Standing in line at Amoeba Records, I saw a category “Classic Rap?” Really? Rap is already “classic?” Well, why not. In the dizzying pace of change, some 40 years since rap and hip-hop began to brew in the South Bronx probably qualifies as classic.
About that rate of change. By the time I write this sentence, a job, a technology and or a kind of store (including Amoeba Records?) may become obsolete. We’ve never seen anything like it in the long history of the human experiment and have no idea how to navigate it. When being swept down the roaring rapids of rapid change, I imagine four choices:
1) Give into it. Just let the mainstream sweep you away and take you wherever it will. Which will mostly be to sensation addiction, expensive upgrades, hyperspeed nervous system and pure surface with little substance.
2) Cling to a rock. The rise in Fundamentalism and return to archaic, narrow, dogmatic thinking is epidemic and that desperate reach for some kind of security at any cost, is attractive to some.
3) Get out of the water. Move to a remote part of the world. But hey, I’m sure they have wireless Internet there and cell phone service.
4) Discover, maintain or create a series of eddies off to the side to rest from the rapids. Places where old practices that feed life and happiness still can thrive, be it Zen meditation, gardening, storytelling, family or neighborhood singing, walking in the woods— without your portable devices.
I needn’t say which one I would recommend. But if you’re going to choose number 1, at least listen to some classic rap!