Jay-Z Says Nirvana Temporarily Stopped the Rise of Hip-Hop
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 10.08.2012
He means it as a compliment…
Jay-Z has given Nirvana credit for slowing the rise of hip-hop in the 1990s. KROQ reports that in Pharrell Williams' new coffee table book Pharrell: The Places and Spaces I've Been, Williams talks with Jay about the impact Kurt Cobain and Nirvana had on the music scene of the early '90s.
"First we got to go back to before grunge and why grunge happened," says Jay-Z in the conversation. "Hair bands dominated the airwaves and rock became more about looks than about actual substance and what it stood for—the rebellious spirit of youth….That's why "Teen Spirit" rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt, you know what I'm saying?"
He added about Cobain, "I have always been a person who was curious about the music and when those forces come on the scene, they are inescapable. Can't take your eyes off them, can't stop listening to them. [Cobain] was one of those figures. I knew we had to wait for a second before we became that dominant force in music. It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know Those ‘hair bands' were too easy for us to take out; when Kurt Cobain came with that statement it was like, ‘We got to wait awhile'."