January 14th, 2010
02:10 PM ET

'Austin City Limits' to air first-ever hip-hop hour

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“Austin City Limits” has long wanted to kick open its doors to hip-hop, but the reckless messages embraced by some rappers made the program’s producers hesitant.

But Saturday, for the first time ever, the long-running PBS music showcase will devote its entire hour-long episode to two of hip-hop’s most talented acts: Brooklyn’s Mos Def and Somalian rhymesmith K’NAAN.

“I wasn’t sure how they or any hip-hoppers would react,” Terry Lickona, the series’ executive producer, told me this week. “I was humbled that Mos and K’NAAN were so quick to accept.”

Lickona, who has been with the show for 32 of its 35 years, said he was impressed by both artists’ rich music and that they use “their music not just to express themselves, but to make a statement about the world.”

He said he also was impressed that Mos Def recognized so many of the photos hanging on the dressing room wall – past “ACL” acts ranging from country crooner Loretta Lynn to choral rockers Polyphonic Spree.

One of the hurdles to staging a hip-hop show, Lickona said, was the language, violence and misogyny portrayed in many mainstream rappers’ songs. Lickona said he’s aware responsible lyricists abound (“ACL” has reached out to The Roots and Erykah Badu in the past, and hip-hop hybrid Gnarls Barkley played in 2008), but booking a hip-hop artist who jibes with the tastes of the show’s audience has posed problems.

Mos Def and K’NAAN played at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October, and Lickona called it “serendipity” that the two had the time and desire to record studio sets after their festival gigs.

It might seem ironic that the show recorded its first hip-hop episode on the same day that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame declared “Austin City Limits” a historic landmark, but Lickona said the show seeks all flavors of music, especially when the artist can “articulate about the state of the world.”

Damian Marley, son of Bob, became the show’s first reggae act in 2006. Nigeria’s Femi Kuti (son of Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti) also played that year, and 2008 saw multilingual Latin songwriter Manu Chao take the stage.

Lickona said he has been looking for a hip-hop act to blaze a trail for future rap performances, and he suspects a rising star such as K’NAAN and an established luminary such as Mos Def will fit the bill.

The artists’ six-song sets will air Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.


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soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. nandrolone

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    December 1, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
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    June 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Aaron Stewart

    oh yeah! black music is the best.;'-

    June 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mahogany_Soul

    Reading these posts has been the MOST disheartening experience I've had in quite some time. I can say I've NEVER personally witnessed SO MUCH blatant prejudice in one place in my life!
    I passed by PBS as I was channel surfing last night and K'NAAN caught my eye. I watched his full show and his interview afterwards...to hear that Mos Def – who is one of the most talented, conscious, thought-provoking lyricists around was performing next excited me! I've always loved Mos, his messages are gold.
    I have a STRONG distaste for typical "rap music". It is true that most of it (in the mainstream) is saturated with drugs, violence, womanizing, cars and other things...the same thing I find in the actual LIVES of most "Rock N Roll" artists! This type of behavior is not JUST present in the lives of the "Black Culture/Society". The MUSIC LIFESTYLE, whether you choose to include "Rap" and Hip/Hop or not, ALL "glorifies" sex, drugs, womanizing, houses and cars! No one is better than the other, lets just be honest about that! The difference is in the ARTIST and the MESSAGE they choose to convey!
    To be clear, I am an African American woman. I am a lover of ALL music that has something meaningful to say. I listen to Rock, Pop, Indie, Country, Folk, Soul, RnB, etc as long as it is not overtly sexual or violent. Music speaks to the mind and evokes a response and Hip/Hop is not exempt! Although both K’NAAN and Mos Def are multi-talented and include singing and instruments in their shows, there are also positive Hip/Hop artists that are NOT removed from being a talented artist because they do not. Common, Talib Kweli, The Roots and even LL Cool J and Will Smith who “grew up” and changed the way they wanted to be “viewed” by people like most of you who classify anyone who uses “rhyme” as a talent and meaningful art form as trash, crap and classless! There is NO POSSIBLE WAY you can group these people in the same category as Jay Z and Lil Wayne (who most of your children LOVE tho he is the epitome of all you detest in music and is also college educated at the same time) and most of you “closet like”. Meshell N’degeocello is a lyrical poet and she sings…her beats are not “hard” however…does that also exempt her in your eyes from being a talented musician?
    I’m just wondering..
    If you don’t know her, Google her and check out her music (‘Outside Your Door’ or ‘Fool of Me’)...then check out Mos Def (‘Life in Marvelous Times’ or ‘Roses’) – compare the two artists and get back to me and let me know the difference.

    January 19, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    I'll attribute some of these ridiculous negative statements about hip hop to ignorance. It's obvious that many of you have not taken time to listen to a wide variety of hip hop because then you'd know that all hip hop is not misogyny, materialism, and violence. For example, Mos Def speaks about social injustice, responsibilty, and intellect. Many hip hop artists are musicians as well, with songs often incorporating elements of rock, jazz, blues and other genres of music. For those saying hip hop is not music, just rhyming, look at the Roots. It is a hip hop band, and if you've ever been to one of their shows, they rhyme, sing, even play rock n roll classics from groups like Dave Matthews, Nirvana, and Aerosmith. Pure ignorance.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AC

    Wow.

    Such closed minds and vitriol. All over some one's choice of music. It seems as if many of the same types of comments are echoing from our past. They said this about Elvis and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

    Radio stations were boycotted and records burned for comments made by Lennon/Beatles, Dixie Chicks and so many others.

    I'm not a fan of hip hop. But I have the best way of showing my displeasure – don't watch.

    But don't blame ACL. I'm sure ACL will have something that you want to watch coming up later.

    January 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Real Music lover

    My problem with this is, when ever there is a hip hop concert or event there is a fight, shooting, or some type of altercation or negative intereaction. Also, most hip hop song involve slurs, profanity, sexuality, and foul language. It also involve use (sometimes excessive use) of the N word. Austin city limits has always been and should be a family event. I feel Ausint city limits should not have hip hop or have guide lines in regards to the types of acts they have on thier show. I believe in freedom of expression but not in this case.

    January 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cfraz

    I enjoyed the new show very much, even though I am a thirty-something woman from eastern KY (insert your stereotype here). ACL has always been a place to find music that one didn't know existed, to broaden the mind, and inspire with music. One of the commenters here had a listing of great artists, like these, and I for one look foreward to buying their music! Before you make any judgements against ACL, please, just watch the show first. Mos Def and K'Naan are as talented as any of the great musicians from the past. If the music makes you think, move,and feel something deep inside, then it is good, regardless of the genre!

    January 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    I like some forms of hip hop and other kinds I am persoanally turned off because of the vulgarity, and because of they way women are poorly portrayed. However, Rock N Roll was extremely looked down upon in its early days by the older generation and many of the negative feelings some of you have toward hip hop are the same feelings people had towards Rock N Roll... Do you remember how people tied in the phrase "sex, drugs and rock n roll".. how are the negative views of rock n roll different from the negative views of hip hop?... There are sexual content, references to drugs mentioned and violence in both genres of music depending on the artist. We as people tend to focus a lot on the differences in things when in reality, there are more similarities than we either see or like to admit.

    January 18, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. CB

    I second the motion. Hip hop is garbage

    January 18, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. blah

    best comment so far->"hip hop is garbage"

    January 18, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Val

    I love this show and happened to catch this episode tonight. I thought it was great and have added both artists to my library. Even if you don't listen to this type of music normally, you should watch this one.

