Then Sujin suggested that it was the role of hip-hop artists to get that anger out that pop artists were supposed to step aside and let the rock artists rage with. She, and that ghoul-faced pasty "rock critic" they pull out of a coffin every time they show one of these things, suggested that rap artists such as Dead Prez were up to the task, but didn't have the mainstream muscle to cause a revolution. Nelly's bandaged mug pops up on screen and marbles about how it was the responsibility of the hip-hop community to express this anger so the rest of the world could stew in it together; jump cut to the Hot in Here video, our hero rolling around in a pile bikinied booties. "Well," Nelly stammers, "I was just trying to make everyone happy...to forget about it for a while."
More clips of the Subterranean Homesick Blues footage, more fucking imagine all the people, and more confusion as to why the aughts didn't turn out like the sixties. Why is it that last time there was a major national crisis there was this surge of meaningful music that lead a revolution, yet after 9/11, all we can squeeze is Slave 4 U?
It is this rose-tinted rearview about the sixties that really gets me fired up. Thanks to our baby boomer parents, we have gotten this great-old-days view of the sixties: a time when the world wore tie dye, music had meaning, and spoiled rich kids stopped a war. Face it, your parents probably wore tie dye once, they most likely weren't cool enough to listen to the meaningful music, and hippies didn't do squat. Where is our musical hero, MTV asks? He's probably so unknown none of us will hear him for thirty years. But why the pop? How can we stomach bubblegum in the face of war?
What was the Billboard number one single for this week in 1969? Sugar, Sugar by the Archies. Funny, that's not what people generally think of when they think of 1969. Who knows how revolutionary we will become in the eyes of our children.