Hiphop doesn’t need you
As well as showing me that its hard as fuck to maintain a website while behaving as a grown-up, wage-earning member of the ‘real world’ (no Pedro Zamora) this new job has also shown me one thing that I guess everyone needs to see or hear every now and again, and which helps maintain a focus on whats really important in life. And its this…
Hiphop doesn’t need you, and you don’t need Hiphop.
Yes kids, contrary to popular belief, even when you’re not listening, commercial Hiphop stations are continuing to spin ‘Ridin’ Dirty’ and ‘Its Goin’ Down’ every 65 minutes (extra 5 minutes account for the ‘old school’ jam of the day – usually ‘ T.R.O.Y.’ or something from “All Eyez On Me”.)
Major labels are continuing to take out full page ads in the Source & XXL, post shitty flash banners on Allhiphop.com, and run tons of radio and TV blurbs for their new ‘ho of the month’, who, as we all know, will be swiftly kicked to the kerb (aka ‘The Milian Boot’) once they fail to recoup their advances. (And yes of course this has always been the cynical way of the world with record companies, but I’m on a roll, so play with it.) You ravioli heads – when will you learn that one hot single will NEVER turn into hot album sells if there aren’t MORE hot singles on said album?
Meanwhile, the underground and indie labels continue to churn out largely average rap music from faceless navel gazers, scratching each others backs in sparsely populated internet forums and on myspace comments section. Occasionally they toss in grandiose descriptions in their artist presskits which use large words, and larger binary and hexadecimal numbers whilst describing their subjects to appear ‘next level’ while maintaining that each of their little rappers and deejays are the world’s greatest. This is of course despite the fact that they’ve only warmed up the stage for Cappadonna once, and their album’s beats sound like a small mouse slowly suffocating inside a plastic bag. And even though you’re not there as much as they’d like anymore to read their emails with the free-mixtape-cut-in-mp3-format attachment plugging their longplayer with the badly photoshopped artwork (cdbaby represent-represent-sent), they still continue to send them.
Hard as it may be for you AND them to believe, Hiphop has moved on. Despite the begging emails and despite the radio rotations drumming Clear Channel’s payola-pumped top 6 into your dome every hour, Hiphop doesn’t really need you or your money anymore.
Hiphop doesn’t need you. In a climate where artists are seemingly paying more attention to their movie, clothing and shoe deals, their ringtone download rates, and their next personal appearance, than to their music, its obvious that when you don’t chip in your 12.99, some wanna-be-down corporation will step up to the plate with a hefty wedge.
Hiphop doesn’t need you. Its grown to the point where the weakest albums will ship 200K, and despite this being a far shout from plat status, it still brings in some nice bank. Hiphop thus has gotten lazy. There are rare exceptions, but in the majority of cases, artists have put the artform way down their priority list. (Its almost understandable – if you can get money without REALLY trying, then why really try?) We, the audience, are equally guilty. We’ve allowed our standards to slip so much that the quality benchmark is now so low to the ground that any fool with a hot beat can hop over it. Do I sound contradictory? Of course – that’s the best part about this site – my opinions change by the day, and while yesterday the collected works of No Limit held a special place in my heart, today, in this picky mood I’m in, I’m holding a harder line (nh).
You don’t need Hiphop. Well not strictly true. You don’t need all this shit masquerading as Hiphop. What you do need is to be more careful with which artists you give your hard-earned to… survival of the fittest etc etc is the only real way to tell these fools in charge that what they’re trying to present to you is NOT what you want to hear. And that goes for labels and artists on the commercial AND underground levels. And no, this ain’t another one of those rants by someone who wants to take it back to ’88, or ’94, or some other year where they feel Hiphop was in its healthiest state… this is just a short little note by someone having a bad day, and who wants everyone else to have a bad day too.