Q-Tip and the internet

The August 2008 edition of Spin has a long interview with Q-Tip (formerly of A Tribe Called Quest). On page 90, he comments on the internet age and how it has affected music consumption:

…everyone becomes a critic. You see something at the bottom of everything that says, “What’s your comment?” And everyone has to offer their opinion and comment. Then there is internal warfare between the commentators with their comments. Rollins69 said something about the new Lil Wayne song and who did the beat. Then SarahWoo58 will be like, “No, he didn’t do the beat, this guy did the beat.” To me, that drains the art. All of a sudden, the imagination just passes. Whereas predating the Internet and predating videos, you had an active imagination. You would hear sounds and then get mental pictures of what these sounds felt like to you. It engaged you and made you more invested in it. It made you want to get tickets to the show, buy the album, put the poster on the wall. Now it’s sensory overload.

I agree that videos and extra information are not necessary to enjoy music. In fact, I usually don’t know much about the artists that I listen to; I often don’t even know what they look like.

But I do still think that the internet has done wonders for both artists and listeners in terms of accessibility and democratization.


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