In hip-hop we are seeing a growing trend of catchy chorus, ad-lib heavy, beat dominating music. Less focus is being spent on lyrical content and rhymes and more attention is being paid to sounds in general. Rappers like Waka Flocka, Gucci Mane, Plies etc. seem to of really embraced this trend and receive a lot of negative flack for this. However this is not a trend that these particular artists started, this is something that has been growing ever since hip-hop became a facet of the American mainstream. Lyrical decline has been happening steadily for a while and some rappers have traded in lyrical complexity in their albums for profit.
“I dumbed down for my audience and doubled my dollars. They criticize me for it but yet they all yell “holla”….If skills sold, truth be told, id probably be…lyrically, Talib Kweli…Truthfully, I wanna rhyme like common sense….(but i did 5 mill) I havent been rapping like Common, sense………….Us as rappers must decide whats important…..and i cant help the poor if im one of them, so i got rich and gave back…to me thats the win, win”
The irony is that this quote did not come from a rapper you would expect to say such a thing. This is a quote from Jay-Z’s Moment of Clarity. So now you have a top 5 rapper of all time admitting that he dumbs his music down for the public to sell more records. Jay-Z isnt the only one, he is just the only one who openly admitted it. That is why most mixtapes are better than the artist’s actual albums. Whether it be Lil Wayne, Fabolous, Drake, etc. Albums are made for commercial appeal and consumption. Rappers are pressured by executives to be able to make a song that can be played in clubs or a song that is extra radio friendly, because that is what gets the broader public to go out and purchase the album. Most hip-hop albums sadly are not targeted toward the “rap adict” niche market. However rap addicts are the ones to blame. When was the last time you went out and purchased an album? Name me the last 3 albums you have purchased? (my point exactly). We created this climate. Mixtapes dont make the artists any money, they just create a buzz. What lyrically skilled rappers now have to do is find a balance where their material doesnt totally go over their audience’s heads on the album and yet not lose their credibility as an MC. That is why most rap addicts cannot stand the singles off of albums and find that the “album fillers” are the best songs. Waka Flocka very controverisaly stated in an interview:
“It aint got nothing to do with lyrics. I aint got no lyrics…thats why I dont trip when n-ggas be like, “Man, shawty can’t rap”. The n-gga that everybody say is lyrical, they aint got no shows”
So this takes us back to the growing trend of less lyrical content. It would almost seem that some rappers use their voices like musical instruments nowadays, not even speaking english, just focusing on actual sounds. Popular adlibs like “BOW” ,”AYE”, and “POW to name a few. I now look at this as another division of hip-hop, because yes it is still hip-hop.This music has its own purpose and does not have to be compared and scrutinized by every hip-hop fan. Even the lyrical content lover should not be ashamed if they catch themselves bouncing to a Lex Luger produced Flocka song. The reason they should not be ashamed is because we as consumers not doing our best in purchasing music and the vary artists that we covet dumbing down lyrics, propelled this division into existance. Lyrical complexity in mainstream rap declined way before Waka Flocka, Gucci, Soulja Boy, and O.J. the Juiceman. So to paint them (and artist like them) as the scapegoats is completely unfair. Everyone has their own preferences in hip-hop and thats why there are so many subdivisions. You do not have to claim your niche within the hip-hop genre, there is no rule that states you cant be a fan of both Mos Def and Gucci Mane. It is still hip-hop and the better versed you are, the better connoisseur you will become……
Listen G, they tell me you should come down cousin…but i flatly refused, i aint dumb down nothin
Anyone who truly knows me, knows that i love hip-hop. I cant go a day with out it. Whether it be skimming blogs daily for new music, checking artist’s twitters for videos or scavenging the internet for just anything i can find. I really just get captured in it almost as if im watching a sporting event on tv. Blogs are like Sportscenter to hip-hop addicts, a daily update of what happened in the rap world and (believe it or not) the rap world moves just as fast as the sporting world. Rappers are all competing to be the best, just like athletes. Some have crews that could be compared to sports teams and you might like the whole crew but you always have a favorite out the crew.Similar to how everyone always has a favorite player from their favorite team.
I swear sports and music are so synonymous…cuz we wanna be them and they wanna be us
Hip-hop is driven by competition and that is what separates it from other genres. Competition has always been in hip-hop’s DNA from the beginning with freestyle battles in NYC parks. There is no sharing the title of being the best in hip-hop, it is like a heavy weight title. There can only be one champion. What makes rap so unique is not only do you have to compete against other artist’s record sales and material, you have to actually be able to deal with the other artist directly attacking you verbally.
An excerpt from Jay-Z’s book Decoded :
In hip-hop, top artists have the same pressure of a rock star like Bono—the pressure to meet expectations and stay on top. But in hip-hop there’s an added degree of difficulty: While you’re trying to stay on top by making great music, there are dozens of rappers who don’t just compete with you by putting out their own music, but they’re trying to pull you down at the same time. It’s like trying to win a race with every runner behind you trying to tackle you……Of course, most artists are competitive, but hip-hop is the only art that i know that’s built on direct confrontation” (p.70)
Hip-hop and sports have so much in common. Rappers even view themselves like sporting icons. lil Wayne can be compared to Kobe Bryant and Jay-Z can be compared to Michael Jordan. Considering both of their bodies of work. Wayne is on a roll that could be compared to Kobe’s first Laker 3 peat. At this point his body of work isnt substantial enough to be in the same breath as Michael Jordan’s (jay’s) countless accolades.
Lil Wayne Show Me What You Got Freestyle
When it comes down to this recording, im must Lebron James if hes Jordan….NO, i want rings for my performance….im more Kobe Bryant of an artist….same coach, same game, been startin….same triangle offense!
