I bought NME the other day solely to see who they had crowned as the coolest person in music 2010. I often buy NME and find myself tearing my hair out at the contradictory crap they write. If you didn’t know already the winner was.....Laura Marling!!?! OMG.
Stevie Wonder inspired Janelle Monae in 2nd position was a pleasant surprise as NME tend to ignore or under estimate artists such as her plus the mention of effortlessly cool female rapper Nicki Minaj at number 42 was a big look for the mag. However, in terms of cool people, NME need to realise that indie musicians on the whole tend not to be very cool with the whole "oh yes they look geeky but they are actually really cool" premise being questionable. Don't get me wrong, indie music is great but the idea of cool, for me, is not defined by skinny jean wearing Shorditchites. That is sort of like covering a tesco own brand doughnut with a krispy kreme label, we would believe the donut tasted exceptional because we would believe it was from krispy kremes (mmmmmm donuts). Now think of that analagy in realtion to the idea of cool. Are we just thinking these indie bods are cool because we have being tricked into believing manipulative music mags hold the truth. Surely "cool" should be something inherent?
For me, 2010 coolness is mainly in the charisma and stage presence of artists commonly found on the urban side of the game. I seldom describle indie bands as cool, trendy and fun yes, cool no. With respect to NME they did touch on this with a mention of Skream and Giggs and Jay Z and Kanye West. Legendary Musician Paul Weller the godfather of the mods was a necessary credible selection and no one can deny the impact Carl Barat has had on the current rock/pop scene thus making his place in the list understandable. However, I just found there was a distinctive lack of DJs or just actual cool people mentioned. Where was Ms Dynamite, Joker, M.I.A, ?uestlove, Mos Def, Grooverider,Big Boi,Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, ... or in terms of the non urban crew Jamie T, Matt Bellemy, Mystery Jets, Flying Lotus, Santogold, Kings of Leon, Neil Young, Pete Doherty or they could of even just play it safe with a Mick Jagger/ Morrissey shout. These people live and breathe what it is to be cool! Even a post Strictly Come Dancing Goldie would have been better suited to the title. A drum and bass heavyweight who was willing to dance on a prime time show whilst wearing latex surely deserved a big up!