With my firing from TopStuffingHipHop.com unfortunately, I actually went through a steep decline of depression. (not that any of you people care). But with all that being stated, I thought I come back to my once great blog and discuss what’s been on my mind, as I sit and watch the genre I once loved so much fall so far. It’s not as if hip-hop is all bad, I mean we need the”ratchets” and the “hit-makers” but where’s the balance? So today I vent to you all, “The State of Hip-Hop”.
Hip-Hop, where did you go? Nowhere silly ignorant people, it’s been right here the entire time but us as fans allowed it to become this. It’s so easy to completely blame somebody else when in actuality this is really all our faults. Rappers didn’t just decide to become bad and only think about hits and numbers, because it was somewhere between the early 2000’s and midway through that century mark that fans lost the “Quality over Quantity” mind state. When Jay-Z made 2000’s Big Pimpin’ with then unknown UGK, (which could arguably be the reason they catapulted to the top of our greatest rappers lists) it was more than a single it was a historical landmark in hip-hop. That being we can crossover and still be lyrical. Right? Wrong. Every other rapper afterwards tried to reinvent themselves as pimps, players, straight hustlers and completely ex out of what maybe Jay had planned for us. Yes I say maybe because Jigga is indeed that Nigga, needless to say that was the beginning of the end.
I must think to myself still (at that time) being only so young and not realizing what hip-hop had just become right before my own eyes, it became a marketable scheme that we allowed the “Man” or in this case “Men” to get there greedy little hands on. And from then on out it was a slow and painful decline of lyricist with simple trends just coming and going away as if rappers were seasons. We went from, Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas, Outkast & DMX considered our favorite rappers to Dem Franchise Boyz, Chingy, Ja-Kwon (Does anyone know where he is?), Plies and
Soilder Soulja Boy. Thus the ringtone era of hip-hop was born…
Was this considered a great marketable plan? Yes. Did it benefit hip-hop in anyway? No. With me being from the south it seemed as if all the rappers who were labeled kings in the “Ringtone Era” happened to be from Atlanta, Georgia. Then that led to Nas supposedly taken his stamp on his already dominating hip-hop legacy by naming his 2006 album Hip-Hop Is Dead. He blamed the south and gathered a whole lot of controversy but could you blame him? At that time, Jay-Z was just coming out of retirement, Eminem was trapped in his drug habit rehabilitation, Outkast’s last album (together that is) had just dropped, & DMX fell to drugs as well. So who else was supposed to put his self on the line for the genre that he loved and at least give an attempt to save it (It was a great LP, but pretty lackluster compared to the title). The south tarnished him and he even got S-Beezy (Soulja Boy) to even state that Nas, “Killed hip-hop and his own career”. Quite the statement from a young lyri… HAHAHA I can’t even muster myself up to complete that. But when the smoked cleared and iPhones began to emerge it was the end of yet another era in hip-hop, but this one I was thankful for. But can we be completely mad at the ringtone era? Lean Wit It, Rock It, Laffy Taffy & Pop Lock and Drop It did come out of that. Plus we also got a EEUWWWW, Soulja Boy Tell Em at the beginning of Soulja Boy’s still famous (or infamous) single Crank That (Superman). Then that was the birth of social networking in hip-hop.
The reasoning of me mentioning Soulja Boy in the last sentence of the last paragraph is simple you see and that being he opened the door for the next marketable plan in hip-hop… YouTube (We should give him credit you know). YouTube had already blown up the likes of normal people doing absurdly stupid things, (let’s say “Afro Ninja” maybe) so why not search for musical acts right? Then Jerkin’ was discovered. The New Boyz were some characters acting as if adding a dance with a song was something so completely new in hip-hop (Heavy D? Digital Underground’s Humpty? SOULJA FREAKING BOY YET AGAIN?) But people feed in to it and we had a new fad, jerk crews. If you read this and say you never had a jerk crew then you’d be simply lying through your teeth because even grown me attempted doing this silly dance as they did with The Superman. Hell I found myself mastering it. But it got old, fast. Sadly enough though the New Boyz dropped their own signature landmark and found their way onto the pop scene, even with them disappearing for quite some time now. They had a few hits like “Backseat” and “Better with the Lights Off” but flopped when it came to crunch time (The album sales). Was it because they were truly meant to be one hit wonders? No. Was it because they didn’t time it correctly? No. Hipsters were born.
Hipsters became the cornerstone of hip-hop around 2010. They decided who was cool enough, who wasn’t, where to find their music and posted tons of images of people we never even heard of or seen via Tumblr. Twitter and Tumblr is the reasoning we stand here today with rappers like: Waka Flocka Flame, Gucci Mane, Two9 & even Trinidad James. The hipster scene is probably the most worst in Atlanta, Georgia because anything somebody else isn’t listening to they’ll boost that artist(s) credibility in the “streets” but once somebody is allowed in the camp outside of the hipster circle then it is no longer considered good to them. Odd Future is a prime example. I had a friend whose name for the like of me I can’t remembered loved Odd Future and introduced me to them (seeing I guess he thought I too was a hipster instead of a natural hip-hop head) and I was in LOVE! Reminded me of Eminem if D12 had better lyricist or he was in Wu-Tang. This was around the time of Bastard, Tyler The Creator’s 2009 release, so I had yet to discover Earl or Domo. But to make a long story short around the time Goblin came out, I asked if he heard it and he said flat out, “Man OF is lame now because everybody is on them”. It drove me insane, how could you just immediately start hating an artist for absolutely no reason, or because their fan base grew? That to me is just disgusting, disgusting as a fan, and disgusting to hip-hop. So after that I was in a horrid mood the rest of the day, and then another good friend of mines pulled me to the side and explained what I just experienced. He used the term, “hipster” and told me all about it. All I could do was simply shake my head. But it helped me come to the conclusion of simply what we let hip-hop become once again. Our selfishness drove hip-hop (well mainstream at least) to the ground, 6 feet under.
So once again hip-hop fans, bloggers, hipsters whatever you considered yourself to be. Remember hip-hop isn’t this way because it just happened; hip-hop is this way because we let it happen. Should anybody be surprised or upset when a Chief Keef, Trinidad James, Kreayshawn or A$AP Rocky make it? Not at all, because that’s how the world is today. Society has lost its standards and somehow the thin line or the balance between ratchetness & righteousness has been cut. This is all our faults as fans for supporting those artists who we proclaim to be “whack” then go out and buy there singles, which contributes to them getting $1 Million dollar contracts so simple and easy. So please, the next time you wonder why your favorite rapper isn’t getting the recognition he or she deserves, look at your iTunes playlist and remind yourself why.
The opinions and views expressed here are the opinions of the designated author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or views of any of the individual members of Dead End Hip Hop.