Sometimes when you’re living the American cultural bubble, you forget to appreciate the great things about our country, and I’m sure if I spend some time thinking about it, I could come up with some. However, one of the Guardian‘s seemingly endless supply of music bloggers has taken that moment andposted an celebration of one of the truest American art forms: the hip-hop novelty dance hit. But what’s truly moving is writer Dave Stelfox’s dream of a better England–one with a Spongebob or Chicken Noodle Soup of its own.
All this has got me to thinking lately. While British genres such as grime and dubstep can rightfully claim their place among the most innovative sounds around, they still enjoy scant home support compared to regional American scenes and pass by virtually unknown overseas. Could this be because we’re missing out on something vital? Go anywhere in the states, from Houston to Hackensack, and folks dance – really dance. It’s not restricted to clubs either, people do it at home hanging with friends, in their neighbourhoods and schoolyards. It’s a primary means of interfacing with music, competing and letting your own star shine.
Unfortunately, for all the good it did, rave’s everyman ethos has left the UK with the most laughable dance culture in the world. Head toward a dancefloor these days and at worst you’re likely to be greeted with the screwfaced head-nodding seen at most grime performances, at best the palsied pogoing of DMZ and FWD.
Not that I want anything like this to catch on, but even the Dutch make more of an effort. Maybe what British urban music really needs to catch on is its own Aunt Jackie. If nothing else, imagine how great it would have been to walk past a playground a while back and see a bunch of kids doing the Murkleman.
I have a hard time imagining anyone dancing to the new Burial record, but you never know, maybe some Brit musicians will abandon the dream of the Mercury Music Prize to have a flash in the pan smash YouTube hit? What’s really keeping Britain from creating their very own Soulja Boy? Until then, consider this entire post a flimsy excuse to embed the video one of my favorite tracks of the year, the previously mentioned “Watch My Feet” by Dude n Em.
Why doesn’t the UK have hip-hop dance crazes? [Guardian Online]