WB's 'Hey 19 Rap' of the Week
There is a Time and Place for everything, and in the case of Steely Dan that time began at the birth of Humanity, and that place was formed when their union as a Force of Nature began.. The passage of time has shown us, over and over again, that there are only questions without definitive answers.. Steely Dan has been that book of reference where we search, page by page, again and again, for those answers that can never be fully explained.. The Human Experiment on this Planet has been very brief, and full of perilous, existential calamities, and most probably, Mother Nature will soon decide that this experiment has been a monumental failure, and that will be the end of it.. Steely Dan's final Grammy Winning album, by name alone, Two Against Nature, should serve as the Final Chapter for this reference book of Questions Without Answers.. And perhaps, somehow, this is how it should be.. With All My Love... Lary
This is interesting...and sounds about as right as any other theory I've heard or thought of. When I noted in the early '00s that show audiences were filling up with young 'uns I started spinning out hypotheses for how this generation had gotten latched onto SD. Were they finally listening to their older brothers' old record collection? Was there some campus mix tape making the rounds with SD on it?
I knew of course of all the sampling among rap and rnb artists but didn't think these, regardless of how "big" some of them were, could account for the numbers I was seeing (especially since only a tiny fraction of rap listeners even realize there's a sample in there anyway) . [Edit: and of course things like a reworked "Dirty Work" figuring so prominently in movies like The Suicide Squad(s) doesn't hurt either; amazing, the power of mere exposure to large numbers....]. Data-hound that I am, I actually proposed to W that I make some semi-systematic effort at data-collection on the question! He laughed a little louder than I did...so that was the end of that idea.
Still I was and remain quite curious about the route to SD for these younger folks. Even if the analysis of The Ringer article is correct, it mainly explains (hypothesizes) why younger kids might *vibe* with SD once they listen to them...which to my mind at least is a sort of duh-level obvious idea. But aside from the "we return to the background-music of our childhood" theory, it still leaves the more interesting (and less obvious) question of how they got exposed in the first place...especially exposed at some level that stimulated or allowed a more than casual listening. I suspect the answer to that is, as we like to say, "overdetermined and multi-factorial". In other words....lotsa ways...adding up, at some point, to some critical mass.
Thanks for posting, Matt --
Great article, well-written, sharp insights. Really funny quotes from Donald. But the last one really resonates with me: "I just thought we were making something beautiful." Indeed. It makes me feel good to know that their music seems destined to be appreciated long after we're all gone. Somewhere Walter is on the upside looking down and nodding his head in agreement.
Walter Becker Media Forum