A Tribe Called Quest
All art forms go through their own, particular evolution. Like everything else in life, from birth and growth and then death. After writing my biography on John Coltrane called Spirit Catcher a number of years ago, this question again approaches my life, like a type of apparition of a jet airplane, approaching an airport, ten miles out but still a signal enough to be on the radar of culture’s machines.
There seems little doubt in my mind that young symbols, just starting out in a culture, like the early years of hip hop in the mid 80s, are dusted with that perennial innocence of youth. Whatever this phrase means. Youth always possesses innocence. Even when it is the youth of a radical new form of music. There is a purity about the music that is a long way from the sense of cynicism that an art form develops in the later stages of its cycle.
This is happy music of exploration and discovery. An original music from a genre rather than an attempt to imitate it and build a tent brand around it.