Wednesday, December 24, 2008

18. Q-Tip - Gettin Up

Obviously like many wanna be music nerds the world over, one of my favorite movies of all time is High Fidelity. A movie that follows it's novel source material by Nick Hornby quite strictly and benefits heavily from that. The reason I bring this up is that in the movie Rob the main character's girlfriend Laura organizes a party advertised as offering "Dance music for old people." Let me just say that I've never heard a party, fictional or otherwise, sound more appealing. When I hear that line I don't think, bad beach music (ie one of the five million incarnations of the Drifters) or rich suburban assholes swinging their hands and shuffling their Cole Haan and Croc ensconced feet to some godforsaken Billy Joel song while trying not to vomit up their Appletinis and Michelob Ultras. Before hearing this song, by the most famous of the practitioners of the early 90s Native Tongue movement, I don't think I was even able to define that sound to which Laura was referring when she took it upon herself to bring Rob out of DJ retirement. Let there be no mistake though, this is most definitely dance music for old people in its must pure, mature, and kickass form.

So how is this song one for the old? First of all, it has that great rap bluster that we get from the younger players in the rap game ("the #1 M.C. Man") but it's dialed back to the point of showing up as only subtle swagger. Second of all, it brings the promiscuous sexiness of R. Kelly while simultaneously laying out plans for the future ("make a clan like the Kennedys"). Finally, the beat (and this goes for everything this highly underrated talent does) makes you want to move but not so much so that you will look like an idiot shaking the ass that you don't have in all your white arrhythmic splendor.

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