Jay-Z thinks Hip Hop was stifled by Nirvana with the whole grunge movement. He goes on to say that the 90′s rebellious youth was searching for exactly what Kurt Cobain was screaming about on “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
In his upcoming coffee-table book Pharrell: The Places and Spaces I’ve Been (Rizzoli), human hyphenate Pharrell Williams includes interviews between him and notables ranging from Buzz Aldrin to Kanye West to Anna Wintour to Jay-Z. For the most part, they’re of the tell-me-how-you-do-what-you-do variety, but the back-and-forth between producer-designer-rapper Williams and Jay-Z quickly reaches Nirvana. Literally.
“So, where were you mentally and physically when grunge music hit?” Pharrell asks Jay-Z. “Like where were you when you first heard, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit?’”
Coincidentally, Hova was in Pharrell’s home state of Virgina when he heard the generation-defining song for the first time. But he’s more interested in discussing why the song hit so hard than where he was when it got going. “First we got to go back to before grunge and why grunge happened,” reasons Jay. “‘Hair bands’ dominated the airwaves and rock became more about looks than about actual substance and what it stood for—the rebellious spirit of youth….That’s why ‘Teen Spirit’ rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt, you know what I’m saying?”
Jay-Z then goes on to say that grunge actually stalled the rise of hip-hop in popular culture. “It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know?” he says. “Those ‘hair bands’ were too easy for us to take out; when Kurt Cobain came with that statement it was like, ‘We got to wait awhile.’”
Mjj says….. I was that rebellious youth at that time and I could not get enough of Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit” and “Heart Shaped Box”. As of today I still have that on rotation and, as captivating and spell binding it was for me, I was just simmering down from my Beastie Boys high so it was easy to connect to Nirvana.
Make no mistakes, the airwaves were dominated by Real Lyricist like Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions and Eric B and Rakim and then came along NWA, Ice T, and the Geto Boys that propelled rap music and hip hop to another stratosphere …
I refuse to believe the nonsense Jay Z is spewing and I’ll put it plain and simple. Hawaiian Sophie wasn’t popping ….Hip Hop was a culture back then now it’s more like a brand any quick scheme to get rich, find a catchy hook, come onstage with silicone filled body parts and be as extreme as you can be, the more extreme the less talented……not to many are listening to the lyrics. We are so over saturated with all the distractions we ‘re losing the glue that once held a strong bond….
This book and Jay’s statement isn’t about hip hop ……it’s about money and selling a book ….job well done, now all the non colored people will go and buy this book because they threw out the name Kurt Cobain ….GTFOH……WAKE UP.