The Future?

By the

February 15, 2001

Got white rappers? To quote the boys at Ego Trip magazine, they are the future. Hopefully it won’t be bleak; judging by the antics of such lightskinned underground favorites R.A. the Rugged Man, El-P, and Cage, we have nothing to be afraid of. And with Eminem’s oversaturation of airwaves and car stereos, it seems as if white MCs have once and for all evaded the legacy of Vanilla Ice, the universal symbol of hip-hop whackness.

All this bodes well for hip-hop. White listeners have helped make hip-hop the hot sound of the late ‘90s; huge new numbers of fans equals tons of new potential talent. White fans who may have felt discouraged in the past from picking up the mic or the sampler now have no reason to be skeptical of their chances for success.

A piece of white rap history will be touching down this Friday at Nation. He’s a dead piece of rap history, having already made the relevant part of his mark, but nonetheless Everlast won’t go away. Having rocked many a dance floor via the frat-party classic “Jump Around,” Everlast slipped into obscurity for several years before exploding onto US radio with What It’s Like. Now he’s back, touring in support of his new album Eat at Whitey’s.

For Whitey’s, Everlast has decided to shoot straight for pop fame once again, with predictable results. Growly hooks over chilled beats and bluesy accoustic guitar are all you’re going to find here. Despite the presence of the occasionally wonderful N’Dea Davenport, the guest lineup fails to give the album any real boost.

So I guess what I’m saying is don’t go to the show. Instead, if you’re itching for some hip-hop this weekend, pick up the new SmutPeddlers album Porn Again so you can hear Cage in all his glory. The man likes to talk in Nadsat, and three weeks ago he started insisting that people call him Alex the Worm King. All Everlast will do is tell you he’s got the blues; he may not have gone on to join Limp Bizkit like that loser (and fellow HOP member) DJ Lethal, but that doesn’t make it OK.

On a completely different note, the seemingly non-stop lineup of punk, metal and hardcore shows in the District continues this weekend with Anti-Flag and Less Than Jake looking to leave your ears ringing Saturday night at Nation.

The ebb and flow of punk is a curious thing. The genre’s dedicated fanbase is dwarfed by periodic frenzied assaults from pop-punk hungry major labels and their accompanying fans. Through it all punk has stubbornly persisted. With the advent of “mallcore,” as the recently trendy hook-heavy hard rock has been termed, these assaults may be temporarily over. Pop radio has carved off its own piece of the harder stuff, and a clean break seems to be in the works.

That clean break is no doubt just what Anti-Flag wants. The Pittsburg foursome of old-fashioned punk are as committed as they come to keeping it real. Currently touring just for the hell of it, Anti-Flag have three full albums under their belt and uncountable 7” singles. With every release they further hone their brutal style of ‘70s punk, with healthy doses of angry social criticism and drunken humor. You’re young; don’t tell me that has no appeal.

Friday: Don’t go see Everlast at the 9:30

Saturday: Do go see Anti-Flag and Less Than Jake at Nation.

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