BEHIND THE MUSIC WITH HYPE WILLIAMS

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Hello. I'm Hype Williams. Actually sorry, no, let me start again. I'm not Hype Williams. I'm some guy who has inexplicably not been sued yet for claiming to be Hype Williams. Remember what happened to the Xerox Teens with the suing and the name change? Well I don't. I'm the former bass player from Graffiti Island, Roy Nnawuchi, and now I'm all alone out here on a thousand fashionable blogs with my "shadowy persona" and my fantastic sense of humor. Dig it. You may know me from such hits as Hype Williams' first album (released last year), called Untitled. All of the tracks on that one, as I'm sure you're dimly aware, were called "Untitled." Friends, you couldn't have scraped me off the floor... Laugh? Did I ever! People often ask me what I would call my music. Some illiterates have dubbed it chillwave, just because it sounds like it was made by a five-year-old in Paintshop with only a copy of Massive R&B '98 for company. They couldn't be more wrong. It is--as any fool knows--chillhop. The word "chillhop" makes most people feel a bit queasy because there's an overabundance of vertical lines in the middle that forces their eyes to blink involuntarily. In that sense, it's a bit like listening to my new record Find Out What Happens When People Stop Being Polite And Start Getting Reel, because by the end you will have listened to 22 minutes of formless protoplasmic electronic mulch, plus 90 seconds of Sade's "Sweetest Taboo" re-recorded inside the womb-house of an unborn harlequin baby (© MY IDEA). I begin my record with the happy sound of said baby gurgling, but fed through Auto-Tune--not only a satire on that Brandy song, but also a sideways glance/SLASH/withering riposte aimed squarely at the Auto-Tune-anything generation. But the hijinks don't stop there. Anyone who thought I might have put away the whoopee cushion for album #2 clearly hasn't noticed the two new songlets here called "Jesus To A Child." Yes--both! And neither of them has the faintest thing to do with George Michael's ballad. Geddit?! Excuse me. I'm gonna have to lie down with that oxygen canister for a wee while. Dear oh dear oh dear!

Anyway, the reason I'm called Hype Williams--aside from the fact it makes everyone actually pay attention to my emails for the first time in my life--is that I'm big into taking commercial hip-hop from the 90s and deconstructing it by feeding it through some default Fruity Loops patches. It's a recent-past nostalgia thing? Like what Burial did with UK garage, except that silly mug spent literally hours on the stuff! Me? I do all mine on my DS while I'm waiting to sign on (the dole). Think of it as sorta like in 2007, when teenagers used to run around telling each other they "only listened to 90s R&B" for weird kudos points. Anyway, the business plan I drafted in Powerpoint posits the following: Those teenagers have grown up. They are at the early-20s anxiety pinch-point, slap-bang in the demand-saddle. They need aural comfort food, a recent past to idealize. They are, in other words, nostalgic for 2007, when they used to go around telling each other they were nostalgic for 90s R&B. Ergo, Hype Williams is their collective attempt to relive 1998 via 2007. Weird, or what? Anyway, projected net income: $4 million. Some people insist that this is exactly what's wrong with music today--everyone seems to be jizzing on each other beneath a meta-ironical riotshield of artistic anonymity and contrived lo-fidelity, thus keeping us safe from the hurled billiard balls of genuine critical analysis. And you'd be right. But who am I to piss against the wind? Like Murdoch or Cowell or your local drug pusher, I can say with good conscience: “I'm only giving people what they want. If it wasn't me servicing these needs, someone else would be..." It is the Nuremberg Defense of our days. I'ma sit tight, obey the market's orders and hope to God that the wind doesn't change. AS RELAYED TO GAVIN HAYNES

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