That is what a great rapper is able to do. Say a line to attack another artist with out even having to say their name, but you know exactly who they are referring too. This does not exist in any other genre. Jay-Z defined it best, “Hip-hop is the perfect mix between poetry and boxing”. Subliminal jabs at other artists are hidden within poetry. The listener’s job is to listen to rap battles like a judge watching a fight ringside and keep track of the scorecard.
and imma champion, wheres the f-ckin Rocky theme?
Mac Miller’s mixtape “The Best Day Ever” was released yesterday. The tape is getting some negative comments on blogs from fans arguing that his previous tapes were better. Those sentiments are just what comes with being an artist. Some fans arent going to like where the music is going and some fans will like the new material even more than the previous. The tape is well produced and bolstered with production by super producers Chuck Inglish (of the Cool Kids) and Just Blaze (Jay-Z’s former go-to producer). Also has a features from Phonte and XXL mag’s 2010 rookie of the year, Wiz Khalifa.
we do this cuz we love it and its setting us apart…we was already gone when you was only on your mark
Mac displays versatility in this tape with changing rhyming patterns, occasional deep subject matter, and some unique hooks.I enjoyed listening to the tape as a whole but i personally dont like the hooks where he is semi-singing or the hooks that sound like a singalong in the background. He should just throw Wiz (the new king of hooks) on those tracks to do the hooks and they would be much better. That’s just my opinion. Once again, one fan might not like something in the music and another fan might not be able to get enough. Thats the beauty of hip-hop, no one has the same preferences. Download the tape and see what your sentiments are.
Some notable songs from the tape: Donald Trump, I’ll Be There, Wear My Hat, & She Said
Dload link: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/en/view-album/10223-best-day-ever
so bright, you? no lights…me? im shinin like a strobe light
This is a sensitive subject for most hip-hop enthusiast. The mainstream success of hip-hop has really altered artist’s personas. Nowadays fans are led to believe that every rapper at one point in their lives sold drugs, lived in poverty, and/or owned a gun. The reason this happened is because previous rapper’s authentic stories of those elements hit the mainstream and laid a blueprint for what sells records.
So what happens when an artist’s persona is proven counterfeit? Does that make the music that you previously viewed as quality, trash?…I personally dont feel this way because that would be hypocritical. How could you as a fan be upset that the artist did not live the stories they are telling? That is like being mad at Denzel Washington or Will Smith for not really being in real life who they are in their movies. An artist that really seems to get this treatment is Rick Ross ever since 50 Cent exposed him to have been a parole officer. This proved to be detrimental to some of his hardcore rap fanbase. Something that I do not understand. He wasnt selling the public on “William Roberts”, he was selling the public on Rick Ross (a name that people knew he stole from the LA drug kingpin)…Who cares if William Roberts every sold drugs on the streets of Miami?That may or may not be true…but street cred should never equate to rap skills and
William Roberts Rick Ross is a great artist. When he is on stage he can be Rick Ross and when he goes home he can be William, it does not matter to me. If you dont live out everything that he says in his songs then you dont have the right to be upset when you find out that the artist doesn’t. Take it for what it is, great music and great entertainment. Rap would be a lot better if more artists made music similar to quality of Rick Ross’… Once again street cred does not equate to rap skill
Everyday Im Hustlin
Robber Baron- any businessman or banker who used questionable business practices to become powerful or wealthy.
Does this term apply to Diddy? It has been said that he is cancerous to a career and there is definitely evidence to argue that. His business savvy and ability to stay relevant is something to be admired, but why is Diddy always the last man standing? Bad Boy Records has managed to stay around for decades but the artists always disappear after their stints with Bad Boy. Whether it be Black Rob, Craig Mack,Danity Kane, G.Dep, Aasim, Da Band, Cassie etc. The person who seems to gain and still thrive after these ventures is Diddy. He is able to latch on and talk in the background of tracks, show his face on videos, appear with the artists everywhere.I think with the intention of giving the artist a buyable cosign, but to also keep himself relevant. It would seem like the theme of the group Dirty Money existed long before Dawn and Kaleena came. Diddy headlining while the actual singers play the background. He surrounds himself with who is popular and that keeps him relevant. This still goes on today, he now seems to be Rick Ross’ best friend and now call themselves “The Bugatti Boyz”.It doesnt stop there, Diddy also is often seen with Nicki Minaj, hopping on stage with Wiz Khalifa to accompany him performing Black and Yellow, going on stage with Jay Electronica and cosigning him in interviews.It reminds me of what Suge Knight said at the ‘95 source awards:
“If you wanna stay a star and don’t want the executive producer ALL up in the videos, dancin…come to death row”
Obviously Bad Boy proved to be the better label, but in a weird sense it seems like signing the Bad Boy contract is like being on Death Row for your career. To me it is no wonder why Jay Electronica chose to sign with Roc Nation instead of Bad Boy.The artist just always seem to fade and their careers die on Bad Boy.Im not saying it is Puffy’s fault and I would never understate what he has done for hip-hop culture, but it is just strange how the pattern repeats. Just something to think about.
10 years from now and we’ll still be on top…yo i thought i told you that we wont stop
“Mania!”, The new Pac Div and Don
Cannon CANNON! mixtape is finally out and it was pretty much what was expected….good punchlines, good stories, and as always GREAT beats… they definatley make mixtapes to an album format (like drake) opposed to the constant punchline freestyle format (like fab and wayne)…overall a great tape and worth the dload…”The Mirror” is definitely the highlight of the tape to me…
embraced who i am, neva tried to b different…momma saw the king in my eyes as an infant.
notable songs of the tape: “The Mirror”, “Anti-Freeze”, “Fallin”
Dload link: http://pacdivdaily.com/