I love hip-hop discussions. I can waste the day away defending statements like “Fabolous is a waste of rap talent,” and “Jay-Z is better than BIG” (if only I could get @gabezacchaeus to start video-taping his passionate rap discussions with friends). That being said, the JumpOff video above, which explores the nature of this internet era of hip-hop and the effective ways to get your music heard, was both a treat and a frustration—intriguing arguments were made, but I could only weigh-in by yelling at the screen.
My thoughts? So glad you asked…
The motive of every artist to be signed will always vary. Some want the money, others want the fame. Occassionally, you stumble on an artist that yearns to be heard just so that their message can benefit the ears and hearts of the masses. Whatever the case, when an artist decides to extend themsleves to someone who has the power to change their life, why knock their hustle? Is it to spare someone else the distraction of Twitter mentions, blog comments and CD’s on the street?
The music game is ridiculously competetive and even moreso, is the internet; so much, that even music-lovers don’t bother trying to hear it all. J. Cole wouldn’t be a Roc Nation artist if his blog-buzz didn’t work its way up to Jay-Z. Kendrick Lamar, too, might’ve been just another Compton kid rapping, if not for these blogs. Sorry folks, it comes with the job. You need only listen, if you feel like it, or dismiss if you don’t.
However, I agree that the person who foolishly (albeit, bravely) mounts a lightpost in order to get the attention of a celebrity, should be ignored, arrested and thrown into a prison for idiots. Rewarding that kind of behavior would indeed start a very unsafe trend. The likelihood is that his music isn’t worth the time anyway.
Some rappers aren’t lyrically inclined but are essential to hip-hop, nonetheless. When speaking on the current state of hip-hop, we should be careful not spit on certain artists music just for lack of substantive content. I’ve always found it interesting that folks praise the old school, calling all of it “real hip-hop,” when Big Daddy Kane’s and Slick Rick’s songs didn’t really possess many thought-provoking lyrics. And, clever wordplay in rap is more prevalent now than it was back then. Simply put, I’m no Soulja Boy fan, but how is “Soulja Girl” any different from Jay-Z’s “Bonnie and Clyde ’03”? Would you dare say that Jay isn’t hip-hop? The truth is, Nitty Scott, the gorgeous girl in the video, can spit, but I’ve yet to hear her craft a dope song. Different strokes for different folks.
We can remain connected to our hip-hop roots and embrace our genre’s new direction. My point was made at 3 min. 53 sec. into the video: Sub-genres exist within hip-hop and this allows for Waka Flocka fans to co-exist with Eminem Stans.
Step off the soap box people.