    January 18, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. Al B.

    There is nothing like the warmth emitted from a group of people working together on a rhythm and a melody–the unity of spirit as important as the music and vocal performance.

    Regardless of the "intricate polyrhythms woven in by MCs", Hip Hop or Rap simply cannot offer this warmth. I would much rather witness an exploration of cultural tribal beats on ACL.And if it's truly more about the message than the music-try using Western Union!

    Austin City Limits, please stay true to your own roots. Don't sell out under the guise of expanding culturally!

    January 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    That's too bad. ACL has been such a nice venue that didn't waste time with such styles...what's next. Oh well, they're the experts, I'm just being selfish and enjoy some of our more enjoyable styles that don't promote awful behavior...It is disruptive and causes problems.
    How many of these Hip Hop folks are dead now because of their self-defeating behaviors that the young and not very bright seem to embrace? No learning from things past with this ignorance. Good luck.

    January 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AwesomeJoe

    I'm not a hip hop fan and had never listened to any K'Naan in my life, but I'll tell you what, this was AWESOME!

    January 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Salvatore Lapierre

    Hip hop on ACL.... Hmmm. May we to assume that national urban / rap / hip hop / gansta broadcasts will reciprocate, and welcome Asleep at the Wheel, Lyle Lovett, Chris Isaak, etc. etc. ?

    January 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Silentwind

    Pushing aside all the slobbering and lame excuses by the amateur sociologists out there, this was a very poor concert. Rap/hiphop/etc. has been out there for 25 yrs or so. The Michael Jackson routine was about as good as one would expect from a 7th grader. One has to wonder why he quit his day job, if he had one..... ACL pooped their pants on this one. The "Mountain" bluegrass hour that followed on PBS was much better (as usual).

    January 17, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  18. mike

    You are mistaking Hip Hop with the way it is marketed. Kiss is a terrible band. They're huge because of controversy and marketing. Don't think for a second that the record label (a business) didn't have a hand in that. You chug cristal in a video, you get paid. You drive an escalade, you get paid. You mention that she wore apple-bottom jeans and the boots with the fur, not only do you get paid, but the manufacturer of said products sees huge profits? Why? Because these items make you more attractive or powerful? No. It's the same reason people eat mcdonalds and shop at walmart. it's the same reason I see so many people wearing UFC merchandise (not a sport, btw) head to toe. If you imply a product or being a customer of a particular business makes you attractive/ powerful/ smart/ tough, people will flock to it. I see this mentality every day and it kills me. People want JayZ, eminem and fitty. Those people buy into all the garbage. Real Hip Hop is not what you hear on the radio. The folks at ACL know this and want to nurture groundbreaking music, That's what the show is all about. To show "music fans" the cutting edge. ACL is not corporate radio, or a record company. If you want the same-old same-old, pop that collar, bro, and fire up DOUG FM and rock out to BTO or whatever. If you abandon ACL, the establishment wins.

    January 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bob

    ACL has reached an all time low.

    January 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Kelly

    You "music fans" who refuse to give hip hop because it "steals" other people's music in some of its samples are ridiculous. If you know anything about playing music, you are truly in problematic territory. Anyone who can play a guitar knows that rock n' roll stole the blues patterns, licks, riffs, lyrics, and swagger. Anyone who criticizes a lack of originality in hip hop while listening to the blues or rock are also forgetting that each hip hop song has a different beat, different patterns, and intricate polyrhythms woven in by MCs, while blues patterns stay in a particular "box" according to the key they are played in. The most elementary guitar player can play a i-iv-v pattern on his or her guitar in the second week of lessons, but would fail to understand the complex rhythms and improvisational intricacies of hip hop. This is not gangsta rap, and artists like Mos Def and K'Naan get little exposure on typical media outlets. Radio plays ringtone rap and gangsta garbage, MTV does not allow much attention to intelligent acts like Mos, Talib Kweli, Common, the Roots, Skyzoo, Dead Prez, etc. People called Louis Armstrong,Miles Davis and John Coltrane noise, people called Hendrix an insult to music, Stevie Ray Vaughn got booed off stage the first year he took blues/jazz/rock stages, and your precious rock n' roll was "devil's music" in the 1950s. Really people, give these young men and women a chance and embrace some decent music so the radio and television will stop airing the trash we have to endure if we turn on CMT, BET, MTV, FUSE, or almost any FM radio station.

    January 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Elle

    Reading the local news yesterday, 2 kids were killed at a party; a result of black on black crime.

    People throwing themselves in front of their flowers and balloons tribute where they died, crying "why?".

    First place to look is Rap and hip hop – the music of their culture and generation. It is everywhere on the radio stations, MTV, BET...hollywood, TV and print media, high school and college gyms during basketball games, and proms.

    No need to wonder why the black community is losing so much of it's young people to violent, senseless crimes.

    And now Austin City Limits wants to promote it even more?

    January 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Bill

    "Black People invented all music. Blues was first."

    If you think blues was the first music, you are worse than ignorant. If you think black people invented all music, you are simply full of yourself. Also, until black people are declared a "race other than human", I will continue to debunk racism as an ignorant person's excuse at not being able to correctly identify prejudice, which blacks are equally guilty of. The ridiculous suggestion that black people created all music is extreme prejudice (besides being 100% wrong), or what some would refer to as "reverse racism".

    January 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  23. tim

    Here's my two cents. I cant stand hip hop. ACL has always been a pretty good show in my opinion. I have some great memories of it when I was a kid growing up. But I do have to agree, although its "musical expression", its not the same. I would say hip hop is "lyrical expression". Besides the few tracks, loops, or beats that are layed down, its all lyrical content that is mostly spoken in one form or another. I will say that it has its own sort of "talent", but to compare it to someone with actual musical talent is simply wrong. That being said, different strokes for different folks. I dont think there is anything wrong with ACL airing the few hip hop artists out there that actually have a good message once in awhile. But the day they start airing hip hop on a regular basis, or bringing on stage some of the "idiots" of the genre (which the majority are) is the day they might as well close up shop. Everything in moderation. STICK TO ACTUAL MUSICAL ARTISTS.

    January 17, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Old Guy

    For years I loved it, but it seems to be going downhill faster than I am! Don't watch it nearly as often as I used to.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Not Music

    I Googled the lyrics of these "artists" and found the N-word and the F-word over and over again.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  26. jeremy

    Austin City Limits was started as a place for MUSICIANS to showcase their talent, not a place for people who don't play music. I will no longer watch this program that has been so dear to me since my childhood. If I can't watch someone with musical talent I won't watch

    January 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Bill

    "They'll study it in their music theory classes"

    Yes, it will be a one hour subject, which is more than enough time to discuss it's musical complexity and depth. The more I hear ignorant statements like this, it simply further cements the fact that you haven't any idea what you're talking about. Musically, the genre goes nowhere. It does not include any complex elements of musical composition at all, which is fine if you're the average simpleton. The more you object that it does, the more ignorant you prove yourself to be about music. As far as stagnation in other genres, I agree that creativity is at a very low point in our history. Is it any surprise, with people making idols out of barely talented hacks like Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls, etc.? Sorry, but pop music today is a joke, all around. People are more interested in how you look than your talent, because almost all of you are superficial.

    January 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  28. disppointed

    How disappointing that crap artist like Plies and Gucci Mane have clouded mainstreams judgment of Hip Hop. Not all artist who are in the hip hop genre wear their pants of their ass or just say stupid stuff to stuff they call beats.

