Beats 1 Radio’s OTHERtone has released their latest ep, featuring hosts Pharrell Williams and Scott Vener chatting with acclaimed producer Flying Lotus. This time, the conversation got pretty heated. It all starts when Scott questioned the current state of hip-hop. “Do you think hip-hop is in a good place right now, lyricist wise? Do you think there’s a place for it to go?”
“Absolutely,” fires Lotus.
“Or do you think it is being dominated by, you know, people who maybe aren’t as skilled?” Scott continues.
“But every generation says that,” Pharrell intervenes. “Civilisation has moved on. Society’s way more sophisticated than they were, you know? It’s rare that things are timeless.”
The conversation then turns to the transitional relationship between DJs, rockers, and rappers. Pharrell, of course, has the greatest insight. “This is a different day and age,” he ponders. “Back in those days producers didn’t have the ability to make albums for themselves, and [albums that] matter, you know? And it was at a time when rock bands were dominating everything and DJs were the ones that stood behind the rappers. But, right now, the DJ is the rockstar, and there are rock guys coming out playing guitar just trying to get a little feature. The poles have shifted… It’s evolution.”
“There’s room for everybody now,” says Lotus.
Scott then suggests that the story telling in hip-hop has evolved from songs about struggle to tunes about happier notions. “They’d rather feel good than hear a whole story.”
“[Story tellying is] not popular… you gotta fault the people,” Pharrell says. “But I’m not mad at that, there has to be change.” Pretty insightful stuff. Check out the interview, as well as Flying Lotus and Kendrick’s ‘Never Catch Me’, in the gallery above.
- Words: Louis Hanson