Turning Into That Guy

Man, I remember not even 5 years ago, when not writing about music or listening to new music on a daily basis would have driven me nuts. Bonkers. Psychotic. There was an overwhelming urge to just blurt out verbal vomit every few days or so about the latest and greatest music of the moment, or to just sit and download or go and buy whatever was new in music- it didn’t even have to be hip hop- it could have been anything that piqued my interest.

I remember talking with a DJ friend who was a little older than me, and he’d always laugh at how pumped up I’d get about new music, old music, whatever music. He’d tell me that as I got older and I got more responsibility, I’d lose a lot of the passion I had for music, and I’d turn to other pursuits.

I scoffed.

You know what though? He was right.

Music is no longer a force in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, hip hop and more generally, music, is something I encounter every day in my life. I can thank Apple for allowing me to have my entire collection of music at my fingertips. Feel like some heavy metal? There it is. Feel like some hip hop? There it is. Feel like some Brit-pop? There it is. Feel like some blues? What do you know, there it is.

But music has gone from being a necessity to having become just a lot of background noise to me. I still get that feeling when I listen to some older material on my iPod- stuff from the proverbial murderers row of my youth- let’s say 1993 to 1998. But after that? I listen and I have no attachment to it. And don’t get me started on new music- it barely registers.

I can remember the buildup to an album “Wu-Tang Forever”. I drove to the local record shop at midnight just to pick up 2 copies of the album- one on quadruple vinyl, the other on double CD. And I can distinctly recall sitting in my car after buying it and listening to every track that same night. The level of disappointment incurred from the very first track on disc 1, that rambling bullshit with Poppa Wu, was mitigated by the fact that I loved basically every other track on the album.


I think that was the night that anticipation for music died for me. Really.

Since that time, there has been NOTHING that has instigated that sort of emotion from me- not even a new Boot Camp album. This was only brought to the forefront for me with the release of the new Mobb Deep album. There used to be so much anticipation for a Mobb Deep album. Ever since “The Infamous”, it’s been sort of an event when a Mobb Deep album was dropping, maybe not to the general public, but for those who liked, and I apologize for using this term, ‘real’ hip hop, a new Mobb Deep album was something you looked forward to. The lead single that would no doubt be some of the grimiest yet melodic music you’ve ever heard, a few choice lines from Prodigy. And truth be told, Prodigy and Havoc came through with “Hell On Earth”- they pulled a proverbial Lebron and lived up to the expectations. But ever since then, it’s been diminishing returns. I don’t want to turn this into a diatribe against the perceived idiocy of Mobb Deep, but I did want to point out that the new Mobb Deep album dropped, and I didn’t even know it did so. And this was with the supposed unstoppable G-Unit promotional machinery backing them up. And when I saw it in the store, I picked it up, briefly chuckled at yet another hilarious Mobb Deep album cover, and moved along.

Come to think of it, the new Ghostface engendered the exact same response from me.
As did the news that a new Boot Camp album was coming out.
Or a new Tool album.
Or a new Pearl Jam album.

So I’m left wondering to myself, have I gone soft? Am I that guy? Ten years from now, will I be the grumpy old man (no A to the L) who sits around and plays his records and talks about the good old days? Am I already that guy? Will I even CARE about the good old days?

Things to think about on a long weekend that I don’t give a shit about.


10 Replies to “Turning Into That Guy”

  1. welcome back… and with a sparkling post that fits perfectly with the current mood of whining from people like JS-1 and some on rmhh…

    and whats up with the Tool and Pearl Jam love-in?

    seriously though, Mobb Deep fucking sucks, we’re all not getting any younger, and ‘Nobody Beats The Biz’ sounds better with each passing year… the end…

    now are you gonna hang around for a while? (no Brokeback)

  2. It’s not whining. It’s just resignation. I guess when it finally dawns on you, it’s eye opening.


  3. Holy fuck, while reading this, all the time I thought it was Al’s post and thought, yeah, well, he’s getting older, he’s busy making some paper, keeping his marriage going, paying the mortgage, feeding the dog etc. etc plus, let’s face it, he IS old… but isn’t MF a whole lot younger than me? That is indeed worrying.
    Me, turning the dirty thirty this year also realize I can’t spend days, weeks and months listening to music and reciting my favourite lyrics like I used to, but that’s cos I don’t have the time with uni, my job, my son, my friends etc.
    Ah, growing up stinks…

  4. I totally am experiencing what your going through rite now. Trying to keep you passion for music while your life is evolving and music as a whole is deteriorating is tough. Keep diging for the jems tho….a few are still out there…


  5. Funny. I was talking to a mate about this just the other day.

    There is the responsibilities of being older that consume serious chunks of your ex-spare time, so you don’t get chance to listen to music as much. And you when you get something you’re genuinely excited about, you don’t get chance to “get into” it, if you know what I mean. You don’t listen and re-listen…

    There are also a couple of other contributing factors.