    There are hip hop artist that are classical trained and went to some the best Music schools in the country. How do you think rock and roll came to be?

    January 17, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  29. a williams

    Obviously, these posts were made before the show even aired last night. I hope that you all with negative opinions took the time to tune in and see if it was the booty-poppin' curse fest that you thought it'd be. I hope you were adequately dissapointed.

    I, on the other hand, will spend the day hoping someone put the show on the internet because my cable provider opted to air a movie about nazi germany instead of airing ACL. Goes to show racism and close-mindedness goes all the way up food chain.

    Happy MLK Day!

    January 17, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  30. Banned_by_CBS

    The music is hot
    But the lyrics are not
    I'm a poet
    And didn't know it
    I can make a ryhme
    Any time

    Boom Cha Cha Boom

    January 17, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  31. KSCJ

    It is a shame. After all of these years of America, attempting to shut out "The Black Nations". Black People invented all music. Blues was first. Even Mick Jagger acknowledges this fact. Elvis was taught to sing by a Black Man. Black People are full of charisma and showmenship. Sure, there are a bunch of negative aspects of "Black Culture". As well, there are a bunch of negative aspects of "White Culture", and so on. The sooner you racist people of the world wake up, the better off we will all be. In music and sports, either you're good or you suck. Racial make-up has very little to do with it. I love talent, regardless of skin color. Hip Hop is the biggest money-making genre that music has. Every sane person loves it. The rhyming , the poetry, the story-telling, etc.. It's all good! Racism kills. I think the message that all good people share is "Peace", not hatred.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  32. Hip Hop is cutting-edge relevant.

    I know a lot of people who pass off hip-hop as the lowest common denominator when it comes to music. They are also the people who believe the earth is about 6000 years old. They've bought in to BET as a viable cultural barometer. Rap was MARKETED as an ultra-masculine, misogynistic, PRODUCT that gelled simultaneously with product placement, and merchandising. Got some teen angst? Nobody understand you? Well, throw away that belt, roll up one leg and start grabbin on yourself. Oh, and make sure not to respect anyone, because that in-turn gets you respect, right? Don't think for a second that is what hip-hop is. K'NAAN, Mos Def, Lupe, POS, – you just can't discount these guys as anything but groundbreaking, ultra intelligent, ultra-talented and spokespeople for how Hip Hop can change lives, minds and attitudes.

    January 17, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  33. Gbird

    Hip hop is the modern incarnation of folk music. It's a street level veiw of the world, the modern town crier. Young kids in cities used what they had at thier disposal (record players, microphones, and speakers) to express what was going on around them. How is that any different from learning to play the fiddle that your Uncle used to own and writing songs about the farm?

    For those of you who don't consider it music because of it's lack of melody – Do you consider an African or Brazillian drum troupe music? Just because it's rhymically based doesn't mean it's not music. In fact, since it's polyrhythmic, it's actually more complicated music than most American music (technically speaking).

    January 17, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  34. End Times

    I remember when MTV used to play music videos....

    Start playing cRAP on ACL and it will be
    deja vu all over again...

    ACL, I appreciate the open to all things new policy
    but cRAP is far from new and it's proven crap.

    Let's see how your viewer support works out with
    your new crowd....

    January 17, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jim

    I absolutely LOVE the comments trying to claim that hip hop is not music, etcetera. They're hilarious in their small mindedness. It's like watching 50s footage of whites decrying race music. The small minded who want to define what is music and what is not have always existed and they've always been laughed at in retrospect.

    January 17, 2010 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  36. Giesep

    More thuggery! More thugs! More, more, more! We need more thuggery!

    January 17, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  37. jmf

    both are brilliant lyrically and a perfect match to what ACL is all about.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  38. keysha

    I love ACL but have always thought they weren't really feeling Hip Hop community. As Austin has evolved, so will the show and festival.

    January 17, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  39. Real Talk

    Its crazy how those that dislike Hip Hop or Rap are those who know nothing about music. They havent heard a single word of a hip hop song or have only hear excerpts of what is played on the news, for example, when Fox News plays excerpts of a particular artist that is relevant in the news. They only use the excerpts of the artist cursing or making refrence to an action perceived to be negative. Understand its about context as a whole, I dare the same neysayers to make a hip hop/rap song with lyrics, metaphors, double entendres, haikus, and use cultural relevance while still maintaining poetic flow because Im sure you cant. It kills me how even the Hip Hop/Rap supporters try and separate the two. Hip Hop is the culture, Rap is a branch on the tree. Some just do it better than others. I love all of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Most people dont like it because they dont understand it and the depths that it originates from. Most of it is not misogyny, gun totting, drug promoting, & violent but those who generalize it will attempt to put it that way. People from all walks of life are a part of the hip hop culture world wide from the poor and disenfranchised to the wealthy and privileged members of our society. Until you've immersed yourself in the culture and the beautiful struggle that is Hip Hop, please refrain from commenting on it because you'll confirm our suspicion of your complete and utter ignorance.

    January 17, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  40. Ed

    I've worked for PBS for twenty-two years. This is the day PBS "jumped the shark."

    January 17, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  41. Audi500a

    I find it amazing how people talk about a genre they only see on MTV/BET/VH1. People nowadays are too lazy to actually find good music in hip hop. I'll be the first to admit this is not an easy task, but it can be done.

    Let's get a few things straight:

    #1
    99.9 percent of 'music' on these channels(MTV,VH1) and on the radio is not REAL HIP HOP.

    #2
    Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal(drugs, violence, etc).
    MC's spit rhymes to uplift the people.

    #3
    KNaan and especially MOS DEF are talented, intellegent MC's, that actually have something to say in there lyrics.

    #4
    There is plenty of good hip hop artists still out there:
    De la Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Digibale Planets, Little Brother, The foriegn exchange, The roots, J dilla, Camp lo, Common, Talib Kweli, KRS-ONE, Strange Fruit Project, etc.

    #5
    I implore those who've completly turned off to 'RAP' to try to listen to some of the artist above, and give it a try. I speak for myself, a black man, who dislikes 80% of so called hip hop, but have tremendous love of the 20% of which has real meaning.

    January 17, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  42. Duke 1025

    To compare the rise of hip hop and rap to the transittion of blues to rock in the 40's with Muddy Waters and then Elvis in the 50's is a total misconception. Hip Hop and Rap has been around for 30 years and has not been accepted as a true cross over format or we would not be on this blog.

    FYI
    Jackson Browne is on Soundstage tonight!

    January 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  43. hugh

    Music is one way of expressing time. Older people feel it's their duty to put down the young for their music. One it makes them feel old and it also makes them feel like their gen. did yet one more thing better. To all of us old farts, allow me to remind you of what our parents said to us about our music. To all of you young folks, enjoy your moment in the sun. Trust me it will pass and soon you will be telling your children their music sucks.

    January 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. kayemess

    Appalled by the strain of racism and misunderstanding in some of these comments. "Looking forward to the first gunfight at ACL...", please. Do you even know K'Naan's background? Grew up in Somalia, came of age during the Somalian Civil War and family was able to escape to Canada. Find his music – yes, it's music, open your minds – and lyrics inspiring. How many other musicians who have been on ACL were discovered while doing a gig for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees?
    If you dismiss blindly, you're no music fan.

