There are some people in this world for whom the normal is unacceptable. IN Sports it's no longer enough for Kobe or Lebron to get to the playoffs, they are expected to compete for and win the title every year. Alex Rodriguez cannot just hit .320 and knock in 120 runs, he needs to carry the team to the World Series. Same goes for Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre. In hip-hop, Jay-z and Eminem are probably the two big names for whom above average doesn't cut it.
Taking these two and looking for the moment, just look at why we think they need to do so much. Jay set the standard for an artist since his second album when he garnered critical acclaim and raked in huge sales. As the biggest and so far the best white rapper Eminem faces the same conundrum. We don't even remember that the reason those early albums took off and did so good was because we took what they gave us for what it was.
It becomes just like junkies trying to get the next fix. You were so giddy upon hearing the first few album from these artists that now it is hard to get excited for something that you expect. There are human limitations to even the best of us in a field and once you get to such a level it is hard to surprise people and continue to push the bar higher because you are expected to do it.
For Jay what more can he do lyrically to push himself higher? Do an entire album of "punchlines" that stand out? It seems we are at the point we begin to criticize every syllable he says like it has to be groundbreaking. Maybe they can get together and create an entirely new language so we as fans can be impressed.
Meanwhile, Rick Ross does and entire album that sounds like the last album he did with two themes to all of the songs and it be accepted because we don't think he has the potential to do what a Jay-z, Common, or Nas is capable of. We let Soula Boy slide with bullshit and he thinks its him that makes the song. "Kiss me through the phone" doesn't sell because of Soulja, it's the hook and that's it. "Turn My swag On" is his beat I'll give credit, but the verses are downright ridiculous.
To a lesser extent this happens with 50 cent and Nas as well. For Nas we have come to accept that he will have an inconsistent album and have some lazy tracks on it. But everyone else can't do that. 50 is at the point where if he doesn't push 750 thousand units in a week he is considered a failure because his first album did so much. That is what happened to Nelly. If your single isn't bananas from the jump you can chalk it up because labels aren't even going to let you get a chance to build because they have built in feelings about the response you have to get from jump in order to be a success.
We as people need to have realistic feelings and attachments to these people and be content with what we get sometimes. I am definately not telling you to avoid criticism and breaking down what people put out, because we need that. However, we need to adjust and hold everyone to the same standard and not use a "Star Scale" for those who early on blow away our minds and expectations.