re: Ta-Nehisi’s thoughts on his evolving taste in hiphop: In a way, I’ve actually gone in reverse. Back when I was in high school I was relatively backpacker-ish*, listening to stuff like Company Flow, Swollen Members, Talib Kweli, etcetera. I was never gung-ho opposed to the less esoteric forms, just didn’t click with it much beyond the occasional dip in the west-coast gangsta well.
Now? I have multiple albums by Three 6 Mafia, Young Jeezy, David Banner, Ludacris, Juvenile, and just about anything from Swishahouse affiliates not named Mike Jones. Not to say I don’t still like some of the backpacker stuff, it just doesn’t take up as much space as it used to.
(* – that said, my favorite group at the time was Tha Alkaholiks…)