I was talking to someone today about music and the discussion led to an argument about the weak points of hip-hop versus the strength of indie rock. He said he thought one of the strong points of indie rock was the extreme creativity that exists in bands like Animal Collective. They are undoubtedly one of the captains of indie rock, and at the same time they push the limits of the genre to an extreme that few others have reached. He argued that in hip-hop, the popular artists were all repetitive and tame, and the “indie” or “underground” artists were all simple boom-bap and raw. I can’t say that I completely disagree. It seems like a lot of underground hip-hop these days is either straight raw boom-bap lyricism type shit, or part of the new trend – indie rock sampling.

Honestly, the talk made me kind of worried. Either I’m out of the loop, or hip-hop artists are slacking on the extreme creativity front. I’m not complaining about the general state of hip-hop music. I think there are plenty of talented artists on the come up, each with his/her own style. But for any genre to be healthy, I think there have to be extremes. There have to be artists in every genre that stretch it to its most uncomfortable limits and make it work. Otherwise shit starts to get bland.

So here’s my post. The Animal Collectives of hip-hop. Psychedelic, limit smashing hip-hop does exist. I wish there was more of it. Here’s a pocket full of hip-hop tracks that aren’t just meant to make your head nod – this is the type of hip-hop made to make your eyes retreat into your sockets and your brain queef out through the cracks in your skull. The type of shit that isn’t made to make you relate – this is the type of shit that rearranges what you relate to. It’s not for everyone, but give it a shot. Turn it up loud, fuck with it.

Edan – Promised Land | YouSendIt

Aesop Rock – Shere Kahn | YouSendIt

Cannibal Ox – Painkillers | YouSendIt

Deep Puddle Dynamics – Rainmen (Controller 7″ Remix) | YouSendIt

Illogic – Birthright | YouSendIt