We've all seen the TV commercial: An average-looking, mid-forties husband/dad-looking guy complains about not having enough energy to hang out with friends, or enough passion for the one he loves. The announcer suggests the symptoms might be associated with a treatable condition known as Low T (as in testosterone). Rumor has it that there's a similar condition known as Low H — as in “Hip Hop.”
Through interviews and retrospectives from artists and cultural icons from the era, Lyle Owerko chronicles the role boomboxes played in the democratization of urban music. And though the book contains dozens of Jamel Shabazz-esque shots of boombox-wielding breakdancers from the late ’70s and early ’80s, it's Owerko’s staged photos that truly capture the appeal of the era.
Watching the unveiling of the new Apple iPad solidified my decision about the vintage boombox that I'd purchased off eBay. I had originally begun searching for a portable stereo cassette player to listen to old tapes. Since then, I've realized that I had unwittingly become a member of a worldwide subculture where vintage boomboxes are as good as gold.
Call me crazy, but lately I've been thinking that Hip Hop has more in common with the Republican Party — more specifically, the much discussed "Far Right" — than we might ever have imagined. Both entities are suffering an identity crisis resulting in crazy in-fighting.
I'm working on the mixtape of a lifetime. This is not, of course, a mixtape in the traditional Hip Hop sense, replete with recycled beats, guest appearances and endless self-aggrandizing promotional drops. My mix is a personal collection of tracks that I've chosen to capture the range of emotions I experienced as Barack Obama became our 44th President of the United States.
So even without adjusting for inflation, during the three minutes that your local FM voice-tracked DJ spins Soulja Boy's tall tales of "super soaking" young women, about $368,000 has been spent on a military action which most of the country believes needs to come to a swift and decisive conclusion.