MTV Hive interviewed our own Ed Piskor about his awesome and epic "Brain Rot: Hip Hop Family Tree" comic that you can read here each week! From MTV:
You find yourself listening to more old-school hip hop than new?
Yeah, for sure. Everybody asks me when I'm going to end this. I'm not sure when that's gonna be, but my interest was over with Wu-tang Clan and maybe Nas' first record. I was not into it during the Hype Williams/Bad Boy Records era. It just started to lack humanity. I have such a weird personal relationship with all those old records. That stuff was created to have a good time and rock the house and it can almost bring me to tears—and I'm not ashamed to admit that. The reason is because I identify with what those people went through. I come from very similar circumstances. They were given an amazing shot to do these things and they get that point across on the records. You feel that enthusiasm. The oldest records were 12", so you can have an extended song, a 15-minute song, and you can tell they were reciting their best stuff all the way through. I get the impression that they felt this was their only shot, they'd never have the opportunity again. I romanticize it to probably a ridiculous degree.
But as you romanticize you're trying to be historically accurate, too, right?
I'm really trying to be accurate. But I am human. I feel like with all historical accounts and retrospectives there's an element of subjective interpretation. But my enthusiasm for this period and everything is what's making it possible for me to do the work. That being said, if I wanted to fully romanticize it — like they say people would settle beefs through breakdancing, like they'd break into Beat Street or something. Through every account I read, it wasn't like that at all. Kool Herc was stabbed at a show. There was crazy violence and I make sure to retain those elements of danger. I do romanticize it, but there's also the gritty parts that I'm not gonna shy away from.