Posts Tagged: 1989
18

Everything Except Rap and Country

There is something that reviewers are not quite saying about Taylor Swift's new album, 1989. It's on the tips of their tongues. Jon Caramanica comes closest: Modern pop stars — white pop stars, that is — mainly get there by emulating black music. Think of Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber. In the current ecosystem, Katy Perry is probably the pop star least reliant on hip-hop and R&B to make her sound, but her biggest recent hit featured the rapper Juicy J; she’s not immune.

Ms. Swift, though, is having none of that; what she doesn’t do on this album is as important as what she does. There is [...]

0

"Burn Hollywood Burn" v. "12 Years A Slave"

Nestled midway on "Fear of a Black Planet," Public Enemy's 1990 platinum album—and one of the greatest musical releases of all time—comes "Burn Hollywood Burn." (Halfway between "911 Is A Joke" and "Fight the Power"! I mean!)

The track is notable not just for rhyming "burn" TERM and "perm" (important correction!) but for the collaboration with Ice Cube and Big Daddy Kane—the only guest stars on the album. "Butlers and maids," slaves and hoes" is how Kane describes available Hollywood roles for black people.

Here we are in the future, 24 years later! How did the fellas take last night's best picture win for 12 Years A Slave, in [...]