ToM: “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” – Ol’ Dirty Bastard

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By Jacob Slater

Or, Alexander Dumbass’ The Count of Monte Crisco

In the beginning, when my interests in music were strictly a social device to better endear myself to my peers, my knowledge of rap music was relegated to the artists that were popular at the time/were characters in Def Jam Vendetta. Eminem, DMX, 50 Cent, Sean Paul, etc, the gods of old, you know. Once I got to high school though, much as was the case with old school rock and alternative music, I became much more aware of how vast and diverse the genre had become since its creation in the late 70s-early 80s.  I got to know De la Soul and Del tha Funkee Homosapien from Gorillaz, MF Doom from Adult Swim, the Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine from Guitar Hero, and so on and so forth in that fashion. I’m still not an aficionado on the genre (I transferred out of Rap Studies in college), but it easily covers a large portion of my music library, and some of my favorite musicians are, in fact, rappers. I know, a white guy listening to rap is totally unbelievable, but bear with me for a while.

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ToM: “Young Americans” – David Bowie

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By Jacob Slater

Or, I’ll Be Your Queen Bitch If You’ll Be My Diamond Dog

Despite being one of the biggest rock stars in music history, I still feel like David Bowie is often underrated by the public. Sure, ‘Under Pressure’ gets a lot of love, along with a couple of others like ‘Heroes’ and ‘Ziggy Stardust’, but it’s only a fraction of a prodigious and generally great body of work over the years. Bowie made genre-hopping mainstream, from Bolanesque glam rock to krautrock to slick dancepop, molding himself to the times and sounds that stymied many of his contemporaries. Although there were missteps, particularly once the 90s rolled around, at least those experiments were interesting, if not profitable. Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, they all wish they could have Bowie’s consistency. And in terms of consistency, those are some of the best musicians ever.

I’m a Bowie fan, if you couldn’t tell.
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