Watching Run-DMC’s Christmas in Hollis ten minutes after seeing Jay-Z’s … actually, I don’t even remember what the name of the song is but the point is that the contrast is absolutely stunning. * Nearly laughable in fact. I imagine this is what people felt in 1967 when they heard Sgt. Peppers’ for the first time. They all knew that they had liked Bill Haley’s Rock Around the Clock. After Peppers’ they felt embarrassed.
I feel like this listening to Jay-Z. The wall of sound, the percussive impact of the drums and the piano, the warmth of the shifts between instruments, the frenetic urgency of the entire production (They declare this song as their statement. Can you top this?). Even listening to this on a relatively poor sound system it still feels like the group might be on the other side of your wall.
Hollis in Queens sounds like it is supposed to be coming to you through an AM clock radio.
*- Oh yeah, it’s called “Show Me What You Got”