Monday, August 03, 2009


From today's New York Times arts section:

Every couple of years in hip-hop the party relocates. From Atlanta it went to Houston, then the Bay Area, then Miami, and then back to Atlanta. (New York? Not in ages.) During the last year and a half it’s landed in Dallas, which has become an unexpected hotbed of post-snap-music dance-craze rap, thanks to Lil Wil’s “My Dougie,” B-Hamp’s “Do the Ricky Bobby” and the GS Boyz’s “Stanky Legg.” All those synchronized moves? Dorrough will have none of it. A Dallas rapper with a pair of hits, “Ice Cream Paint Job” and “Walk That Walk,” that require no predetermined dance steps, Dorrough has more in common with the city’s rougher voices, like Big Tuck, Tum Tum or Fat Pimp.

How many New York Times readers will be running out to purchase Dorrough's album, do you suppose? How many have heard of Big Tuck, Tum Tum or Fat Pimp? How many know what snap music is?

I am not arguing that paying attention to Dallas hip-hop is beneath the dignity of the New York Times; I am arguing that if your readers don't care, you are not obligated to attempt to make them care, particularly when you're an elite-audience newspaper that's losing money and eyeballs at a prodigious pace. Concentrate on keeping your core audience satisfied, Timespeople. Write about jazz and classical and big-name Boomer-generation artists. Fifteen-year-old boys and girls (Dorrough's audience) are not reading your paper, and reviewing his album will not entice them to do so.

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