Monday, March 21, 2005

Holmes Remembers the 90's: the rise and fall of rap-metal

So this probably qualifies for least intellectual blog posted anywhere on the internet this week, but whatever. Nothing quite gets me through my workday like putting on my headphones and setting iTunes to shuffle. I've got so much music on my work machine that it sometimes comes around to a song I didn't even know I had. Sometimes it comes across something I swear I've never heard before. Today it surprised me again when it spun its little wheel and landed on "Bring tha Noize", the collaborative version betwixt Public Enemy and Anthrax. So I love this song, right? I actually have it in two places in my CD collection, once on P.E.'s Apocalypse 91, and again on Anthrax's slightly less *ahem* memorable collection, Attack of the Killer B's. I kinda get a weird feeling when I listen to this song, kinda like seeing a car that's still driving around with a John Kerry, or better yet Howard Dean bumper sticker. For just a second, if you let yourself, you can remember a time when there was a tingly feeling of hope that something new and exciting and fresh was just around the corner, and you didn't know exactly what it was all about or what it was gonna do, but you knew that it was better than what you had at the moment, and when it arrived it was going to rock like all hell. Then you remember how it all went to shit.

I remember hearing "Bring tha Noize" for the first time when I was a kid, a teenager I guess, I don't remember the exact moment, but I do remember this feeling of holy crap, yes, this is where it's going, this, this, yes, of course, OF COURSE! Of course rap and rock fucking belonged together. Both rebellious, both angry, both with heavy stomping beats, neither designed to be background music. My two favorite types of music at the time (and pretty much still today) brought together in a beautiful snarling marriage. Next thing you know, Rage Against the Machine comes out with their first album, bringing the whole thing ten steps forward. No longer did the two styles have to live in seperate camps and only get together on was a band that had taken the idea and made it into their own brand new sound. Next thing you know, the term rap-metal is getting tossed around all over the place and all these other bands are coming out doing the same kind of thing except that, well, um, gee guys, you all pretty much kind of suck. Some of you REALLY suck. (Fred, I'm talking to you). And the whole damn thing fizzled and pretty much became a great big self-parody. Except for Rage Against the Machine of course.

But I guess it sort of had to happen. Now that some time has gone by and the hype has passed, the two genres seem to flow together much more seamlessly. And "Bring tha Noize" is still a classic.

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