Bourbon 'n BrownTown

Ep. 5 - Hip-Hop in the Age of Spin ft. Genta Tamashiro

Episode Summary

BrownTown is joined by audio engineer Genta Tamashiro as the group shares some whiskey and discusses some of hip-hop's influences, effects on culture, and the problem we all face in an oversaturated generation.

Episode Notes

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Genta is a creative devotee of the artistic community. He attended the specialized magnet school Denver School of the Arts for middle and high school, which gave him a solid foundation in musical performance and theory as well as an introduction into audio engineering. After spending some time at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Genta moved to Chicago to pursue a career in audio engineering where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Audio Design and Production from Columbia College in 2015. Through his freelance audio work, he has traveled around the country and the world with notable artists such as the Becca Kaufman Orchestra, The Way Down Wanderers, and Masego. When he is not running the sound for a band somewhere, you can find him producing his own music or editing podcasts for SoapBox (more on Episode 27) and other creative organizations.

Genta Tamashiro and the gang grab a drink and dive into the Netflix original The Get Down as a cultural tool in understanding the roots of hip-hop and its social placement from a historical context. From here, they critique misinterpretations of hip-hop, noting that the genre's humble origins to now oversaturated landscape with the growth of technology.

Dave Chappelle exposes that even at “the hallmark of [our] generation" we live in "the most difficult time in human history. This is the age of spin. The age where nobody knows what the fuck they’re even looking at.” Just as comedians like Chappelle help ground us back into reality, true hip-hop is ever-growing. Mainstream artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole’s have managed to keep the spotlight on the genre with recent albums like DAMN and For Your Eyes Only in which the rappers examine their lives, their peers’, and their respective ecosystem. Within their discography BrownTown tries to discover if their music is simply “conscious rap” or calling to action as Charles Preston promotes in his article, “Trump is here: Will Mainstream Rappers Punch Nazis?” By the end we understand that, whether calling to action or simply reacting to their environment, both artists seek to empower themselves and their audience through their music by staying true to hip-hop elements, continuously experimenting, collaborating, and, of course, spitting fire bars.


Follow Genta on Facebook, Instagram and listen to his music on Spotify.


CREDITS: Intro music - J. Cole on Kendrick Lamar's instrumental for Alright; outro music - Kendrick Lamar on J. Cole's A Tale of Two Citiez off of the Black Friday releases. Audio engineered by Genta Tamashiro. Episode photo by Andrew Merz.


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