    January 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  45. musicfan78757

    ACL depends on donors for much of its funding.. consider mine withdrawn

    January 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Razmatanian

    Hip Hop is NOT music. It's just another lowering of the common demoninator of our culture. If rappers have a story to tell they should write a book and leave music to musicians. I won't watch rappers...they're monotonous thus boring.

    January 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jason

    It's sad that some people are still so closed minded, as shown by some of the comments here. Anyway, it might interest people to know that both of these Hip-Hop artists are multi-instrumentalists, and they occasionally sing in their music, in addition to rapping. See how weak preconceptions can be?

    January 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  48. mtreasoner

    There are some things in life that have absolutely no socially redeeming value. Austin City Limits has added such a thing to their show. Anyone who thinks a significant portion of the hip-hop audience watches PBS needs a new marketing firm!

    January 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  49. The Guru

    Somewhere, Stevie Ray Vaughn is looking down, just shaking his head.

    January 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Jim

    People who go to the live taping of ACL do not know what act they're going to hear. Thus sometimes the program gets footage of a bemused audience watching an act that plays a genre they don't like: rednecks turn out on indie rock night, and vice versa. This only adds to the chaos, and I'm all for it.

    January 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  51. o man

    music is an art of expression hip hop is form of expression. some hip hop is good and some sucks. keep an open mind and an open ear and see past you noses.

    January 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  52. steve1

    people need to realize there is a big difference between hip-hop and rap music. Mos Def, Talib Kweli, The Roots those are symbols of hip-hop. Rap is the garbage you find on the radio and MTV.

    January 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  53. lance corporal

    yo P.G. voice IS an instrument, in fact it's the first instrument
    and is still the most expressive instrument and the one most "instrumentalists" still strive to emulate, so I suppose pavaroti,
    sinatra and crosby where not musicians eh? your also confusing hip hop and rap (if your saying it is strictly spoken not sung) look up the definition of music; it is sound in time (and sometimes with the added caveat of using elements of harmony etc) mos def knew who your musical heroes are perhaps he has a wider range of respect that you are bringing, he plays several instruments and writes for others, he's also an entertainer and fronts the band, he's articulate and educated, I got my classical music degree at USF, I'm a middle aged white guy but I long ago realized there is a wide cultural and musical pallette to draw from, dig in it's more fun when your NOT a snab

    January 16, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Eric

    Doesn't matter – ACL lost me couple of years ago when they had a group dressed in butterfly outfits. I expect new – but hiphop is not new – it's a different style than what I expect from ACL

    I was a consistent viewer and had previously supported public TV solely based on this show.

    Producers must be desperate.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Melanie L

    Wow! I guess I shouldn't be as surprised as I am at some of these responses. But ACL has always been a home for people who operate outside of the mainstream, and Mos Def and K'NAAN fit right in.

    Given that ACL fans tend to, you know, LIKE music, it seems pretty ignorant to dismiss an entire genre, especially when their responses make it so clear that the know NOTHING about it. And to say that you're going to write off the show forever because you don't like one night's programming seems more than childish.

    I for one will mos def be watching tonight.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Jim

    I've been a fan of ACL since it's inception and watch faithfully. I've also been to ACLFest a couple times. (I even own two ACL T-Shirts). I don't believe this is the first time hip hop/rap has been on ACL, but I'm not positive. If you watch the opening sequence, there's someone jamming on a keyboard.

    I like Mos Def. I think he's a class act. I also believe that he is THE person to break this glass ceiling at ACL. I'm not a hip hop fan, but a major MUSIC fan and look forward to seeing tonight's show. I probably would skip if some vulgar, self-centered artist such as 50 cent or Kanye West were to be on the show because I've heard their stuff and consider it self-serving. Mos Def is multi-talented and his music expresses his view of a failing world and our own recent failed democracy.

    Good for ACL. If they can have Polyphonic Spree, who doesn't fit what was historically ACL's style of music, then they can expand and add hip hop. You'll notice they haven't asked any radio-friendly wannabee posing as the latest Madonna/Brittney/etc., but reach out to those cutting edge artists.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Duke 1025

    Been a fan of ACL for 30 years, I have been complaining about all the indie rock they have been showing I guess with the addition of rap I will not be complaining anymore because I am done with the show.

    January 16, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  58. MoreThanJustMusic

    You know what? I'm not even gonna sit hear and waste any more effort on you fools past this. It's clear that most of these post are full of vitriolic comments with blatantly racial undertones. So forget it. Just keep in mind, you CAN'T kill hip-hop. After 30+ yrs. it's reached a status of MUSICAL immortality. It's NOT a fad. In another 30 yrs. your grandkids are gonna love it (even more than they do now). They'll study it in their music theory classes or take a "History of Hip-Hop" course at their University. Like every other type of music African immigrants have created over the years (Blues, Jazz, Rock, etc.) you'll be about 40 yrs. late, they'll have moved on to the next thing, and you'll be bashing that too while saying "it's not music." They've created the entire musical landscape of popular music that you live in and love. Your collective waffling attitudes towards it hasn't stopped it, and never will. Long live Hip-Hop!

    January 16, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  59. Fritzburgh

    I don't mind the idea of hip-hop on ACL as long as it's good. I agree with the people who say that the hip-hop that's on Top 40 radio and MTV is crap, but that's true about other genres as well. I think it will be weird to hear Mos Def sequeing into the ACL theme: "I wanna go home with the armadillo..."

    January 16, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  60. Nancy Wasen

    To say in today's world that hip hop is garbage would be like someone in the 50s say rock n roll is garbage. It may not be your cup of tea but it is important in this era. I am 60 and embrace music of all kinds, even if it is not my personal favorite
    I salute ACL for their moving forward!

    January 16, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  61. Definistrator

    It's ok not to like hip-hop. It's another thing entirely, because you don't care for it, to dismiss it as crap or garbage. You become shallow and ignorant. It's enough simply to say you don't care for hip-hop. That's all you need to say.

    January 16, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  62. Wendell from Austin

    Come on. Rap and Hip Hop are really not music as much as spoken words. And, listen to what they are saying. Except for a few cases, it's crap. I know the younger generation "says" they like it, but the fact is they are just trying to be cool, and that's ok. But again it's not "real music" which is what Austin City Limits should be showcasing.

    January 16, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  63. richard

    Mos Def is an extremely talented perormer. you will not be disappointed by the talent this man has. He sings, raps, plays various instruments and puts on a thouroughly entertaining show. bravo to acl

    January 16, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  64. Nick

    I live in Austin. "Live Music Capital of the World"? Sure, if you like dull rehashed country and indie rock. Doesn't compare to cities like New York, Montreal, or Boston which have true cutting edge live music. The comments on this page further prove my point: you fans are stuck in the past.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  65. paul t coffman

    Why not, This trash has permeated every other aspect of our society.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  66. Terry Lickona

    Again, narrow-minded people cling to these stereotypes about EVERY kind of music...rock is all sex-and-drugs, country is redneck, hip hop/rap is guns and hos...classical is bourgeois...c'mon people, realize there is art and inspiration in every kind of music...you don't have to like it all, but respect the fact that true artists have the freedom to express themselves in many different ways. If you watch this show – and REALLY watch and listen – you might just be surprised.

    January 16, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  67. Bob

    As JD Blsckfoot sings "We were born to live on soundsoundsoundsoundsound........".

