?uesto speaks to, about and for Grown Hip Hoppers

In this interview clip from AllHipHop.com, the legendary Roots crew frontman ?uestlove addresses the midlife crisis of the hip hop generation, ie what it means to make hip hop after 40, and how this plays into the themes of the upcoming Roots album, How I Got Over... 


?uesto's addressing one of my favorite subjects. Hiphop has cultivated a fairly juvenile image over the years. It started out being considered a passing fad that would just die out, and found its way into the mainstream culture, eventually providing the framework that much of today's pop music is built on.  At first, it was a foregone conclusion that rap artists would fade into the background quickly to make way for younger, faster, stronger talent. Perhaps more importantly, hip hop fans were expected to give up on it, and retreat to "grown folks" music...
But here we are! It's 2010, and we have rappers retiring and coming out of retirement, reinventing themselves as singers, actors and directors, thriving in the underground. Our culture is struggling with deaths of its icons. Beyond that, rappers are aging. Sometimes very gracefully... for God's sake, Big Daddy Kane got married! That's another thing: A lotta these old rappers that 'fell off' can still bring it! Hip hoppers are starting to have a sense of history. The way I grew up listening to mom bumping Earth, Wind, and Fire and Al Green, today's kids need to be introduced to De La Soul and Public Enemy. And in this, the big media is actually helping: the best hip hop on teevee is actually on VH1!
My point (and ?uest's too, I think) is that after decades of denial (both from those outside the culture and within), hipHop is grown up. Right now it's producing both juvenile music and stuff that's more mature, both in sophistication and subject matter. If the acceptance of VH-1 is any indication, the generational diversity of hip hop is permanent, and the industry and consumers will learn to take it in stride.
BONUS Dear God by the Roots off the new album How I Got Over, due to hit stores June 22

holla! 
samax.
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