"Gold Panda, I wish that was my name." - Curren$y
When Pitchfork and hip-hop get mentioned in the same sentence, there’s usually some sort of eye rolling or hesitation involved. Not entirely sure why, but I’d wager its due to a perception that the arrogance, agenda setting and pretension present in its Reviews section which deals mainly in indie rock and pop is also applied to the genre of hip hop, which beyond being what people dislike about Pitchfork in the first place, it’s simply not its traditional territory of criticism.
Fortunately, there’s the Pitchfork TV show, Selector, which is more similar to the unbridled enthusiasm of the News section than the cold pretension of the Reviews. The set up is simple: take a Pitchfork approved rapper (Clipse, Big Boi, Freeway and now Curren$y) and interview them about how they pick the beats they rap over. Then play them a few indie pop, underground hip hop or LA beat examples, get them to pick one, explain why and let them freestyle away on their unconventional choice to the delighted squeals of fans who finally get to the Clipse over an MF DOOM track.
And you know what. It works! Despite the Pitchfork indie awkwardness of the whole endeavor, the intent is genuine and it gives more insight into the rapper and their creative process than the usual interviews that a promotional cycle yields. Especially this weeks episode, which features a well toasted Spitta yoga dancing, getting incredibly enthusiastic about a Gold Panda beat and hypothesising on what sort of car he drives to the studio. Its clear the man just enjoys rapping and music in general (second only to more weed), and as mentioned before it’s always a trait of a great rapper. (Weed doesn’t hurt either.) Also doesn’t hurt that he sounds right at home over Gold Panda too.