Jul 16, 2017, 19:47

My latest binge has been “The Defiant Ones” on HBO, an edgy documentary that profiles the career paths of music moguls Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. These are the men who brought you Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and more.

Gangsta rap is not in my blood. And I’ve always struggled with a personal bias against music creators who don’t know basic music theory. But multi-platinum record sales and the beats that boom out of my teenagers’ bedrooms make it clear I’ve been left behind on this one.

That’s why I’m glad I watched this series. I now understand that in 1986, Dr. Dre, Easy-E and Ice Cube had more pressing things to worry about than music theory. They were experiencing things in in life, in their hearts and in Compton that – like a pregnancy – had to come out.

The resulting passion and authenticity resonated with young music fans everywhere; and cultural connections like that have nothing to do with properly inverting a minor 7th chord.

So with my newfound humility and appreciation for the most brutally honest art form in existence, I proudly present this collection of rap/hip-hop tracks in the MusicRevolution.com library; tracks that don’t aim for complexity. But rather to reference a movement in American culture. A movement about being angry with the way things are. I think we can all relate to that.

P.S. My fifteen year old son helped me pick these tracks.


Mike Bielenberg is a professional musician and co-founder of http://www.musicrevolution.com, a production music marketplace with over 50,000 tracks online where media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, businesses  and other music buyers can license high-quality, affordable royalty-free music from an online community of musicians. mbielenberg@musicrevolution.com.

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