August 11, 2003
Not Quite Short Enough?
Most of these picks are mighty hip indeed, but there are a few headscratchers in there too. Like, what's up with Source Editor-in-Chief Kim Osorio choosing the Dip Set's emphatically nondescript "Diplomatic Immunity" album? I respect her efforts to buck the more-indie-than-thou vibe of these awards, but surely she could have picked a more interesting record from Hot 97's playlist to foment this rebellion. Although I suppose we should just be glad she didn't throw Benzino in there.
But the real shocker here is ?uestlove's selection of the already much hyped and widely reviled Northern State record. ?uestlove had invited the regulars at his website, okayplayer.com, to help him pick his selections for this year, and got over 500 responses (only one of which suggested Northern State, and did so sarcastically).
Personally I don't hate these Beastie Girls as much as most heads seem to. If it wasn't for the noxious hoopla that surrounds them I might enjoy this gang as harmless lighthearted fun, which is all they probably aspire to. They don't seem to take themselves too seriously as far as I've seen, don't pretend to be anything they're not.
Unfortunately their hype machine is asking us to take them much more seriously than they take themselves, and is presenting them as many things they're not. So although I don't hate the Northern State girls themselves, I am quickly growing to hate the Northern State Phenomenon. And that's why I'm puzzled that ?uestlove would take this award, meant to shed light on groundbreaking artists who haven't yet received the attention and acclaim they deserve, and use it to trumpet such a lightweight act that's already getting far more hype than they need (for their own sake).
I recommend keeping an eye on okayplayer, things should get interesting when ?uestlove surfaces to confront this angry mob.