it. At the very least, make it it out of the projects and into the money shouldbe a damn great experience. Look at Biggie on “Juicy”. He was all but jumping for joy. “Birthday’s were the worst days, now we drink champagne when we’re thirsty.”
Is it too much to ask of our hip hop stars to ENJOY their success. Cmon, you’ve worked hard enough now rub our motherfucking nose in it?
But depression, sorrow, the infiniteness lightness of blueing, the pain of fame gam?. These are the colors of modern r&b and superheroes. Thanks, guys.
it has been four years since her last long player
quickly get your music noticed
A fast rock & roll song performed with a retro punk vibe
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1983 (Volume 14, Number 11)
the final issue edited by Susan Whitall
hard rock meets classic rock meets Americana
Chuck D is at the Grammy Museum
On The Red Carpet For The Screening Of “The Beast Inside” At The Angelica Cinema, Sunday, January 29th, 2023: pictures by Billy Hess
a powerhouse performance by Sadie Katz and SohoJohnny as you never thought you’d see him
that SNL gig was excellent
Miley rises to top of the celebrity food chain
captivating, hooklined, country pop songs