By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Implicit in both Soon Come and AOI: Bionix is Black people's right to make and enjoy hip-hop music that soothes and comforts. If Jay-Z is for thuggin' it up in a club at midnight and Ja Rule is for hanging out at the mall, why shouldn't there be hip-hop music for coming home from work, kicking off your shoes, and relaxing in an easy chair before making dinner? In this month's issue of Hip-Hop Connection, Brooklyn's finest hardcore rap duo, M.O.P., admit their deep admiration for schlockmeister Kenny G. "Kenny G, he makes music for Black people and that shit is so beautiful," gushes Lil' Fame. Needless to say, an enormous market awaits artists who can convincingly mimic cheesy pop balladry in a hip-hop context.
To be fair, Unspoken Heard probably had something else in mind when they called for "an adult contemporary version of hip-hop." Perhaps they hoped for a rapping Luther Vandross, or a lyricist on the scale of Diane Warren. Still, it's a bit unsettling to imagine that a generation of MCs and DJs, once so arrogant and bold, will settle for drifting slowly into the twilight of their careers, leaving only a spate of maudlin LPs and reunion tours in their wake.
Seven Heads, www.sevenheads.com