At the risk of sounding like a hip-hop elitist, I don’t hate rapper Hobo Johnson or his band the Lovemakers, I really just hate their fans.
I’m usually happy to endorse the like-whatever-music-you-like campaign. But when it comes to buzzworthy "new music" that sounds exactly like something another underground artist been doing for years already, my heart hurts for said underground artist. Because I know they're not being acknowledged for the time and energy they put into their innovative work.
Hobo Johnson, who's heading to San Antonio on Tuesday, October 22, is one of those acts who's schtick we've heard before. Like I said, I don’t hate the rapper born Frank Lopes Jr., it's just that he's not an innovator in the kind of indie-folk rap many of his fans seem to think he created.
Lopes' spoken-word poetry style has a certain charm, especially as it glides over the grooves of his backing band. But it's nothing new.
Aaron Weiss from the band Mewithoutyou has been executing this style since 2000 — seven album's worth to be precise. Same goes for Dan Smith, also known as Listener, who's been mining it since the late-’90s. He even has a shirt that says “talk rock," nodding to his particular style.
Am I saying the Aztec Theatre should cancel Hobo Johnson? Not at all. In fact, if I was trying to do that, I wouldn’t bother giving him attention via a concert preview.
All I want is for Hobo Johnson’s fans to know that someone went down this path prior to their idol, for them to acknowledge those artists and maybe even buy some of their shit on vinyl.
Tickets go on sale Friday, June 28 at 10 a.m.
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