You can certainly be forgiven for remaining blissfully unaware of this week’s Congressional hearings on the language of hip-hop. Truly, nothing was said that you haven’t heard before and nothing was accomplished.
But, one short segment perked our ears: the five minute opening statement by New York Representative Anthony Weiner. In his brief remarks, the congressman displayed not only a fine sense of musical taste (Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and “the Barrington Levys of the world”) and more than a passing knowledge of the reality of today’s music industry (“I think when Chamillionaire makes a decision on his second record not to use the ‘N’ word…it’s a business calculation;” “I haven’t seen a video on MTV in forever;” “You don’t need a label at all!”), but also an extremely keen, astute, possibly genius idea of where to get his information. Check out the video above at the 4:30 mark.
To thank our fine friend the representative from New York for being the first to enter “The Daily Swarm” into the Congressional record, he gets a hearty shout-out on this site. Rep. Weiner, we don’t live in your district so you can’t get our votes next November, but if you should really decide to run for mayor of New York City in 2009, we’re totally on your team.
UPDATE: The Hill calls Weiner ‘dangerously hip’:
As the hearing wore on, the four-term bachelor congressman dropped cool-guy references so smoothly, we found ourselves wanting to get a look at his iPod.
It was Weiner who first noted that today’s recording artists have found a way to promote their dance music without the help of a company to represent them.
Instead, musicians can “just go to the clubs and get an influential enough DJ to play your CD — before you know it, you don’t need a label at all,” Weiner noted, as if everybody knows about dance clubs and influential disc jockeys.
He went on to quote a Johnny Cash song, mention influential reggae artist Buju Banton, reference a comment made by gangsta rapper Cam’ron (without saying who he was quoting, because everybody knows Cam’ron) and cite information gleaned from a popular music news website.
So what gives?
A spokesman chose not to corroborate our suspicion that Weiner did a little after-hours “research” on dance clubs, saying only that his boss always makes sure to be prepared for hearings.
(Gotta love this guy.)