For me the most important influence was the way that jazz had become a way of life for many. Music like jazz was in a perfect state to inspire, to inspire the masses. People were really interested in jazz. Jazz was considered a spiritual and intellectual pursuit. As much as rap seems to be about street brawls and drugs and violence, people were really interested in jazz, about trying music, trying anything. They were really attracted to that kind of culture. There was a lot of interest in the New York jazz scene in the 60s, like early Motown. But at the same time, it was just about the musicians and a certain kind of life, like being in New York and living in New York and going to music shows, going out on the town, staying in hotels and eating all the food that you were able to get, like a very privileged lifestyle. I think of myself as a very privileged and privileged kid in life, which has a lot to do, I guess, with being a big, powerful guy who’s not like everybody else and not a very common part of the music scene for many years, because they didn’t want you to be the guy who is the most popular thing in town.
AVC: What was it like to see a hip-hop version of ’60s films like The Graduate and No Country For Old Men?
JH: Those movies were really appealing because you can relate to them in a basic way. There are this old-fashioned, “get a big car and go out and get yourself laid” mentality, but you can still kind of relate to it. No Country For Old Men, for example, that was a very depressing movie because people were getting all rich and famous and nobody seemed to be having any fun. That movie had the real life of the people at the time—the working-class man, who felt like he was making a sacrifice to go see this movie, and also the white boy, who was just too self-conscious, who felt like the only job he could do, in the ghetto, was to be a dope dealer. The whole story there was the drug war.
JH: No. I was a kid on Long Island, and my friends, the ones that had a sound in New York, would always make a conscious effort to go to shows
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