Lost In The Noise
by Ed Sofield
Maybe it’s my mother’s Catholic background seeping through to me…..maybe it is some intrinsic part of my own mind telling me what is right and wrong……or maybe I am just overreacting. But I have a major guilt trip on my hands here, and what better way to use this column space than free self-therapy, right? So here’s my dealy-deal:
And I listen to hip-hop.
Not only hip-hop — I pride myself on being fairly well-rounded when it comes to matters of music. But enough to make me worry. Maybe I am a stubborn bastard, but even what Count Bass-D had to say to me didn’t help get rid of the guilt. “Music goes beyond racial boundaries…….it shouldn’t matter that white kids are listening to hip-hop — it just matters that they are listening in the first place.” Or, something like that (I was so shocked to actually be talking to CBD that I kinda forgot the exact words, but…..that was close). And yet, the guilt remains. Every time I turn on the local college radio station and tune in to the hip-hop hour, between every song I get this itching in the back of my eyes….like “I should know better, just turn off the radio and don’t go along with the rest of the damn suburbanite kids ripping off perfectly good music that they should have nothing to do with….” And then the next beat comes in, some really cool samples and the poetry that old people refer either as “that noise” or, on occasion, as “rap.” And I’m lost in the noise…….
So I’ve thought about this quite a bit over the last couple weeks. I was watching Greg Proops do his comedy act on cable during this time, and heard him say the following:
“White people have never created good music on their own. Black people….well, now, they created swing, and rock-n-roll (which Elvis stole and made hugely successful), even disco and hip-hop. What has The Man done? He’s made polka.”
So for now, as I resign myself to some more guilt and some more beats, I figure this: white people are doomed to make bad music forever anyway. If you think about New Age crap and Country music, well, we’ve made some pretty horrible shit over the years. And I doubt it’s gonna get any better. So I might as well just take the guilt as a side-order to go along with the best music I can find. So, For Now, I’m
Leaving the World In My Dust,