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Thursday
Feb052009

F*ck Hip Hop?

I ask this question because it seems to be the general consensus among many people I know(including myself, but we’ll get into that in a bit). I understand the statement is rooted in frustration, disillusionment, and a dash of confusion, but I must admit their arguments are not baseless.

Whenever the topic of hip hop comes up in many circles I’m in, it’s usually met with silent grunts, frowns, angry mumbles and someone quickly changing the subject (I once had someone switch the damn topic to shitty diapers…Wow!)

I hear the same gripes time after time”….It’s repetitive…they don’t talk about anything real…the music hasn’t evolved…I’m tired of the gun talk..” The remarks can be rather brutal(and in my opinion well deserving).

If the topic survives for more than 30 seconds it usually transforms into a stroll down memory lane to revisit “the good ol’ days”. I swear when they speak I can smell the commanding scent of fresh vinyl, and used jan sport back packs filling the air as I am regaled with stories of crews long gone who “kept it real”.

If not visited with caution, nostalgia can behave like an invisible narcotic. Addictive, and as mind altering as any illegal substance picking at your spirit and leaving your mind stagnant ready to be devoured by the wolves of change.

Okay all mellow drama aside…

HIP HOP FUCKIN' SUCKS NOW!!

YES I SAID IT…WHAT?

Now let’s be clear, I’m not talking about hip hop’s underground. There are a few cats I check for who are doing some interesting things, but what sucks is many of them aren’t as publicized (read:popular) as the latest hip hop beef, shoot out , or chain snatching .

It’s a sad case when hip hop beef has become more entertaining than the music itself. The media and a lot of the acts are too preoccupied with pulling off publicity stunts, flooding the game with forgettable songs, and reminding their fans how tight their swag is. All in hopes of diverting your attention from the fact that their music is about as tight as SupaHead’s vagina.

I’m willing to bet you a cool 100 bucks that you can name a shit load of publicity stunts, out of the blue incidents, or diss records that were presented to the public in the last six months before you can name 10 classic game changing albums that were released in the last three years. Fuck it…give me some classic songs if that’s too difficult to pull off.

Ladies and Gentleman hip hop has officially reached rock bottom. Much like the inauguration of Barack Obama…I never thought I’d live to see it.

Rappers have become a tired cliché. I’ve gotten more entertainment from those two dudes who always do those hip hop skits on SNL. I’ve tried to work with other emcees in the game but I find it hard to work with cats with an ego the size of the Washington Monument on steroids. Some of you dudes need to seriously humble your fuckin selves and learn to behave a little more professionally. I make it my business to treat people with an equal amount of respect regardless of profession or social status.

I’m a music fan first and foremost. Therefore I believe I speak for many frustrated fans when I say:

Fuck your swag, your block, the size of your crew, how many birds you flip, and all that other bullshit you clowns are lying about. We all know your jewels are rented, your cars are leased, and your two child support payments away from being locked up and being somebody’s “down ass chick”.

And before I receive any stupid pointless comments dubbing me “a hater” let me ask this question: Since when does having a difference of opinion with someone, or calling someone out on their bullshit make you “a hater”?

Are you fuckin’ shittin’ me? Has it gotten that bad? Are you muthafuckas that pussy that you’d rather keep your thoughts to yourself because you don’t want to be seen as a hater? Are you that desperate to fit in? Man, I’m going to save that for another rant. I’m disgusted. What happened to hip hop’s fuckin balls. Maybe corporate America slashed them off , bagged ‘em up and dropped them off in the middle of the desert for the vultures to feast on.

Being an emcee used to mean something. Pride, dignity, our words were weapons. Now they’ve been reduced to humorous anecdotes, catch phrases, and dance steps to sell lame products and shit tasting beer. Disgraceful. We’ve gone from being the voice of a generation to a fuckin punchline on Leno.

Who’s to blame? Who gives a shit! If your house is burned down to the fuckin ground, which would be your biggest wish? To find the person who burned your house down or wishing your house didn’t burn down in the first place.

I don’t know man. The Roots are retiring from touring, Jean grae retired, Common’s doing movies, Nas is still out there, but he’s not enough. We need a movement damn it.

It was a movement of collective forward thinkers that brought hip hop to it’s prominence eons ago. Ehh…whatever. The fans have moved on so maybe it’s only fitting that the acts have moved on.

Maybe subconsciously I’ve moved on in some way, that’s why I went out and created my own style of hiphop/rock.

Yes…Rock. Yes I play a guitar…yes I listen to metal..yes I support other genres of music, and yes it ain’t “traditional hip hop” which if I may add is the dumbest fuckin phrase I’ve heard in a minute.

Hip hop can not be confined to a sound. It’s about a feeling, and expressing real emotions. Creativity lives at its core and creativity can not (and should not) be married to conservative ideals. *Sigh…you know what? Fuck it.

My band and I are going to concentrate on doing what it is we do. Giving people our 200 percent on each song, breaking rules, following our ideas and pissing a few people off a long the way. And that’s about as Hip Hop as we can keep it.

 

“I'm an intellectual/Of rap, I'm a professional and that's no question, yo..”

-Nas -Halftime

 

Heron Demarco

http://indisorderwetrust.blogspot.com/

http://myspace.com/indisorderwetrust

 

Reader Comments (5)

Yawn. Pretty sure I read this same article several years ago.

