Jay-Z Says Nirvana “Stopped” Hip-Hop for a Second
Pharrell’s forthcoming book titled The Places and Spaces I’ve Been features interviews with figures like Buzz Aldrin, Kanye West, Anna Wintour, and Jay-Z. During his talk with Jay-Z, they talked about Nirvana’s impact on pop culture and how it “stopped” hip-hop.
“So, where were you mentally and physically when grunge music hit,” asked Pharrell. “Like where were you when you first heard, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit?’”
Jay replies saying that he was in V-to-the-izz-A, also known as Virginia, Pharrell’s home state. But Jay being the thinker that he is, he quickly starts talking about grunge’s history. “First we got to go back to before grunge and why grunge happened,” says Jay. “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. That’s why “Teen Spirit” rang so loud because it was right on point with how everyone felt, you know what I’m saying?”
Jigga man then went on to say that grunge, Nirvana in particular, stopped hip-hop’s momentum. “It was weird because hip-hop was becoming this force, then grunge music stopped it for one second, ya know? Those ‘hair bands’ were too easy for us to take out,” he says. “When Kurt Cobain came with that statement it was like, ‘We got to wait awhile.’”