David Brooks almost gets it; Jermaine Dupri doesn't

by Jason Gross

20 November 2007


Conservative writer David Brooks is no wingnut and once in a while, he has some thoughtful things to say about culture, as witnessed in a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times.  He’s smart enough to turn to Little Steven for additional words of wisdom and there’s no question that the music audience has gotten increasingly fragmented over the last few decades, even before the advent of the Net.  Also, Frere-Jones’ New Yorker article about indie rock that Brooks cites is more than a little flawed. Also, I’m kind of skeptical about articles that see the 60’s or 70’s as a golden age where music brought everyone together- what about “disco sucks” or punk vs. oldies or rednecks vs. longhairs?  Still, Brooks (and Little Steven) have an admirable idea about school curriculums centered on music, that’s not likely in a country where music programs are being cut all the time.  Brooks is right up the upcoming dearth of area fillers, especially as the current crop of classic rockers may not have many years left in them.

Compare that to Jermaine Dupri’s A Good Album is More than Just a Collection of Singles.  He might know a lot about making records but here, he’s the hateful soul of the record industry that he’s immersed, spewing on fans and Apple while taking no blame for its own problems.  You don’t have to go any further than the article’s comment section to see everything that’s wrong with the article.  An abject lesson of how the industry may still not get it and why they’re still slowly killing themselves off.

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