Re: Yudkowsky's AI (again)

James Rogers (
Mon, 05 Apr 1999 21:51:31 -0700

At 07:08 PM 4/5/99 -0400, Eddie Sullivan wrote:
>Lyle Burkhead wrote:
>> I also have other aims, such as wiping hip-hop off the face of the earth,
>> but I don't imagine Extropians could relate to that.
>Not this Extropian. I take great exception to this obviously racist attack on
>a real urban futurist art form. Hip hop was the first comercially sucessful
>electronic music. The philosophy of hip hop is clearly individualist in
>nature. Plus i don't think that you have the brain power to wipe hip hop off
>the face of the earth. Unless you are some artistic genius and could invent a
>new musical form to take it's place. Even then the hip hop community would
>respond creatively as they have always done in the face of racist and bigoted

A couple points:

  1. I can find no evidence for you assertion that Lyle's post was a "racist attack" on hip-hop. He obviously harbors a strong dislike for the music, but to extrapolate anything else is questionable.
  2. It is very arguable as to whether or not hip hop was the first commercially successful electronic music. What is the time lapse from when it was classified as a genre and when you believe it could be classified as "commercially successful"? The emergence of hip hop as a commercially successful genre came several years after other (mostly shorter-lived) genres in my recollection, and almost certainly post-dates some of the longer lived electronic genres that did not emerge commercially in the U.S. until after hip hop.

Also, there is the issue of scope. Your assertions regarding electronic music, commercial success, and hip hop would seem to be from the viewpoint of living in the U.S. European musical perspective and style differs significantly from the US. A lot of culture that comes out in music and hip hop is something that I feel secure in saying is an exceedingly American form of electronica. Electronic music has a much longer european history than an american one. However, American electronica *has* added a distinct flavor to the mix, even within existing genres (e.g. I often distinguish between "Euro house" and "American house" because of the subtle cultural influences that emerge in what is essentially the same electronic music form).

As far as I can tell, pure hip hop (per the original classification) is definitely on the fade. Nonetheless, it has spawned and heavily influenced many other genres that use many of the best features of hip hop.

3) As with all musical genres, including hip hop, 95% of the music produced is trash. Most people are not sufficiently exposed to most musical genres to develop an appreciation for them, since odds are the little bit that they've heard sucks and is a pale imitation of the form. Don't take it personally; I don't. If you like it, why do you care if other people do?

-James Rogers (long-time electronica musician and producer among other things)