Every once in a while, I’ll start listening to a group that is too hip for a middle-aged middle-class guy like me, and it always makes me feel a little self-conscious. I went through this with Outkast a little while back — and good Lord, even with Kanye West — and now I’m enjoying Gnarls Barkley more and more.
To all of the aforementioned groups and artists: I hereby apologize. I am definitely a big ol’ boat anchor on your Hipness Factor.
Of course, some of this is because these acts sprinkle some old-school sounds and beats in the background. Hey, Outkast, I recognize that 1980s-era low-end Casiotone keyboard doing that little run behind “Hey, Ya” (I once owned that very keyboard)…Kanye, I know it’s Jamie Foxx singing in the background on “Gold Digger” but he’s singing a line from Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman”…and Gnarls…well, I have a soft spot for the Violent Femmes, who you’re covering, and now you’re doing videos that channel all sorts of moments from popular music in the last 60 or so years.
So maybe I don’t need to apologize so much after all.