    January 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Me

    So long ACL. Messed up what was good about it.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Akton lerax

    I'm in the group that thinks there are two kinds of music; GOOD and BAD.
    I'm also old enough to have seen many people, including Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, and too many here, embarrass themselves by declaring a genre, "garbage".
    If you are indeed a lover of music, if your mind is not petrified, watch ACL this weekend.
    I had the opportunity to see this program a few weeks ago. Can't say enough about how impressed I was with K'Naan. My attention had drifted
    before I was able to see absorb Mos Def, but I look forward to him also.
    I love Loretta Lynn also, but , free your mind.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  70. ATX

    Viva ACL!!!...way to recognize the talent of diverse musicians and artists. Actions like this make me proud to be an Austinite. Some of the close-minded comments made by some...not so much. Watch, listen and enjoy!!!

    January 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Average White Man

    All right you old bastages... (which I am too)

    Mos Def's work is true poetry. And I'm saying this as a man who has about five rap CDs in my whole collection of a 1,000.

    So before you turn your nose up to it, set your DVRs and judge for yourself. Rap has its share of garbage. But so does rock.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Keek

    Yawn, yawn, yawn to all of you who are so angry about ACL opening minds, hearts and ears.

    My family has been in Austin for over 100 years and I am proud of ACL for joining the 21st Century like the rest of the world.

    And to the poster who has hated ACL since they stopped constantly featuring Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, etc.?

    Really?!

    Wake up-not everyone has to be a folk/country/Texas musician to be relevant.

    I'm very excited for the expansion!! Way to go, ACL!!

    January 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  73. longlife

    "Lickona . . .was impressed that Mos Def recognized so many of the photos hanging on the dressing room wall – past “ACL” acts ranging from country crooner Loretta Lynn to choral rockers Polyphonic Spree."

    Why is that surprising to him, does he presume that all hip hop musicians are musically uncultured too? what an ass!

    January 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Rich

    The one remaining "quality" music program has now succumb to the co-called artists whoes vulgar and coarse lyrics evoke hate and violence. This is truely a shame!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  75. TAS

    It's a shame that the majority of the people commenting think that rap or hip pop is the same as hip hop. What you hear on the radio and see on Fuse, BET and MTV is not the music people like K'NAAN and Mos Def create. People like Novel, The Roots, Slakah the Beatchild and the Foreign Exchange make hip hop music that is not misogynistic or promotes a luxury lifestyle.

    There are melodies to and rhythms to this music and not everyone can do it well.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  76. jona

    >>Hip-hop has become an international vocabulary for young people to express themselves; and particularly to express their rebellion.

    Yes.. their rebellion against:

    Learning
    Treating others with respect
    Being honorable role models
    Staying away from drugs and crime.

    OH.. it's truly beautiful eh?

    January 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  77. jona

    I look forward to the first gunfight at ACL. Thank you for elevating ACL down to the gutter.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Linda Carol

    BTW: Mos Def does SING and play drums during his set and you will be surprised at the strong soulful voice he has.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  79. D.G.

    Hip-hop can have a good sound, rhythm, and message. Sadly, its usually relegated to the good sound and rhythym. Self-indulgent singers, totally absorbed in their world of recent riches, singing to our youth and flaunting materialistic life. Yep, heavy metal and country have some bad messages as well. But its usually self-deprecating. Stuff the artist did wrong, wishes he/she could take back, etc. Not gloating over their teeth or BMW. Austin City Limits, you just took a nose-dive into the world of ignorant PC hype. Go lick a tree.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  80. morgan thomas

    Com'on guys. This is one of the few good shows left on t v.Don't muck it up with hip hop garbage.Rap is crap!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Ed

    This is great! I grew up with the many styles of music that Austin had to offer and am happy that Hip Hop will be a part of ACL. Austin City Limits obviously knows its good hip hop with Artists like Mos Def and K'naan.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  82. atlmaven

    @ Watching from Houston and all others who are dismayed at the choice to invite hip hop into ACL, the tradition of ACL is live music at its best. Watch MosDef perform live and it IS in the spirit of ACL. Cannot wait to watch the show. ACL is not recerved for Country and rock music. All good/great artists deserve to play on that stage and some hip hop artists deserve to play on the same stage that some of their counterparts have had to play.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  83. awesomedude

    The amount of racism present in the article and especially the comments on this page is terrifying.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  84. miggon

    One comment struck me – that hip hop has plenty of outlets on TV, so ACL shouldn't become another one. I understand.

    But, you know, hip hop is as diverse as its fan base. Most of what passes for hip hop these days – to old school rockers and 80s-90s hey-dey hip hop fans – is just corporate pop with sing-song rappers spread on like so much jelly on a roll.

    ACL retains its editorial integrity by showcasing hip hop artists whose performances and compositions are more thoughtful, deep and artistically challenging than the fare commonly heard on MTV and the rest of the commercial outlets.

    Good on ya, ACL.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Skeebo

    My people...please don't waste your time responding to the comments written in this blog!

    January 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  86. easyon

    ACL has been crap for the most part for years now and they have finally hit rock bottom with this latest choice of s%#! inspiring "artist"

    January 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  87. John

    I recently read a review about a hip-hop concert that I was interested in seeing, and the paper quoted one of the performers as saying:

    "at one point we got mixed up on the play list, and we were actually singing to different songs at the same time...but they have a real similar beat so it actually didn't sound to bad, and i don't think nobody noticed"

    I've never again listened to hip-hop...because it will make me dumb.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  88. msea

    lot of close minded people on here. rap is hip hop and hip hop is rap. there is no difference in the words. the difference is in the artists and the material they produce. and you have every right to choose what you do and dont listen to, but to not even give something a chance is just selling yourself short of new experiences.

    and please no lectures on how hip hop is stealing from other genres. the beatles and elvis both got famous off ripping off black artists.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Mitzy

    Oh boy. More violence, more femmephopia and more homophobia on television. Just what we need.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  90. M Merck

    I haven't seen this episode and I'm not looking forward to it. Historically, ACL has featured singers and musicians. I guess that dedication to the art of singing, playing and songwriting is over.
    Hip Hop performers are not musicians or singers. It's annoying.
    ACL has some wierd acts but at least they play instruments and sing, or try to. It's a sad day when ACL features Hip Hop or Rap. By the way, rap music is an oxymoron. I guess I'll HIp Hop away from ACL for awhile.

    I recorded my own tracks on my new Tascam. It looks like I'm now
    good enough for ACL.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Tara

    In response to Austin Resident. I would love and probably still watch MTV if they gave artists like Mos Def the time of day. But the fact is if you sat in front of the television and flicked throught the music stations you would be hard pressed to find any of his music. The artists ACL chose are perfect representations of what I find most atractive about hip-hop. And for all those saying rap or hip-hop isn't music.... Wasn't that exactly what your doo wop/Loretta Lynn/Sinatra loving parents said about Rock and Roll? "That's not music, its just noise." Every evolution, musically or otherwise, has it's detractors, but as hip-hop has proven it's here to stay... stop beating the dead horse already. Watch it or don't. But respect that ACL is not catering to one genre but embracing them all.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  92. sito

    i can't understand the words, it's too loud, there's no melody....that's what they use to say about rock n roll.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Steve-O

    Mos Def fo' sho'!

    But Tricky would have been a better second selection, imo.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Angie D

    This is AWESOME!! I Love Mos Def!

    January 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Sense

    WOW! You guys have no respect for music or cultural diversity. In the words of Mos_Definately_a_fan, hip hop is a message, rap is totally different. Educate yourself and be open minded. Don't be ignorant

    January 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  96. 51phantom

    There are alot of people that need to pull their heads out of their butts.

