Toronto Mike

Rap is Now Colour Blind

mic

I was recently reading about Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys and his battle with cancer.  He's got a cancerous tumour in his parotid gland and a lymph node.  I wish him luck, I've always been a big Beastie Boys fan.

Back in the day, their album Licensed to Ill became the first rap LP to top the Billboard 200 chart.  There was something else that differentiated the Beastie Boys from others in the rap game.  The Beastie Boys are white.

A rap fan for 25 years, white rappers always stood out to me, because it was a genre dominated by black men.  3rd Base, Vanilla Ice, House of Pain and Eminem were white.  We noted that fact, because it was noteworthy.  Over the past decade, I've found the black vs. white rapper distinction has faded.  Rap is now colour blind.

Two hip-hop artists that get heavy play on my iPod happen to be white, but that's not their schtick.  It's great rap with catchy hooks and interesting stories and colour doesn't enter the equation.  I'm referring to Nova Scotia's Classified and Minnesota's Atmosphere.

I haven't been able to get enough of Classified and Atmosphere since Fay introduced me to Classified several years back and Kic made me listen to Atmosphere.  It's not black or white rap, it's solid gold.

Here's Classified and "No Mistakes" from his excellent Boy-Cottin the Industry.

Here's Atmosphere's "Always Coming Back Home to You" from Seven's Travels.

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