Jay-Z: Kurt Cobain Blocked Hip-Hop

The rap star says hip-hop would have dominated much sooner if it wasn't for Nirvana rocking the world.

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Jay-Z says Kurt Cobain and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" put the hip-hop world on ice - but he's still a huge fan of Nirvana. He believes Nirvana was so culturally powerful that hip-hop didn't have a chance to be the dominant form of youth music, but is just had to wait a while. He made the confession in Pharrell William's new coffee table book "Pharrell: The Places And Spaces I've Been" (via NME). "'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," said Jay-Z. "That's why 'Teen Spirit' rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt." He recognises that an individual like Kurt Cobain was a force to be reckoned with. "I knew we had to wait for a second before we became that dominant force in music," said Jay-Z. "It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second. 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'." Do you think hip-hop would have had a chance to dominate if Nirvana didn't stand in the way? How might music have developed without their influence? Share your theories in the comments.

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    We really need another Kurt Cobain right now.
    I don't understand how this can be downvoted. Imagine how amazing it would be if an amazing songwriter came along and re-established rock music as the dominant force in music.
    Agreed. Although rock and metal will always be the dominant force in music in my eyes.
    There are so many songwriters around today that are better than Kurt Cobain. I like Nirvana, but seriously.
    as per the fact that no songwriter now is doing what he does you can tell that there aren't right now someone who can do what he did. it's not just writing good songs, it's writing the right songs for the right time for the the right crowd who needs it. it's not that simple, cause there are great writers out there, but since kurt no one touched so wide a crowd. and i wish someone will come along cause we need him.
    I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. There may not be an individual who touches people like that who plays aggressive music, but like them or not you could argue for John Mayer (or even Lady Gaga maybe..) Personally, I'll always take JM because he is the guitar player Kurt never could be and I find a lot in his songs, and I know a massive crowd do. Just usually you won't find them in places mostly exclusive to hard rock and metal. And Bob Dylan is still around lol
    lady gaga is of course not in the rock songwriting discussion :, but i think that even you can tell that there is a difference between john mayer's music's impact and cobain's music's impact. i don't disrespect any writer's efforts but nirvana had an impact on the entire mainstream and alternative scenes and changed the media's acceptance of the alternative scene.. i don't think mayer, again without dissing him, had that effect, or any other writer since cobain.
    i hope to be that person. if not i will give my very life to support the chosen one. LONG LIVE REAL MUSIC!
    The term "real music" implies there is "fake" music. There isn't. Unless you mean "real" in the sense of artistic integrity, but I'm not sure that you do.
    Guns N' Chains
    They are out there. Its just that they are not pushed by the media. And the fans of their music are outweighed by the people that go with the flow and like what is popular. The "Bandwagon" for the mainstream and for the pop/rap/dance is too big right now.
    Mr. Baloonhands
    i like to think it'll happen eventually, someone or some band will come around and do what Nirvana and other bands in the past have done to change music, it could happen tomorrow or it could happen 20 years from now (good god i hope not haha) but its gonna happen, all we have to do is wait
    Thank God for Dave Grohl? Seriously, he's the only one who represents Rock N' Roll now-a-days.
    Don't forget Avril Lavigne (her music video Rock N' Roll) Pink, Van Halen, The Beatles (Paul and Ringo, besides Dave, and Rock will always have fans and live on.
    Honestly, I think that rock music had it's time, and hip-hop had it's time. But now, it's time for some other type of music to take control. I don't know what, but I can tell you that it will be something that nobody's ever heard before, and take's people by surprise.
    Pop has always been, and always will be the dominant force in music. We have some very poppy rock bands and some really poppy hip hop that get popular. Also pop with twangy noises that gets called country, because somehow that makes something country (even though not really) Anyway, it's because it's marketable. Rock gets remembered, but might not necessarily have been popular at the time. Look at some old chart positions from past decades, and you'll see a lot of songs that have been forgotten.
