In the last couple of years, the relationship between indie rock and rappers has been growing more and more symbiotic. Jay-Z has been reported as saying “what the indie rock movement is doing right now is inspiring.” He’s been spotted at Grizzly Bear concerts and even says that indie rock reminds him of where hip hop was 15 years ago. I’m most certainly not a rap fanatic myself, but some of the recent collaborations between rappers and the indie rock scene sound pretty damn good.
Most recent notable collaborations include Kid Cudi featuring the likes of Ratatat and MGMT on his 2009 album Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and Kanye West working with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on his new G.O.O.D. Friday series. I”m sure there’s links a plenty at Pitchfork.com in case you wanted to check them out. This kind of stuff is right up their alley.
I realize that these projects have been preceded by acts as old as the Gorillaz and Gnarls Barkley (I am a big fan of both), but lately they have been trending and are increasing in numbers. As I stated earlier, as long as the tunes sound good, I certainly don’t mind. It’s actually refreshing to hear rap that isn’t hateful and demeaning. What’s next to come from this seemingly bazaar relationship? Who knows? That’s half the fun of it. I just hope it continues to be at least somewhat rewarding. The collaboration is surely beneficial for both parties involved. Double the fan base, double the sales, or at least one would think. Either way, the fans are the winners.