THE MUSIC CRITICISM DIET
Go through any newspaper’s “top (X) albums of the year.” Count how many of them are hip-hop. Do not count Kanye West’s most recent album (it’s too obvious a selection). Then compare to the number of records to which the phrase “indie rock” could be applied. If there’s anything other than the occasional major act (after having looked through about a dozen fairly major and comprehensive lists so far, the only albums I’ve seen mentioned are Kanye and Jay-Z), eat a triple-caramel-fudge ice cream sundae for each album mentioned.
You will lose weight, I promise you.
You know what? Hip-hop critics don’t do the same in reverse. You don’t see a hip-hop critic do their top whatever albums of the year then throw on a Fall Out Boy album just to show that they really do listen to other genres of music. (This is not to accuse “regular” music critics of tokenism. Well, actually, come to think, it is.)
And given the output of 2007 – which featured outstanding new albums from Common, M.i.A., Ghostface Killah, Ozomatli, and Underground Kingz in addition to the aforementioned Kanye and Jay-Z discs – it’s either shortsighted or just stupid. I don’t even listen to that much hip-hop, but I was at least aware of the existence and significance of these albums, and nobody’s paying me to talk about music.
(Which is probably for the best, considering that I’d waste valuable common inches on how awesome a song “Thunderstruck” is. Every week. I mean it.)
In summary: hipsters now ruining music criticism, just as they manage to ruin everything else. DAMN YOU, HIPSTERS.