    I don't consider my self a hip hop fan, but I saw K'naan at ACL this year and he blew the doors off the place. Oh and by the way he had a full band playing with him, Same with Mos Def. Don't assume you know something about hip hop or an artist when you have clearly never listened to them. TO say hip hop sucks because all they do is sample and don't play live is simply stupid because cleary you have no idea how they get their music across in a live setting.

    Knaan and Mos Def are welcomed additions to ACL. My PVR will be recoding.

    Phillip Bunn-– you're and idiot
    That guy-- see above
    P.G. See above.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Linda Carol

    I've been going to ACL tapings since its inception. So, I'm very old school. I have seen Ray Charles, Lucinda Williams, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, B.B. King and many many others, including some of the new kids on the block.

    I also saw the taping of this show with K'NAAN and Mos Def. I didn't think I was going to actually be able to stay for the whole show, but to my surprise K'NAAN's songs were inspirational and Mos Def was the epitome of cool and his set was a litttle of the old and new blended together and it was great. This show embodies the same quality of entertainment that ACL has always strived to promote.

    Don't get caught up in labels put on music or styles or you will miss a musical blessing. No one type or style is perfect, but music was meant for the soul.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  98. T

    It is disappointing to see so many people insist that hip-hop is not music, or that the artists have no talent. I play guitar, and it is significantly more difficult to spit rhymes like Mos Def, Aesop Rock, Qwel, Chuck D, etc. Its like saying I hate rock when all I've heard is Maroon 5 or Asia. Try picking up a hip hop album sometime instead of being a close-minded fool.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Terry Lickona

    Since I'm the producer of ACL and responsible for booking both Mos Def and K'Naan for this show, I'm hoping that the skeptics and doubters out there will at the very least give us SOME benefit of the doubt and check out the full show this weekend...then if you still don't get it, we'll respectfully agree to disagree. But be sure to check back in a week or so and I can almost guarantee you'll find something else to your liking! That's what ACL is all about.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  100. RPM

    To all of you who think you know hip-hop because of what you see in mainstream music and think because of what you have seen of it that it is not music: Tune in to see Mos Def and prepare to eat your words.

    I love artists such as Sinatra, Flaming Lips, Springsteen, Tom Waits, Pearl Jam and Stevie Ray Vaughn (most, if not all of whom have previously appeared on ACL) and have the majority of their respective discographies scattered among my Roots, Mos Def and Jill Scott CDs along with many others. I am not a rock fan, a rap fan, a jazz fan, a country fan or a R&B fan.... I am a MUSIC FAN and I will be one of many who sits down to enjoy this viewing and listening experience.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  101. nenecats Houston

    I must admit I liked it the way it was. I do like some rap and some
    hip hop but Austin City Limits was always in another class. I tune
    in to see whose on and most times don't stay with it.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Chrissy

    I think it's a great thing that ACL is opening up it's show and stage to share two great hip hop lyricists with their fan base. Many people like to say that hip hop or rap is not really music because they speak the lyrics, but don't sing them. this is so untrue. Music is not classified by singing, but by sound whether it comes from instruments, voices, or even objects that aren't considered musical instruments. Rappers are musicians, they write lyrics and set them rhythymically to instrumental accompaniment. And when it comes to an artist such as Mos Def, he is truly a lyrical and rhyming genius. He speaks truths about the environment, government, and life in general. He is poetic and emotional in his music and he represents so many cultural backgrounds. When I think of ACL, of course I am reminded of great shows featuring artists like SRV, Van Morrison, Loretta Lynn, etc., I am glad that ACL has decided to add two more outstanding artists to their lengthy list of guests. I have really seen some very close minded comments on here and to those I say, you don't have to like the music that these two gentleman are offering but you should at the very least accept it as a style of music even if you are not very familiar with it. I am the first to agree that there is alot of hip hop/rap music out there that is garbage, but that's true of all genres. What these artists have to offer is definitely not garbage and you never know, you may just find yourself enjoying it.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  103. DontCallMeDude

    Say it Ain't So.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Garth

    If you can't sing or play an instrument but can mouth off (who can't) hip-off or rap is for you. Call it what you want but it's still not really music. Children will listen to anyone who screams loud enough about anything but it's "entertainment" of sorts not music. What's next, ACL, stand up comedy, game shows? Bye-bye ACL.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Matt

    One more thing...I do find it somewhat ironic that some of you list hiphop as garbage and not music. The same genre and artists (primarily rocknroll) were part of the same rebellion- either your parents or your parents' parents were probably saying the same things about the artists/genre you are defending at some point. Times change, elders cling to old traditions...

    January 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Bill

    To call hip hop vocal jazz is preposterous. There is no harmony. There are no counter melodies. There is no counterpoint or complex arrangements, and if you think there are, then I am sorry, but you know nothing about music.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Michael

    Nothing against either but I'd rather them not be on ACL. There are enough other outlets for them to be on. Would the Apollo ever let anyone who is usually on ACL on there? I think not.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  108. me

    I love being from Austin. GO HORNS!

    January 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  109. Matt

    Glad to see it, tired of everyone saying they don't like hiphop therefore it shouldn't be part of ACL. I mean I can't stand Death Cab but I respect that they are still part of a different ACL listener.

    If anything ACL has been behind the curve for integrating new styles of music (electronic music) to the point that FunFunFun Fest this year was full of much more refreshing and unique acts in my opinion (including hiphop and electronic)

    If you don't like hiphop just don't watch this one- or maybe try branching out and watch it, you never know you may just like it (if you can get over the ego)

    January 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  110. patricio

    to those saying that hip hop is not music... i'm sure that sentiment was the same for every musical genre that broke the mold before it. let's keep an open mind, people!

    January 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Kerry

    Mos Def is a rapper/actor/activist and yes a musician too. He plays them and he also sings. Google 'Black Jack Johnson' and listen for yourself.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  112. TN

    I'm not a hip-hop fan but if ACL endorses someone they're worth a look. I hope they can change my mind.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  113. Jim

    Hip Hop is something, but it's also not something.

    Kind of like Professional Wrestling which is something while it's not something else at the same time.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Al

    With the state that music is in today why not hip hop? Also, why not some up and coming acts such as Canada's Doc Walker ?

    January 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Tom Miller

    I will never watch Austin City Limits again. Hip Hop just rips off real musicians. No talent hacks.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  116. american patriot

    TRUE THAT.

    HIP HOP Music is TRASH Ghetto Hood RAT Music.

    What did the Media call the MTV awards again?

    The THUG AWARDS

    Half the time they remake other peoples song with a BEAT.

    The rest is filthy ignorance.

    Unlike Will Smith who made excellent RAP with no swearing or degrading woman or cops.

    simply put, most RAP does not deserve to even be on the radio.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Panteric

    K'naan is awesome, I'm a rocker at heart, but those so quick to bash hip hop on here should give K'naan a chance. He brings elements of his Somali roots and african music that no other rapper does... He's got his own sound, he don't sound like the rest.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Desperately seeking Katie Panteric....any relation? If so please respond to bkhandy68@yahoo.com

      September 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  118. APT

    Mos Def is Brililant! A must see!

    January 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  119. HappyFrappy

    For anyone who has anything bad to say about hip hop, please go listen to K'NAAN's "Fatima," "Wavin' Flag," or "Take A Minute," and then get back with me.

