Home of American Independence, Gallic Boisterousness, and (of course) my birthday.
It is bloody hot in Norwich today. I walked around town before heading up to campus and it felt, dereal-isingly, like being in a foreign city. Down by Cow Tower (pictured) all the crims and fishermen had their tops off: that's when you know it's properly hot in England.
1 - Slagging off Noel Gallagher is the new hip (but not hop) thing to do, because - to paraphrase Kennedy (not me, or my Dad, or my brother) - 'we are all rappers now'. I can't help but feel the point has been slightly missed here: Jay Z did precisely what Gallagher predicted he would, namely gooning around on stage like a hyperactive six year old while boasting about how tough/ rich/ virile he was. NG is being made out to be some Tebbity throwback who 'doesn't even know what hip-hop is': my feeling is that his sentiment about 'hip-hop not being right for Glastonbury' was shorthand for 'bling-based twat-hop' not being right for Glastonbury. I've read interviews with NG where he espouses the virtues of Public Enemy et al, and anyone who keeps an eye on the music press knows Gallagher is a hell of lot smarter than he's given credit for in the London media. I get the impression that the people who are hailing Jay Z as a genius striking a blow against the hegemony of rock music in this country (like, er, Westwood) are ignoring two crucial facts, namely that a) bad hip-hop and r&b is more or less ubiquitous, and is purchased by many of the same people who buy the worst kind of anodyne guitar rock (Coldplay) and b) Jay Z is a knobhead. If Gallagher had made the same statement about someone who isn't willing to collaborate with any pasty white rock musician who fancies a bit of easily-accessible 'credibility' (ie, Chris Martin) I'd have been a lot more surprised.
2) The media/ blogging response to the Jay Z/ Gallagher spat smacks of gross white-boy/ girl paternalism, not racial equality.
3) Why is it that musicians from the north-west of England (Ian McCulloch, Ian Brown, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft) are constantly represented as arrogant plebs stepping above their station by music writers? Why is it more critically acceptable to like Ride than it is to like the early Verve records (pre-'A Northern Soul', I mean)?
4) Is this debate (secretly) less about rock v hip-hop than about south v north?