This post is dedicated to everyone who has ever stated they enjoy “everything except rap and country.” I’ve always been confused by people (mostly rocker-types, you can pick your favorite genre thereof) professing that their musical tastes are defined by the exclusion of two immensely broad genres. I’m aware that I’m gazing far too deeply into a social network meme found mostly in the “Music” section of an individual too lazy to properly complete their profile, but the preponderancy of the phrase really irks me. So, acting as a cultural Sherpa, here is some very good rap and country.
First is the Devil Makes Three, who missed my top 8 countdown by a single spot. Pete Bernhard’s voice is incredible: young and punk-influenced, it is the antithesis of every Toby Keith-soundalike. DMT is more bluegrass/blues than straight-up country, but they pretty much define everything I like about the genre as it exists today.
Now for the rap half, here is Anti-Pop Consortium. Coming out of Brooklyn and signed to Warp Records for their 2002 album Arrythmia, their beats are closer to labelmate Aphex Twin than the standard recycled Soul and R&B tracks. This is the group that got me into hip-hop, and I present them because they’re a fantastic gateway act. I’m not about to start listing the myriad problems (imagined or not) non-fans have with the genre, but they’ll most likely not find them here.