The Cosmic Journeyman
- Sep 29, 2005
- Creative Industrialist
OM, I can appreciate what you are saying. I agree to a certain extent. However, that is why I mentioned the hustle. Chamillionaire, Master P, Cash Money, Rap-a-lot, and many others (some of who were not very good at all) became commercial successes because of the HUSTLE not because of the talent. The label deals came AFTER they sold 40 or 50 thousand copies without a budget or radio play.
Trust me I understand how marketing and silly record execs keep us from hearing a lot of really good music but that means we are left to judge only the music we are exposed to. I am in the business, so I hear 50 underground CD's a week and 90 percent of them are garbage. Of the other 10 percent, half of it is really good and half of it is JUST COMMERCIAL. I know the difference. If I had my choice I would have Talib, Mos Def, Common, Blacalicious, Black Thought, and other rappers like that control the industry. Hey, but I am in business to make money, so I have to turn those down (the underground versions) in favor of Hurricane Chris, Lil Wayne, Luda (the underground versions) if I want to have a successful label. The way I TRY to control the future of Hip-Hop, is I EDUCATE my children on the difference between GOOD HIP-HOP and Plies! Not many 12 year olds are listening to Common, Nas, and Talib, but mine is because if he KNOWS BETTER he will BUY BETTER...and that is the only way we can change hip-hop for the better.
Oh yeah...and Neneh was the STUFF. I knew when she hit with the Buffalo Stance joint that she was going to be truble to market. The super creative (like Cee-lo Green) are often misunderstood and have trouble being hits in the americas but overseas they do very well.
I'm not going to knock the "hustle" because if I had stepped up my own production, most likely I would be in a position of having no disagreement with you. But here is the difference.
I AM the generation of HIP HOP CULTURE. I AM in the same age range of Herc, BAM, Caz, Flash.
I put ART before profit. I know that does not make sense to some people, even those who are closest to me on a persoanl level, but I AM also someone with family who has MADE IT, oftentimes being on the cutting edge and avante-garde, moving the CULTURE forward, just as jazz musicians such as Don Cherry, Ornette Colman and Eric Dolphy did as well. So, this is in my BLOODLINE.
Secondly, Neneh WAS not "the stuff". She IS the stuff.lol! Neneh still has huge following in Europe. This country in 1988 jus was not ready to handle the diversity of her material. It was more than failure of Virgin to develop a marketing strategy. They didnt know how to promote even her second video "Manchild" even though that release sold, as I said before, MILLIONS in other countries, including Canada.
The problem in 1988 was that they were trying to push this concept of Hip Hop's "Golden Age" while overseas genres such as trip hop, jungle, drum and bass, had already expanded hip hop, but the labels were still trying to market hip hop as something confined to South Brox or Manhattan.
I also see a contradiction here. I understand your position better now but still dont see how you can determine how Lil Wayne is better than Plies, for example. The FACT is brother, you cant CONTROL the future of hip hop. Its larger than any of us. All you might be able to CONTROL is a regional demographic, which, in the long run, will run its course.
Hip hop is GLOBAL. Its not something an individual can control. Only influence. And keep in mind something else. If you are indeed exposing your son to Common, Talib, etc., if you are also then making bank of pushing Lil Wayne and Luda, do you really think that you are even addressing the intent of this thread?
Brother Lil Wayne and his ilk are the main reason for the present dumbing down of hip hop. Of course, he got some mad skills, I gotta give him props for reppin' NOLA, but on the real "Lillipop" just ain't doin' it on the level of ART.
HIP HOP came out of the Black Arts Movement. I dont hardly ever read folks make this connection, but this is a fact I am aware of. And hip hop WAS the Cultural Arm of the Black Liberation Movement which carried us through the 70s when the political arm was politically repressed.
As presently constituted RAP has become the anti-revolutionary 5th Column within hip hop culture. And, just speaking for myself, Im no longer buying it.