Why does Okayplayer suck? (By DJ MF)
The Bottom Line Yup.
The past few years have seen a manifestation (infestation) of unmitigated power in the world of hip-hop: Okayplayer. Label, movement, website – The Unholy Trinity of Shit, or TUTS as they will be known for the remainder of this article.
Reason #1- Rock writers love them
TUTS is beloved by the mainstream rock press. Why? Because TUTS enables rock writers to put aside their musical bias and seem like they’re edgy by endorsing the hip “new” music form known as hip-hop. Look around you: Spin, Rolling Stone, Blender, etc. all love TUTS. Mostly because of founding members The Roots, who (surprise surprise) play their own instruments, and allow the mainstream rock press to get over their infatuation with calling hip-hop devoid of talent because it uses 2 turntables and a mic in its purest form.
Reason #2- Neo soul
Neo crap is more like it. TUTS has enabled a succession of mediocre R&B artists to get national attention and love from everyone. How? The formula is easy- combine muzak essentials such as drum patterns that a 3 year old could devise, soft focus basslines, and lyrics about lost love with a healthy dollop of allusions to the Native Tongues era, and you have the perfect storm of a musical genre. On one hand, frat kids can listen to it while they drink their venti double lattes with low fat skim milk and a double shot of caramel at Starbucks as they input “hip-hop” as a musical interest in their Yahoo profiles. On the other hand, the stereotypical gangsta rap buyer can put it in their collection with the caveat that it’s there for when they’re mackin’ da hoes.
Reason #3- It’s next level shit
There are 4 words in Reason #3. One is a contraction. One is a noun. Two are adjectives. Only one of the adjectives applies. And it isn’t the one that starts with ‘N’. A common rejoinder amongst followers of underground music that no one in their right mind would normally like, it also applies to pandering art like that proffered by TUTS. Don’t like the music of TUTS? You don’t get it. It’s too next level for you dunny. Other next level movements throughout history include the belief that the earth is flat, Kobe is a good teammate, OJ is innocent, the internet was created by Al Gore, and that Kenny G is a masterful jazz technican and musician. All next level!
Reason #4- Okayplayers
They are really, a subset of Reason #3, but have morphed into their own phylum, and thus deserve a separate mention. Genetically linked to Def Jukies. Often heard shouting Reason #3 at the top of their lungs as a first, second, third and fourth reason as to why you’re wrong about not liking TUTS. The Holy Grail of arguments when it comes to Okayplayers is that TUTS is too “musical” for most people. This is an offshoot argument spawned from reading too much of the material from the subject of Reason #1.
Reason #5- Conscious
Much like ‘LOL’ is the most used sequence of 3 letters on the internet, “conscious” is the most used adjective to describe TUTS. As referenced from dictionary.com, conscious refers to “having an awareness of one’s environment and one’s own existence, sensations, and thoughts”. Last I checked, except for those in comas, every human is capable of this, and partakes in this throughout their life. Yet for some reason, TUTS has cornered the market on this. Quite a feat and worthy of admiration. That being said, Black Thought is obviously very conscious when he battle raps about how dope he is. And D’Angelo is very conscious when he croons about how many girls he wants to bang. And Skillz is very conscious when he makes battle raps about Shaq. As were Slum Village when Dilla was a part of the crew, and they spent a whole album describing girls and their climaxes. All very conscious.