1. Perhaps the most significant difference between New Orleans and other cities is that music actually impacted the course of the city’s evolution. Music isn’t mere expression, consequence, or adornment here, but a force that shapes our past/present/future. For real: without Louis Armstrong, this city would be drastically different. Without music, we don’t survive our disasters. Not just because we like to dance, spirits, uplifting funerals, etc., but because music makes us irreplaceable and makes us money. It is as engrained in our economy as it is in our civic culture.
2. Hip hop belongs at the family table of New Orleans music. Hip hop represents just as many geniuses, soldiers, and scoundrels as jazz, funk, brass band music, etc., with significant crossover in populations. The emergence of hip hop has had an undeniable impact on the life of New Orleanians. Men and women live for it, and earn livings from it. Children chant its lyrics, and people in faraway lands know of these places–Hollygrove, the Magnolia, St. Thomas–because of hip hop. Most importantly, New Orleans hip hop accomplishes that essential New Orleans thing: it mixes the other influences in and creates something new, a unique sound that stands out from the hip hop of New York, L.A., and even our neighbors in the South. Read More →