Attention, all you hand-wringing hipsters out there, [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] doesn’t understand why you were so shocked to see him at the Grizzly Bear show on Sunday. After all, if his back catalog is proof of anything, it’s that Jigga’s taste in music isn’t strictly limited to hip-hop.
“I don’t understand why people are always surprised to see me at shows!” Jay told MTV News on Monday (August 31). “I’ve always said that I believe in good music and bad music, so I’m always at those type of events. I like music. The second Blueprint, the reason it was so all over the place was because I love music so much, so there’s records on there with Lenny Kravitz and Sean Paul and Dr. Dre. I’ve done records with Chris Martin . I’m all over the place because of my taste in music.”
So, no, he didn’t head down to the Williamsburg waterfront with Beyoncé and her sister, Solange, to drum up publicity for his upcoming Blueprint 3 album (as had been suggested by some members of Hipster Nation), but rather because he genuinely likes [artist id="1834745"]Grizzly Bear[/artist]. And as he sees it, their music plays an important role in the continued evolution of hip-hop.
“They’re an incredible band,” he said. “The thing I want to say to everyone — I hope this happens because it will push rap, it will push hip-hop to go even further — what the indie-rock movement is doing right now is very inspiring. It felt like us in the beginning. These concerts, they’re not on the radio, no one hears about them, and there’s 12,000 people in attendance. And the music that they’re making and the connection they’re making to people is really inspiring. So, I hope that they have a run where they push hip-hop back a little bit, so it will force hip-hop to fight to make better music, because it can happen, because that’s what rap did to rock.”
So, dudes in Grizzly Bear (and various indie-rock outfits around the world), get ready: Jay-Z is expecting you to “push back hard” against hip-hop. You might tear your favorite V-neck in the process, but in the end, the fight will be worth it.
“When rock was the dominant force in music, rap came and said, ‘Y’all got to sit down for a second, this is our time.’ And we’ve had a stranglehold on music since then,” Jay said. “So I hope indie rock pushes rap back a bit, because it will force people to make great music for the sake of making great music.”