House is Not a Home



A fairly entertaining capsule from the heyday of Chicago hip-house, house-rap, club-rap, truly-fast-rap, whatever you want to call it, "it's a thousand ways you can explain it."

1:44 - "A lot of the house artists love the rap," observes Rocky Jones, flasher-costumed boss of DJ International Records.
2:17-2:38 - A dream deferred! And then completely and utterly forgotten.
3:15-3:54 - Splitting hairs, microgenre microskirmish, the very definition of internecine.
4:46-4:48 - It always begins pure, untainted and underground: "You might not hear these songs on the radio..." KC Flightt, self-professed hip-house pioneer, proudly observe.
4:50-4:51 - It always ends with delusion: "In a way it's like jazz," he continues.
5:19-5:21 - "I still try to keep as much rawness as I can," he says, failing miserably.
6:41-6:59 - Over his left shoulder, the judgmental glare of KRS-One.
7:34 - "A lot of people dancing nowadays."
8:00 - "Will Biz Markie have a hip-house record on his next record?"
8:14-8:30 - Twin Hype: underrated in any genre.

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Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. More

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Bookforum, Slate, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe Ideas section and The Wire (for whom he writes a bi-monthly column). He is on the editorial board for the New Literary History of America.

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