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Ayo Technology: The Video Collection

For reasons best left to the footnotes [1], I spent the most of the weekend and then some watching the luxury cable channel MTV Jams. Not having watched rap videos for an extended period of time since college, I sort of expected it to just be a blur of ignorant ass southern rap to fetishize. You know, right where I left the rap video playlist in ’03.

It isn’t. Some of that is there, this VIC character seems to be gaining some heat, but surprisingly a large chunk of the playlist is made up of the rap music I try my best to ignore. Bapesta x Ghey La Soul videos that I just assumed never made it out of the OnSmash window [2] and Post-T-Pain Kidz Bop Pop Hop. Two points on a line: nonspecific nostalgia and cliched futurism. This moment is another moment. And the view of the past is as blurry as any prediction of the future. Which is to say, Native Tongues never wore dookie ropes and in the 21st century I still can’t teleport. The uniform of the future won’t be a sleek silver jump suit. It will be an ugly hoodie that sorta/kinda reinterprets the past.

And where exactly does Pacific Division hail from anyway? I mean, I assume they’re from the Pacific somewhere. But their aesthetic is all one world social network homogenization. No local identity or sound. Some might herald such fusions of e-gypsydom as forward or inevitable. It’s not and it shouldn’t be. Hip hop is lost without a home. Rap is nothing if not about repping your city, your hood, your block, your borough, your ward. These kids are repping their myspace page. They are repping their shoes. They are repping a scene without a time or place. And without that what are the youth of 2028 going to throwback to?

I feel like I may have already wrote this post in the not so distant past. Oh well, chalk it up to ahead of the curve nostalgia. I don’t have time to check the archives.

[1] Somehow the rap game reminds me of my back pain.
[2] I suppose this is what 16 years olds who fancy themselves cooler than other 16 year olds listen to. The 2008 Rawkus.

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