December 5, 2009
THIS WEEK IN HIP HOP
It’s sad that ever since Nas’ first shock album title gimmick in 2006, hip hop discussions have mostly revolved around whether or not hip hop is dead. Everyone yaps on about how much music sucks now compared to the Golden Age of their fantasy. Then everyone else yaps back when they find something half-decent, trying to prove to the hip-hop-is-deaders that it isn’t dead after all, you cynical dummies. Even The New Yorker got in on the game recently, declaring Jay-Z’s loss of trendsetting ability as a sign that hip-hop was “aging out” of relevancy.
But the worst consequence is that many great artists start making music with this focus, music to “save hip-hop.” They make art for art’s sake, forgetting the sage words of Dead Prez: “it’s bigger than hip hop.” G-Side has clearly not forgotten. While artists from Raekwon to Slaughterhouse try to correct the ways of unartistic, lazy hip hop, G-Side recognizes music as a tool to connect with people.
G-Side is a rising group out of Huntsville, Alabama, consisting of rappers ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova. Huntsville International is their latest project, a title culled from the name of their town’s airport and also one that reflects their broadening horizons. Last year, the duo found modest success with the release of their album, Starshipz & Rocketz, a space-age experience taking the down-to-earth wisdom and humility of Outkast to a new sonic level. The well-received album landed them on the radars of a handful of influential niche blogs. This bit of success was enough to let them travel outside of Huntsville for the first time in their lives, and their trip is an inspiration.
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