    These songs are absolutely beautiful. Anyone who is judging "hip hop" as a genre without even giving some artist's music a chance is missing out.

    January 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Koreanwarbaby

    Might as well put it on–hip hop has hijacked every other music venue. Too bad it lacks most of the important ingredients to be called "music."

    January 15, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  121. MacDeezy

    I'll keep an open mind, but you might as well start booking finger snapping beat poets.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  122. angel

    Its sad to see so much closed minded people. I don't like all types of music but at least I'm willing to give it a chance. I have heard Mos Def before and he has to be one of the most POSITIVE rappers out there. He's not all about money, cars and women. His music does have meaning. I would say give it a chance, if it doesn't work for you change the channel foe an hour. Its not that serious.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  123. Travis

    At first, I couldn't believe it's taken your show so long to air hip-hop and reggae performances, but if the other comments are indicative of your core audience, then it makes some sense.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  124. Mos_Definately_a_fan

    Right on! Mos Def is an absolute perfect choice for this. He makes true Hip-Hop, not raps. Big difference between the two – Hip-Hop has a message, not unlike the news. Rap is usually about crime, rims, booties, etc.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  125. TampaJim

    Mos Def & K’NAAN may be the the exception. Hip-hop that has original music; lyrics that are thoughtful & insightful. But as a musician, I have always had a problem with hip-hop/rap being called "music". I cannot in good conscious call someone a musician that simply "samples" someone else's music that became popular, and adds "street poetry" to it. Artist? Perhaps, but not musician. Part of what makes a musician special (IMO) is that they are able to create a melody that is at least somewhat unique, and craft lyrics around that melody that can evoke an emotioanl response. Way too many hip-hop "songs" remind me of a comic who goes for the cheap laugh because they don't want to make the effort to be creative. Instead they write "lyrics" depicting a lifestyle that demeans women and glorifies drug use, lawlessness and killing. This is the only genre of music I can think of thet performers kill one another over their music! There are numerous examples of artists from other styles of music who grew up just as impoverished and looked down on. But I can't find any examples of these people killing their fellow performers over feeling "disrespected". Hip-hop/rap is rife with examples. I'll never get that. Maybe someday, when the performers "grow up", their craft will as well.

    January 15, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  126. Bill

    Austin City Limits has finally lost its mind. It's a MUSIC show!! This ridiculous noise has no business being on Austin City Limits!

    January 15, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  127. skyl1nev6

    For all of you bashing Hip-Hop you need to look in your own back yard. Rock-N-Roll is BLACK music. Hip-Hop is only an evolution of Rock-N-Roll....

    Oh the irony in this:

    No I'm not the first king of controversy
    I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley
    to do black music so selfishly
    and used it to get myself wealthy

    -Marshall Mathers

    January 15, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  128. PC

    Anyone who says hip-hop is garbage has a very shallow appreciation of music. There's more crap than gold in every genre and hip-hop has produced its fair share of excrement. But at its best, hip-hop is more expressive, meaningful and transcendent than most genres. Good for ACL. I'll be watching.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  129. Music Fan

    Hip Hop /= Music

    January 15, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  130. josh

    no top forty hip-hop. that stuff is garbage. so much better hip-hop out there that is not on the radio, i like when they are smart enough to not have to make up words

    January 15, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  131. Martin

    Like RayCharles said when asked what he tought of Rap Music: "I'm still waiting for the music part!"

    January 15, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  132. Daniel Cunningham

    Some of the best moments of music on TV has been on ACL. I recorded many episodes knowing that sooner or later it had to change or die.That's the way of music TV. If you don't think that's true look where vh1, and MTV are now and think back to there beginings. Face it, it just had to happen.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  133. Jesse

    Kudos to ACL. I recently saw an episode where they featured Mexican band Cafe Tacuba. They do a good job on picking acts.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  134. Chitown

    Bring back some dirty Widespread Panic and I'll be happy.

    They always rock that house down and it makes for good HD viewing. Hopefully this fall.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  135. TexasVet

    Oh, Rap is garbage. Hip-Hop is vocal Jazz. Most Def works with Jazz artist and even sings and scats on some songs.

    January 15, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  136. TexasVet

    Unfortunately times are changing. The old artist are dying off and it's time to hand the torch off to someone new. I like Mos Def. I think he is a great actor and poet. All of my favorite old artist are either dead or on their last leg. What these two guys do is more of an art form that POP.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  137. MoreThanJustMusic

    It's sad to see all of you people blindly bashing a style of music that you clearly know nothing about. Just like ALL music there are some good and some bad artists/songs. There's quality & thoughtful indie rock, just like there vapid uninspired pop rock. The same holds true for hip-hop. Do you judge all of other genres by what you hear/see on MTV and pop radio stations? If all you knew about rock was MTV and KissFM then you'd think it was crap too. The fact of the matter is that artist like these DON'T have other venues, because they don't fit what the radio/TV stations wish to perpetuate about the genre (and black people). Socially conscious rap can not be heard on ANY mainstream high power FM stations. That's a FACT. So next time you wanna bash hip-hop, just think "all rock is The Jonas Brothers or Blink 182" (or whoever).

    January 15, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  138. Rock-n-Roll

    I second the notion.

    Hip-hop is garbage. I have no respect for that so called "music genre".

    January 15, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  139. Watching from Houston

    Please, stick with the tradition that has made Austin City Limits such a great venue.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  140. Your MOM

    Hip Hop or Rap is the best music ever way better than rock and metal

    January 15, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  141. Action Jackson

    Those two acts will be way better than some of the weird hippie groups that make wretched noise on ACL. Having 12 goofball hippies pretend to play a violin, and a squeezebox, washboard, accordian.....and make hideous sounds......and pretend like its artistic somehow.....just because they intentionally dress "alternative" and ugly.......that is just lame. I like ACL most of the time....but please stop having the hippie-noise-artsy-idiotic groups on there.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  142. andrew bryan

    So long Austin City Limits!

    January 15, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  143. DFM

    Austin, as a city, has long supported HipHop – and I'm happy to see this. Some of the best shows I've ever seen were HipHop, in Austin.

    From the Roots and Matisyahu at Stubbs, to Cunninlynguists at SXSW, and countless others. Thank you ACL, thank you kindly for evolving...

    For all the naysayers – wake up, open your mind, embrace change, and realize that ghetto rap isn't the same as HipHop. Not by a long shot...

    January 15, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  144. Russell

    I am 54, love ACL and dig Mos Def. This show is important in that ACL proves that there are talented artists in any genre of music.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  145. Old Doc

    I'm with Michael. I haven't watched it since they changed their format from Texas artists to the crap that's on their now. I guess we should have seen this one coming.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  146. LeGrandeOrange

    Wow – shocked and dismayed at the tone of many of the respondents to this piece. Hip-hop has become an international vocabulary for young people to express themselves; and particularly to express their rebellion. If you go to Colombia and listen to the Colombian hip hop; if you hear hip hop from Ukraine; if you hear music made from the suburbs outside of Paris; you will hear hip hop as a tool of self-expression around the world for people. It is the single most important development in popular music in the past 30 years, and yet the folks commenting on this still haven't come around to it. Crazy stuff...