February 6 | Unregistered CommenterDaryl

Wow! I haven't actually seen an abundance of "frustrated truth" being spoken in a long time. I agree that what is marketed as "Hip-Hop" today is very shameful. It IS all about the next beef, it IS all about the next publicity stunt. And the problem lies with the AUDIENCE ITSELF.

In Industrial Rock, you have a dedicated community base that doesn't give a flying f**k what is currently MAINSTREAM, they remain Loyal and Honor their Culture. Same with Country, same with Electronica, same with many other sub-genres.

AC/DC fans came out from "hiding in caves" to show support, the Kiss Army will mobilize upon request, and U2 still rocks crowds. Can we as "original Hip-Hop kids" say the same for Rakim, E-40, ScarFace, MC Lyte, 8Ball & MJG or Queen Latifah? Coast to Coast, there is an absence of a Hip-Hop CULTURE that supports via Loyalty and Honor of their musical community.

Check this out, as a DJ/Media Agency (1999-2007) who talked and worked alongside other fellow DJs all throughout the U.S. and several Internationally, I can tell you firsthand, the problem lies with the relationship between the "Audience and the Media". It's an idiotic cycle.

So... Fans claim they're "tired of the same old stuff"... why then didn't THEY purchase Common albums for the past 10 years? Why are all the progressive singles released by even artists like Game, Young Buck, Lil Flip, Fabolous, Trick Daddy, etc., simply Blown Off as "whack shyt by my favorite artist"? Why did they leave the ORIGINAL versions of Joe Budden & 50 Cent to be ignored? (Thus the reason their styles changed to appease the Marketplace).

Now the typical "hip-hop audience" is loving every uttering Lil Wayne puts out there as a rockstar wanna-be (notice: look at his hands on the Frets, and LISTEN to the guitar riffs. They don't MATCH up b/c he's using it as a PROP!)

Heron, simply put... the new "Hip-Hop Audience" only WANTS what the Mainstream Media TELLS them to want. Hip-Hop hasn't been our "lost little secret" for over a decade. It is 100% Popular Music.

And Popular Music ALWAYS follows what the corporate media puts forth as "the Top 10 newest hotness". Can't hate on that, it's how it's always been in the entertainment industry.

The problem is that there used to be what I call a "resident audience" for authentic and creative Hip-Hop. A core fan-base if you will, of free thinking and progressive individuals. It's what created that first initial blast of Unity back in the day. Regardless of the SOUND of Hip-Hop, the CULTURE of Hip-Hop was always supported prior to it's shift to Pop. It's a whole new conversation for another day as to "why" and "how" this all happened.

I guess it's time to re-invent for a new generation, but THIS TIME the Culture needs to be held Accountable for it's own actions, and not defer to whatever the mainstream calls for (unless it wants to suffer a similar fate as what we used to call "Hip-Hop")

Well, that's all the mental energy I want to expend into this subject for the time being... off to doing more Creative things.

Great topic for discussion Heron. I'd like to chat with you more in depth about this topic (as well as any other original fans of Hip-Hop Culture). Our e-mail is jamal_jasmine@unworldlife.com and Yahoo IM is unworldlife.

~ Jamal and Jasmine Rose
Un World Life - Artists, Activist, Altruists and Everyone else Disgusted or Left Out by the Mainstream

Your post was as informative and enlightening as it was eloquent. After visiting your site I can sense your passion for not only hip hop, but music in general. I look forward to learning more from you both. I will be sure to contact you in the future.Peace and stay real.

HD

February 7 | Unregistered CommenterHeronDemarco

Wow MTT really needs to think about what it publishes. Not only was this a tiresome rant, I was angered that 5 minutes of my time was wasted reading all the whining and negativity.

Quit whining about not being mainstream or as popular as you would like. Probably about 90% of musicians out there think like this and probably 89% that do just aren't good enough/haven't found their sound yet/are lazy and like to bitch about things rather than do something productive and practice.

Yes a lot of mainstream rap sucks. Yes a lot of mainstream rock really sucks. But they are popular because they are approaching it a form of entertainment rather than just music. Most People will choose to be entertained any day of the week than to listen to some deep thoughtful music.

Do more people watch the Super Bowl and CSI or the History Channel and CNN?

Just deal with it.

PS. There is nothing wrong with being or wanting to be mainstream. And there are actually a lot of good songs in each genre out there that are mainstream. So please do everyone a favor and never write another article again. Thanks

February 20 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Dude. The problem with the terrible, useless gangster rap you talk about is part of a much bigger problem, that of rampant materialism and endless, empty hype. It's an American thing. Empty hype is the common American's modus operandi. I personally am always willing to be the conspiracy theory martyr and say that there are fouler things at work than stupidity and superficiality. I think there's been at least some kind of concerted effort to promote specifically the bad, vacuous rap bullshit that dominates the charts, in order to stupefy people and promote segregation and stereotyping. But that's just a theory. In all likelihood, it is simply stupidity, and, in turn, the entertainment industry's catering to stupidity. They've gotta make money, don't they?

Alright, that's all from me, I don't know how much of what I wrote has already been said by others before me. But I'll tell you this: MF Doom. And other great underground acts. There's actually a whole lot of great stuff out there. It's just not being advertised.

We'll stick to the underground, cause that's the best we can do, eh?

March 19 | Unregistered Commenteralex

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