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Jay-Z Wants Hip-Hop to Be More Like Indie Rock

Jay-Z has some advice for the future of hip-hop: become more like indie rock. With the internet a flutter yesterday about his and Beyonce’s attendance at a Brooklyn Grizzly Bear concert, MTV caught up with the rapper yesterday who was taken a bit back that anyone would even question his taste for good tunes. “I don’t understand why people are always surprised to see me at shows!” Jay told MTV News. “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.”

His time spent at these shows clearly is giving him some food for thought and he seems to be noticing a sense of community within the indie rock world that hip-hop has struggled with retaining over the years.

“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.”

Such push and pull mentality would be great to see, but of course there are a handful of other factors that go into making a successful indie band or hip-hop act succeed underground or become a movement. In this instance, maybe it’s just the spaces that Jay’s referring to; places regularly book free shows for indie bands and their fans these days with the help from corporate sponsors — 12,000 people is a lot — but the price is right too. But we do agree with his sentiments: having a place to perform is key in this day and age.

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