    1. Money. When you’re younger you tend not to have as much. So buying a new album is quite an investment. You can’t afford many, so you make sure it’s a bloody good one. And then you listen to it again and again (see “get into” point above)

    2. You Know Too Much. Madrobot talks about music deteriorating. Bullshit, I say. Have a listen to some of the stuff you bought when you were younger – i bet there are some “classics” and “best tunes of all time” that, if you’re honest, you wouldn’t part with your cash with now. And the people of our age then would have used such tunes as examples of the deterioration of music. A bit like how every generation thinks that the music of the generation below is just “noise”. My grandma said that to my mum about the Beatles and my mum said it to me about BDP.

    You also analyse music a bit more when you’re older. You notice details that would have had more of subliminal effect when you were younger. The way you listen to and de-construct music once you get older is different and spoils the experience to an extent.

    Add to that the point that you attach a lot more meaning to songs when you’re younger. Life moves slower and songs and albums can have a special significance to a period in your life. Remember high school lasted 5 years? Seemed like forever at the time, didn’t it? And for each of those five distinctly different years you had experiences and mini-eras to which songs attach themselves and have special significance. Life twats on by at some considerable speed now, and there are no real significant periods: you work, go home (x5), go out at the weekend and repeat that sequence ad infinitum. None of this kissing-a-girl-for-the-first-time nonsense.

    So, in conclusion to the above meander, growing up is shit. I want to be 15 again. (Note: if anyone can fix this for me, can they fix it so that I still look old enough to get served and don’t have to live at home? Thanks)

    Can you tell that I’m supposed to be getting some serious grown-up work done and I’m just trying to find distractions?

  6. I as reading this thinking “has Alan fucking lost his mind?”. Sorry Major Force but I was really glad to see it was you because if AttL goes off music we’re all in fucking trouble.

  7. I lost my mind a long time ago oswald… I still like music though. Today I have mostly been listening to Kool G Rap and (*shock horror*) Jay Dilla… I will post about this in the next couple of days…

    How’s life in the BB house anyway? 😉

  8. I’d have to agree with a few different sentiments here. When you’re at uni and not bothering to go to lectures and tutorials you can spend as much time as you want listening to cds while smoking your head off. Once you’ve got to do the whole 830-5 (and then some) it gets a bit harder to find the time to listen – truly LISTEN like you used to. Sure, I get up in the morning and put some tunes on when I get out of the shower but then have to go to work. When I get home I crack open a beer and watch the news, cook dinner, then study. Then off to bed and repeat the cycle. Hardly have time to listen to music so now it really is more background noise than anything else.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to sit here and start bitching about newer music being shit because I don’t think it is. There’s been plenty of great cds come out in the past 5 years – Mr Manuva, Yungun, Lazy Grey, Hilltop Hoods, Rodney P, Skitz mixes, Universal Soldiers. Take a look and you’ll see enough to keep you listening for a while. I haven’t heard any come out of the US though. They’ve lost their way I think. All about the bling but that’s overdone.

    Anyhoo, point is that there is plenty of good music that is pretty easy to find in any record store or online. Hard part is finding the time to really just sit back, relax with a drink and whatever else and enjoy the music, word by word, beat by beat. The reality of working 9 and 10 hour days is that you don’t have as much time for the things you used to have time for. I know I’d rather spend some quality time with my girl, comfortable on the couch, than by myself with a new cd.

    Yo yo ma.

  9. I don’t buy nearly as much stuff as I did say 10 years ago but I’m almost always excited about my purchases. I Think I do so much research that I’m always somewhat pleased. I do feel you on being dissapointed, I get that way with some artist. like when everybody started jockin’ Lenny Kravitz after about 4 albums and I think he fell off. He still cool but it ain’t raw no more. As far as the god Ghostface…. I copped the fishscale I like it but it’s far from Supreme Clientele and it ain’t even Pretty Tony. With those reservations aside I still like it a little but the Wu-Tang track was deplorable. Cappadonna needs to go back to driving cabs cuz it sounds like his voicebox is crushed. The main reason I bought this album so fast is because of the MF production. Maybe 5 years ago I would of loved this album but since I turned 34 yesterday I don’t have the patience or tolerance for average work. P.S. I pumped the Sugarhill box set & Talking Heads greatest hits as party music.

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