Recently I was re-watching one of my favourite music based films: Almost Famous. One scene where a highly likeable young and idealistic music journalist is discussing the ‘death rattle’ of rock and roll with an older, more cynical journalist played by Philip Seymour Hoffman strikes a relevant chord. Amongst his startling ramblings one phrase sticks out as I listen to Girl Talk… An Industry of Cool.
To understand sampling is to understand the roots and rebellion of Hip Hop, I’m not doubting Girl Talk’s understanding- I just can’t listen to this.
This is like eating pick ‘n’ mix versions of all your meals. Like eating a glutenized banana instead of a real banana; like those weird Haribo burgers I once got in France where all the ‘ingredients’ are made of shite, rainbow-coloured jelly.
The bloggers have reacted like Bieber fans pushing Girl Talk to hold position in 4 of the top 20 spots on Hype Machine. (Not that these charts should matter) The much feared Industry of Cool is darkening the door of our secret club; our refuge away from the radio and MTV.
The frustration comes the sense of exploitation I feel has gone on here. He has given it away for free, mainly because we would never get sample clearance, but that doesn’t make him Robin Hood. He’s reportedly slapped an extra $10 on all his future gig tickets. Girl Talk is an Urban Outfitter’s dream. A trending topic that does not deserve a reputation for anything more than snidey plagiarism of our favourite artists. There’s little craft here, in comparison to RJD2, Flying Lotus and Madlib; he’s managed to produce some of the most vulgar rap/rock, moron-erection tracks I’ve ever heard. This is X-Factor mash-up. I fully expect him to produce Cher Lloyd’s debut album.