The Big Hurt: The decade ahead

By DAVID THORPE  |  January 12, 2010

HIP-HOP WILL EVOLVE BEYOND RAPPING | Although rap has been the dominant form of pop wordplay for the past two decades, urban teenagers will tire of it and move to a more sophisticated mode of expression: rebuses. Rebus-based hip-hop — which requires no recorded music whatsoever, only printed pictograms — will explode out of New Orleans and take the nation by storm. Artists like Big Symby and Nolia Glyphz will dominate underground culture. The hottest rebusists will be signed to major publishers, where they'll release million-selling hieroglyphic depictions of their fame and wealth to an audience of enraptured teenage decoders. By mid decade, the scene will have been totally co-opted by corporate suits and white kids, and hit rebuses will be printed on every T-shirt and billboard. Nonetheless, a thriving indie scene will continue to produce gritty, violent street rebuses that call back to the form's inner-city roots.

DAVID THORPE |dthorpe@phx.com

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