Slug: The Twin Cities' hip-hop scene is still oversaturated
Judging by the number of racist comments this blog weathers, some locals believe any amount of Twin Cities rap is too much. (Perhaps a Star Tribune writer feels that way, too.) For those of us who do enjoy partaking in the beats and rhymes, it's still possible to reach a threshold. These Modern Radio message board users felt this way in 2005, and Atmosphere rapper Slug discussed the scene's "oversaturation" in a 2008 TC Daily Planet interview.
Now, a journalist writing for an Australian magazine -- these things seem to always originate overseas -- asked Slug to revisit that very same question of how crowded the local community has become.
Here's the quote, from Matt Shea's Q&A posted at the esteemed Passion of the Weiss blog:
You made this really interesting comment in an interview a few years ago saying that the Twin Cities scene has become oversaturated. Do you still think that's the case?
I mean... I think... (sighs, pauses) Yeah, I do. I just hate to say it. I do! I feel like there are so many people here making music, and everybody is afraid to tell each other that they suck. It's funny, because I come from a time where people would be honest with you; if you were wack, they'd call you wack and hurt your feelings. And if you wanted to fight, they'll fight. Nowadays, if you tell somebody that they're wack, you're a hater. And nobody wants to be called a hater! You know. And then on the other side of things, if you tell somebody that they're dope, you're a dickrider. Nobody wants to be a dickrider!
So instead, what we do is everybody just nods and plays it off and totally deals with each other's music. But truthfully, some of this shit is great and some of this shit is garbage. So in that sense, I do think there still is some over-saturation here, locally. I can't speak for other scenes in other cities, but I know this scene. And this scene could do better if we got rid of half of these rappers, and the other half of these rappers were given more time to get onstage and work out their shit to become extra dope.
Since Rhymesayers' yearly Soundset has arrived every May for the past five years, this has traditionally become the month when the hip-hop sponge that is the Twin Cities becomes sopping wet. Gimme Noise certainly takes part in creating this dousing, and credit local hip-hop stalwarts like Midwest Broadcast and Sound Verite for providing a load of local coverage of note.
And, speaking for this blog, the future will likely still feature plenty of that rap music. And so we're definitely part of the problem -- or the solution? For more on how we, and other news outlets in the area, find our hip-hop, check out BeScene MPLS's recent interview with myself, Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider, TC Daily Planet's Jay Gabler, and A.V. Club's Jason Zabel, "Bridging the Gap: Local Hip-Hop x Local Press." Perhaps this is an oversaturation of coverage of hip-hop coverage, but you've already read this far.
Getting back to Slug's point, we'd definitely agree that nobody wants to be called a hater, and that's why our anonymous comments field can be so handy. What do you think about the current saturation level for hip-hop acts in the Twin Cities? Are we overflowing or comfortably moist?
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