    January 15, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  147. Hiphop representer

    I applaud the ACL for making such a bold move. Granted there are a lot of venues for hip-hop / rap, I have yet to see one that featured artist that have a message in their music ( Mos Def, K'NAAN, The Roots ) . I am a fan of Hip-Hop and I do produce Gospel hip-hop there are both positives and negatives but as people instinctly do we tend to point out the negative before recognizing the positive. Lets try to keep an open mind and give it a chance. I have seen how hip-hop has influenced drug dealers and gang members to turn their lives around. Hip-hop has played a big part in my life just like R&B ( soul ) did for my parents and Rock did for others parents remember that some people back in the day hated Rock just as much as some people hate Hip-hop today.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  148. Phillip Bunn

    Hip Hop is not Rock and Roll! Hip Hop is how people with "no talent" achieve the American Dream of making money without adding any substance. I have always supported "Austin City Limits" but no more. There needs to be "one" place where people can go and listen to "music" without having to tolerate the un-intelligible gibberish of "ho rhymes."

    January 15, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  149. wherearetheMC'S?

    I grew up with no cable tv and always saw ACL on PBS which was channel 8 in Houston, Tx. I never really got to see any artist that I like on that show. I have nothing against those artists that have been seen on that show, but for me to be able to see the artists I like, I had to wait for Soul Train to come on Saturday mornings and wait for Street Flava to come on at midnight on Saturdays on PBS. I love the fact that now that I am 24, these types of artists are performing. More artists like The Roots, and ArtOfficial should be on this show as well. Both of the previously mentioned are REAL bands, Roots being more of a Rock and Hip-Hop fusion, and ArtOfficial being a Jazz and Hip-Hop mix. So if you wanna complain about "wordsmiths" you will get a great mix with these groups. They can really play, and have some great, positive, and up beat lyrics. Their music will make you think twice about bashing hip-hop. What you hear on the radio is not real hip-hop, its what the record labels put out to make money, because lets face it, crap sells more than art.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  150. tradnairb

    Austin City Limits is about introducing its audience to new music – so why not hip hop?

    I saw Mos Def at Bumbershoot a few years ago, and he sang and played bass throughout the show. The man is a great talent and is not afraid to break outside the traditional barriers of hip hop, which is probably one of the reasons he was asked to be on ACL.

    I am excited to watch this show, and I would encourage anyone to sit down and give it a chance.

    And, FYI, this is not MTV's hip hop.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  151. Stephen Falk

    Good on em..
    Well done

    January 15, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  152. Matt

    As an Austin resident, it's about time that ACL has began to truly show how it is in the Live MUSIC Capital of the World. Note, not live rock or live country, but live music. If you want to see a good show in Austin, there's no shortage for any genre of music and it's amazing to see our pride and joy start to accurately reflect that.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  153. Bob

    Ditto Michael's comments bring back songwriters showcase like The Bottle Rockets, Tom Russell, Billy Joe Shaver, Tony Joe White, Gurf Morlix, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Buddy & Julie Miller, John Doe, James McMurtry, Eric Taylor, Bill Morrisey, Richard Shindell, Levon Helm, Terry Allen, Reckless Kelly, Charlie Robison, Slaid Cleaves, Chris Smither, Jon Dee Graham, Lucinda Willliams, Cracker, Alejandro Escovedo, David Olney, Ellis Paul. Delbert McClinton, Bottle Rockets, Arthur Godfreym, Dale Watson, Darrell Scott, Eliza Gilkyson, Frerd Eaglesmith, Kasey Chambers, Greg Brown, Hayes Carll, Jim LaFave, Justin Townes Earle, Leonard Cohen, Ramblin Jack Elliot, Todd Snider, Van Morrison, Webb Wilder,Son Voly, Wilco, Corb Lund Band, Hank Williams III, Richard Thompson, Band Of Heathens, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bruce Robison, Chris Knight, Scott Miller, Elvis Costello, Merl Haggard, Flatlanders.............

    January 15, 2010 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  154. Austin Resident

    Very disappointing. I have nothing against hip hop. I don't care for it, just like I don't care for opera or tejano or a bunch of other styles, but I have nothing against it. I'm disappointed because hip hop already has so many venues on TV already. MTV, Fuse, and many more. The kind of music that generally gets played on ACL – roots/blues/Americana/singer-sonwriter has almost no venues except for ACL. It's a shame to give up a time slot for artists that could be seen elsewhere.

    January 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  155. Thatguy

    ACL should have standards, I like ACL for Rock and Country. I miss the days of Austin with Stevie Ray Vaughan, thanks to him and countless musicians who busted there humps, well they made a name for themselves. Now we got these hip hop artists. "Wordsmith," why should music be based off words? Sure it 'can' be considered half of it, but if you want words, go read a book or a dictionary.

    January 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Michael

    I kinda miss the old days of ACL: Joe Ely, Steve Fromholz, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard, etc.

    January 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Larry Miller

    Wow I'm from Austin and I love the way ACL does underground and not well know mainstream artist along with Super Stars. This will be interesting to see. I'm not a big Hip Hop Fan but I do acknowledge it as style of Music. Open your minds before cutting down ACL!!!.

    January 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  158. MDwebguy

    The last remaining public showcase for talented musicians and songwriters has fallen. Send in the clowns.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  159. F*** You

    If you watch pornography, like violent movies, or listen to Marilyn Manson, then you are in no position to hate on hiphop. Pornography is the most shallow, misogynistic form of entertainment in the world, but everybody flocks to it like sheep.

    I like hiphop–including the shallow, violent, and useless lyrics–because I find the experience fun. Watching a hiphop music video is like watching a film; for a few brief moments, I get to live the life of a rich, spoiled gangster or a womanizing player. After that, it's back to life, back to reality.

    With all the violent imagery perpetuated today by heavy metal musicians, film producers, and writers like Stephen King (BARF), I find it just plain unbearable that so many people have such harsh thoughts about hiphop. Like it or not, the music genre is bigger than ever and will continue to grow and dominate WORLDWIDE. Even some Hindus on the streets of Delhi can be found vibing to the sweet beat of hiphop.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  160. James Walley

    It's about time! Now, I'm eagerly waiting for this to lead to a fusion of country and rap...it can be known as "c-rap."

    January 14, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Ian

    You can't reject hip hop outright as a genre and still call yourself a real music fan.

    Minds are like parachutes – they only work when they're open.

    That being said, I urge everyone to check out K'naan. His music is infectious, political, inventive and comes from a sincere place. The Somali-born Canadian is a true talent.

    Mos Def has already established a reputation as one of the premier wordsmiths in the hip hop game. He's spectacular live.

    I applaud ACL for this move. It's been a long time coming.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Katie

    I was at ACL Fest this year (my 5th year to attend), and K'NAAN was one of *the best* acts I've ever seen live. His music is absolutely amazing and darn worthy of more air time. Way to go, ACL!

    January 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  163. P.G

    I guess you can call me old school. But, I believe music needs the artist to either sing or play an instrument. Is that such a strange concept?

    January 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  164. eloquent peasant

    hip hop is rock n roll. rock n roll influenced hip hop. hip hop influenced the world. couldnt ask for a better ARTIST to blaze the trail with. cant wait to watch.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  165. kmguest

    Bravo ACL. They totally get it isn't the music that's always the problem; it's the message. They were smart enough to know that hip hop did not start out as the monstrosity it has become today. These artists are closer to the ground and non-violent in their music. This was a smart move and will hopefully bring attention to hip hop artists who deserve attention and will turn some to the positive songs and ween people off the negative ones. Just a thought.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  166. JPS

    That's in keeping with the spirit of ACL!!

    January 14, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  167. none

    hip hop is garbage

    January 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |

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