Thursday, January 14, 2010
AiAA: Tide Coldwater Detergent
Music never meant as much to me as it did during the five-year stretch from 1992 to 1996. It was the apex of West Coast rap and the East Coast's celebrated return to lyricism. Pop stars reflected the times -- optimistic and colorful early in the decade, cynical and grittier by the middle of the '90s.
Let's not rewrite history, though. Some of the music was good and has held up just fine. Some of the music wasn't that good to begin with.
I'll leave it to y'all to decide where the work of Digable Planets falls within this spectrum. In many ways, for me, they represented the best and worst aspects of the era. This is why I was so disheartened to hear "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" used to sell Tide detergent.
I'd argue that 1987-1991 was the last golden era for African-Americans within entertainment and pop culture, before commercialism and changing times hastened today's bojanglin' age. With one 30-second spot, Tide takes me on a 20-year ride that reminds me of the good, but leaves me feeling bad.