Hip-Hop Is Really Old

I was just thinking back on this Skinny Boys joint, "Jock Box." This was back in the days of dinosaurs when you couldn't have a rap group, without having a beatbox. Jock Box was The Skinny Boys entry. This joint came out twenty five years ago, and the reasons I liked it as a ten year old are not the same reasons I liked early Boogie Down Productions and I don't think those are the same reasons I liked Nas. 


I do a lot of talking here about lyrics. But that's mostly because I don't know enough to discuss hip-hop, musically. Still it's worth noting that very often--especially with the Skinny Boys--I just liked the sound. It's also why I shy away from hardcore judgments about today's scene. Aesthetics in art change. There's no reason to expect them not to.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In