Over the last few years I’ve judged music by a completely different set of standards. I used to use common sense and my own judgement to deduce what would cause me to take anywhere from nine dollars to nineteen dollars out of my pocket for music. If only to feed the disenchanted children of rich rock stars. Of course it’s a digital age, so I don’t even consider the same set of rules when it comes to music. It’s all at your fingertips, so you have to re-access what helps you choose what you like.
Which leads me to The Pitchfork Theory. My theory is that Pitchfork was ahead of their time and all of their writers are 14 year olds writing as if they were 55 year old Music Professors/Music Critics/Gods of all Music ruminating about how “back in their day, they knew Sonic Youth would be big”, just so in 20 years they could rub it in your face.
Here’s what I take into account in consideration of the Pitchfork Theory. If the reviewer uses the words, vicious, mean, monstrous, smart you know they have sufficiently eaten the entrails of the artist and you cannot simply stand by and watch. The single word that steers me clear of any music Pitchfork deems worthy is “crafted”. Not only has Sufjan Stevens, Madlib, J Dilla, Ghostface and the Clipse all been cemented with “crafting one of the most beautiful releases of [said] year”. They have all been hailed as the new this or that, the same way the Lil Wayne is the best rapper of all time….. this year. As for their review ratings, I like to imagine that with all the albums they review, they hear 10 albums that are supposed to be good and then they proceed to rip apart any album that “isn’t rumored to be that good”, to show their street cred.
I know it’s still a little mainstream but it’s the 4th quarter, El-P, Cannibal Ox, Madlib, DOOM are coming out in the Spring and the Ghostface this month is a Theodore Unit mix-tape, next time I’ll update accordingly. But as for the Pitchfork theory, this is what they say I should be listening to right now if I like hip hop.
How did anyone think N.E.R.D beats (without Pharrell ruining them by rapping over them) and the Clipse destroying each beat with their story telling NOT make for a great album. Classic? Not yet, come on XXL, give it up Pitchfork, every three months you guys usher in the new king of something.
Here’s what I think you should watch
and listen to.
Talib Kweli & Madlib – Funny Money
Note: Links Fixed.
I’m a music snob, remember this though, they released 3 mix-tapes while Jive was waiting with the ball in their hand, I give these guys the Patient Artist of the Year award. I’m not including it, but Nightmares also deserves some love, not that many people would take a chance with a soul song on an album like this… then they killed/destroyed/were monsters on/were vicious with the verses. Really, it’s one of the most beautifully crafted albums of the millennium, you believe me, right?
Clipse – We Got it For Cheap Clipse – Keys Open Doors Clipse – Chinese New Years
Buy these albums. HA!