    Music comes in decades for a reason. I think we're just due for something a little more real than electronically assisted music. I DO NOT HATE OR DISCREDIT MUSIC MADE ELECTRONICALLY. Just to make that clear. It has a place in the music scene. The computer software and programs have made becoming an "artist" easy and therefore everyone wants their hands in it. I'm a big fan of the imperfections in music and the digital scene is all about getting rid of those imperfections. Music needs personality just as much as people DO. Kurt and Nirvana portrayed this and were the breath of fresh air for the scene. Without them who knows what would've dominated, 80's needed to die so if hip hop could bring that personality to music then I'm sure it would've had a chance. Nirvana just did it so purely it demanded everyone just chill and listen for awhile.
    Electronic music can still have personality. Being electronic doesn't make the person not an "artist." It depends on other factors.
    I respect what Kurt Cobain did for music, but why can't we just have another amazing set of musicians playing in a band like AiC and Pearl Jam? Or how about another amazing singer leading a band like Chris Cornell did for Soundgarden. While Nirvana established the scene's dominance, it quickly became clear that the other three members of "The Big Four of Grunge" were significantly better artists.
    of those big four, nirvana broke the barrier and peaked even more with in utero and with the amazing unplugged cause kurt was headed for other places, with his songwriting. pearl jam, reformed their musical path to being kind of the new are grateful dead. alice in chains is arguably the band that hd the most musical impact, which you can trace in latter and following bands, and for me they were the most special and unique. soundgarden had the better overall songwriting skills, for me, cause cornell was ahead of the scene, more mature and more complete, while the others found their confidence much later.
    i dont think we do. i feel that everybody coming out now is specifically trying to be that game-changer, and because of that no is coming out as one. someone will come along and not give a shit. we need someone who literally gives around no ****s and just makes music because atm everyone is just trying wayyy too goddamn hard to be lennon or cobain
    It was the right person at the right time. We won't see another musician like him anytime soon... the way our culture has suffocated rock and punk music won't allow it to happen, unfortunately.
    Couldn't agree more, at the risk of getting blasted, I FUCKING HATE RAP AND HIP HOP. I am so friggin tired of having to hear friggin lil wayne and nicki minaj drake ,rhianna and all these other fake ass lame-brains dominating the airwaves. I hold "Hip Hop Culture" solely responsible for dumbing down popular music. It's about ****ing time for rock and metal to rise again. We need the REAL music back.
    No such thing as "real" or "fake" music. Popular music, for the most part, has always been easily accessible and easy to sell. Always will be. The people you're referring to are the effects of that ON HIP HOP, not the other way around. Most people who hate rap/hip hop haven't really listened to enough of of to make statements about it.
    I just look at it from a talent standpoint. I've heard enough to know that there isn't any talent involved in making rap/hip hop, so I can't bring myself to appreciate it regardless of how annoying I find it. If there aren't any instruments involved, I don't consider it to be "real".
    Yes, a drug-addicted overhyped songwriter is exactly what we need.
    Battery Chicken
    So many downvotes. Grunge would have happened without Kurt, he didn't change the game he was just part of the sword tip. He was just a guy in the right place, playing the right music at the right time. There's plenty of brilliant music out there that no-one listens to, and there's plenty of shit that millions listen to. For some reason Nirvana struck a chord with the troglodytes, in the same way as Gangnam Style has. Opinions are opinions, but Nirvana weren't the second coming.
    Grunge already was happening without Kurt. But yes, he was certainly the guy who brought it into the limelight, along with a couple of others.
    implying drug use isn't a catalyst for great songs. Why do you guys even care who the biggest musician is anyway?
    Depends on the person; some are better with, some without. The "biggest musician" doesnt bother me at all. I just enjoy what I enjoy, regardless of what it is
    We have Billie Joe Armstrong
    ANOTHER Billie Joe Armstrong? We can barely handle the political loudmouth as it is. He's no game changer.
    exactly! like he said in his stupid little rant, hes been around since 1988, what difference has he made besides stupid preppy girls acting like they like rock and metal even tho green day is neither
    my thoughts exactly. now i think thank god for grunge. although it was the next thing after myy favorite metal, thrash.