Thursday, May 4, 2023


In his 1969 book Rock from the Beginning, corrosive critic Nik Cohn maintained that Dylan wrote his best lyrics when he was being mean spirited and out to settle accounts in his rhymes. I'm inclined to agree in part with that; the Dylan who wanted to slay dragons, deliver payback and indict the previous generations for the foulness of the world they brought him into is the Dylan that wrote the most memorable lyrics and are the foundation to claims for his genius. In many ways, Like A Rolling Stone was a prototype for what eventually became rap , where the talking blues tradition Dylan emulated early on morphed to the sardonic talk-sung bray of "Rolling Stone" . And of course, there are several Dylan songs from the time that would fit the same description, Its Alright Ma, Masters of War, Gates of Eden, Desolation Row. But I thought Like a Rolling Stone in particular begged for a hip hop rendition, to how Dylan's angst, anger and agitated rhymes would hang with different generation's beats. Here's an interesting stab at it.

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