It’s hip-hop. But it’s not as mainstream as it was 50 years ago. The hip-hop world is very divided — and it’s not all hip hop. If you look at what happens inside hip-hop, there’s a lot of diverse people coming into it. You have your hip-hop fans, who feel that the music is their history and the artform they want to continue. There are those who don’t. People who love rock ‘n’ roll, who would rather play an album because of the music or the culture they are experiencing as opposed to the music.
Also in the vein of hip-hop are rock bands like Motley Crue, The Police, The Doors, and the Black Eyed Peas. How do you think hip-hop has evolved?
The evolution of hip hop is a little weird. It’s not really what we would call hip-hop. It’s not rock ‘n’ roll, where the sound comes down and then it’s over. It’s another way of looking at it — that hip-hop has always been about being rebellious, breaking the rules and creating a new genre. But you also have a very big group of people like the White Stripes or Nirvana. They are not just a bunch of hippiedom kids. They are very modern, they are very confident, and what happened to punk rock and garage bands was that they couldn’t afford to buy a record to play when they were writing their music because the business world was so strict. There was only one record store. They were selling one record every 10 seconds. That’s how it became mainstream.
They were making records that they wanted to play because they were excited about it, not because they had a budget that they couldn’t afford.
How about the indie and rap scene as a whole?
Indie is definitely in a good place; there are more of the musicians, there are more music makers. The whole thing is just a lot more accessible to what I would describe as an average person who wants to create in their own way. In terms of the scene it is definitely a little fragmented. But that’s because people are not the same as they once had been. Indie rock is still really strong but it’s also the rock industry that’s dying because of the Internet.
Who’s the biggest influence you have on rap today, beyond your influence on how Iggy Pop became who he was?
There is only one album
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