WTF Happened to DJ Shadow?
by Winston "Stone" Ford
Look, let’s get some things straight. I like hyphy. Actually, I like hyphy more than crunk. I grew up in the South. I’ve seen Lil’ John personally sell CD’s out the trunk of his car. And yet, I like hyphy. I’m not the hyper elitist backpacker that some people think I am. I just don’t post about hyphy or crunk because I think they both are being exploited by the music system and the result ends up being crap. But that’s another story.
It’s interesting to see who jumps onto a sound or a movement once it becomes popular. Remember when Jewel tried to skank herself out as a pop star? Yeah, that worked well for her didn’t it? But now its 2006, and although Nelly Furtado has the dubious distinction of being a genre ho, the most notable jumper so far is Bay Area trip-hopper DJ Shadow. His new album is half hyphy beats instead of his traditional Midnight in a Perfect World efforts.
What the hell is going on Mr. Shadow? I know that the trip-hop game doesnt pay, but are you just doing this ish to pay the rent? Seriously. And don’t pull that “I’ve always admired the movement” crap. If you “admired the movement” then you would’ve done this thing a few years ago when goin’ dumb was just a regional thing. And I’m not saying that he can’t do hyphy, but damn, he’s DJ “I used 900 samples on my first album” Shadow. He could’ve at least brought something new to the game.
Having that said, the tracks that I’ve heard so far are pretty fly. And he does feature Bay legends like Keak Da Sneak. What I do have a problem wiht is people jumping on bandwagons to exploit a genre, then jumping off said bandwagon when the hysteria has cooled down. We all know that Hyphy is not gonna last forever (as a mainstream genre), but is DJ Shadow’s next record going to include Hyphy? I doubt it. (inspiration via Freemotion)