The days of reckoning

Posted on September 17, 2008


It’s perhaps an understatement to apply the word ironic to the fact that the BBC’s black music channel 1Xrtra chose to feature the contenders in Forbes magazine’s hip-hop rich list on the same day that AIG ended up being nationalised and Wall Street continued to reel from the Lehman Brothers fall-out.


On Today this morning a Wall Street Journal columnist described the recent meltdown as a day of reckoning for America. Now is the time for consumers to hold themselves to account for overextending themselves financially, he proclaimed.


This leads me to wonder what effect this new economic climate will have on hip-hop, a musical genre which for well over a decade celebrated the cult of bling, idolised consumerism and deified the dollar for the dollars sake.


Puff Daddy, who was one of the first on the urban scene to milk substantial revenue streams from rap music, used his YouTube channel to urge OPEC countries to reduce the price they charge for the price of oil. Puffy apparently has been forced to ditch his private jet in favour of flying coach with American Airlines. Oh how the mighty have fallen.


Maybe Kanye’s new track Love Lockdown, which has got everyone scratching their heads due to its pared-down sound and ‘interesting’ vocals, symbolises the first nail in the coffin of the opulent consumption.


Posted in: economy, music