I am a lover of music. I could not get enough MTV when I was a teenager in the 1980s. My parents laughed, saying everyone my age was into MTV, but I was also into a few different radio stations at the time, ranging from rock to pop to variety. I also never missed the Top 40 every Sunday. I knew back then that I loved to listen to lots of different kinds of music, and that has not changed as an adult.
YouTube I love and adore. Nowhere else can I find practically every genre out there all in one place. My playlists cover genres from rock to classical to yoga music. While I grew up on hard rock and still love it, I have dived a little deeper into the dream pop and trip hop subgenres, while also enjoying the Buddha Bar series my yoga introduced me too. Interestingly, these all are not that far off from some hip hop artists.
Hip hop is a genre that I have always had an awkward relationship with. While I do not care for the majority of it, when I do find a hip hop or rap artist I love, I really do like the music they create.
My older relatives do not really get this, but they were not exposed to Run-D.M.C. or LL Cool J as children, nor did they grow up through the 1990s, when hip hop and rap really entered mainstream culture and became societally acceptable outside of the urban neighborhoods where they had their roots.
While the hip hop label is not universally agreed upon for every artist, I have loved the work of Eminem, Outkast, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. I have a strong preference for the works of Ice Cube, Mos Def, and LL Cool J as well.
It does seem like the lines between genres are blurring these days with the Internet. Is Macklemore a hip hop artist? Tech N9ne? I love their work, but I am not sure how to label them. Should I?
Sometimes the hip hop label does not even seem like it fits. YouTube introduced me to works that are labeled as Japanese instrumental hip hop, and yet while they are gorgeous works to listen to, are they hip hop? Artists like Nujabes, Nomak, and DJ Okawari are a pleasure to listen to.