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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hip-Hop needs a general council

I know most people don't like the idea of someone holding down their freedom of expression and for the most part i agree, but the problem is that there has become such a low standard that someone, or group needs to step up and stand for something. Too many new artists doing stuff that they don't have the cache to be able to pull off, and generally disrespecting the game in some ways. A lot of this is because they don't know any better.

Look, in general I hate Waka Flacka Flame. I won't listen to that shit, however, for the sake of this blog and what the people have come to expect, I might have listened to his album if I thought it wasn't a mixtape. Honestly, to actually name your album "Flackavelli" at this stage, is something that should not have been allowed. A mixtape, fine, that's unofficial. However, Pac was one of the most influential artists ever, hip-hop or otherwise and for this idiot to take the title of his posthumous album is a mockery of music itself. Someone at some point was supposed to step in and say, no, this cannot happen. Not only is Waka not mentally capable of creating such work (and yes I'm being very judgemental here) but career wise, he hasn't been around long enough to justify saying he has the same kind of impact. Name me a song off of Flackavelli....I'll wait.

Then there was the last albums by Nas and Jeezy, "Nigger" and "The Recession". It's funny a friend told me that it seems as though the titles are on the wrong albums. It's like they mixed up the packaging. Which artist is more likely to be the "Nigger" and which one more likely to understand and use the idea of a "Recession" in an album. Not saying Nas is the smartest guy, but his track record can speak for itself. Someone needs to step in and tell Jeezy no in this situation, it isn't going to work for you. Yes, it's arrogant but dammit there need to be some sort of standards for hip-hop to survive and exist with respectability.

Last year we had Drake and Nicki Minaj both turn down being on the XXL freshmen cover. Who told them they were too good to be on the cover with the other rookies. They 'felt' like they were beyond that. How? No one on that cover decided in January to start rapping and ended up on the cover, they all put in years. Who is letting these new artists think they have already had 4 solid album careers, mix tapes? Those aren't albums kid, they don't count. Point blank, people need to be forced to have some respect for the game and what is truly sacred.

Yes there are some things that should be sacred in hip-hop. While competition is part of the game, you should have to have a minimum number of albums and direct contact to go at some people. Jay-Z vs. Jimmy and Cam'ron- that was fine, there were reasons behind it as well as a modicum of achievement for each party. But some of these other random out of the woodwork guys that can't even rap-need a strict "C'mon son" from Ed Lover. Any body can get dissed at any time but not by any one.

Now as I sit here seeing what's the latest haps, once again I see another situation where the council needs to be around to step in. Triple C's have decided to remake the Geto Boy's classic, "My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me" and of course, this shit is terrible. I don't care how popular you think you are, what the situation around you is, but some things you have to go over with a fine tooth comb before you touch.  This is one of them because it's ghetto and lame.

Look Let me know how you feel about the idea of a general council and who would be on it and what their purpose would be overall.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So I had to listen to the Racks remix even though it is terribly annoying and YC is one of the new most awfullest rappers ever, and he has the nerve to also have Yo Gotti and Ace Hood on the song. One thing I noticed, is Nelly back or did City Spud come home and start writing him some bars because his verse was best, and while there wasn't much competition, that's always impressive for Nelly. Eeven more because he is pretty much the same person as Rocko. and yes Ace Hood is still fucking terrible.

 You're not going to tell me that YC and Natalie Nunn wouldn't make the ugliest "C-List" couple ever

Monday, June 27, 2011

The search for the elusive female Eminem

So there are quite a few videos out there now that feature white girls rapping and trying to get some type of attention amongst the sea of nonsense and make it big. This is the Eminem effect. Anyone who knows anything understands that generally, an artist who becomes large on the scene in hip-hop has to have a large portion of their fanbase that is non-black, and generally white. The reason Eminem blew up was because white people (especially males in the 15-24 demographic at the time) could relate to him and wasn't too corny or a gimmick. While his initial single was weird and not typical for urban radio, he managed to gain the respect of urban or black youth culture which made him acceptable to the larger white audience.

It's only natural then, that the last untapped huge market for explosiveness is the white female rapper. When you consider that the female market is one of the most underserved in hip-hop in general, it seems like a no-brainer. However, finding a white female rapper is probably going to be the hardest thing to do. When you look at the black female rappers there has only been one breakout success since the late 90's and that's Nicki Minaj. It took damn near 11 or 12 years to replace Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown and that's just ridiculous. Eve was able to get some prominence,as did Trina, but neither of them has made the large scale impact across hip-hop. So there is no need to even address the existence of Rasheeda, Diamond, and the like.

The thing every rapper needs is credibility with the black audience as being an authentic purveyor of that person's lifestyle, and acceptance from their target audience. One of the problems that i have seen from these white females is that they don't have any story that is relatable to other white females...or at least the ones who are actually going to spend money on a record or song download. See, the 'hood white girls' fit into a smaller niche and the suburban white girls aren't really into that. Black females don't buy female rap records and also feel threatened by the white woman in the hood phenomenon. Then there are the attempts to make pseudo-hip-hop yet market it to the urban crowd like this:

One main issue is one of identity. Where do they fit in? A white girl may like rap and be able to rap but how many of the people in her circle are fans of rap and how many just like whatever is popular? A big thing in promotion is getting a solid core following and there is just too much competitiveness between females for this to truly work out, especially in the white community where a lot of emotions are difficult to express. I know you're thinking that's bullshit but it's true over the broader range of demographics. White women are traditionally less independent than black women and also take the criticism in the work arena harder. They are also more pressured to enter traditional relationships and do the traditional thing in work. Point blank there are a lot of factors that come into play before you even start to talk about the music itself.

Now that's Snow the product with a decent crossover single (self described as chicano she looks just like Danica Patrick to me) and it's the type of song that will be needed for a white female rapper to make it. At the end it's not bad but the question is does it hit the sweet spot of commercial viability and relatability (i know that's not a word but it should be) to catapault it. Honestly, success in hip-hop is like catching lightening in a bottle at times because there are plenty of reasons why an artist might or might not make that leap to respectability. Right now, i would have to say that the most daunting task would be to establish a white female rapper, or at least hip-hop styled artist. The last two who could be considered successful in urban music would be Mariah Carey, and Teena Marie who was actually Portugese. What do you think about the viability of a white female hip-hop artist.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lupe is a Fiasco

So I have been trying to figure out exactly how I wanted to approach this little issue. I have problems with people going at Barack Obama, I do, more than most politicians but in general, I don't think people have enough respect for how much the President is actually up against and how much work he has to do. However, people do have a right to express their displeasure, though I can also cast a critical eye on how they're doing it and what it is I can think they're trying to accomplish. In Lupe's case, he is another person who is at odds with the US foreign policy.

That in an of itself isn't too much to get me riled up but when you consistently call the leader of this country, and the free world in general a terrorist, I have a problem with that. When Kanye had his rant about George Bush I went against the grain and called him the idiot he was being because it wasn't the time, the forum, nor the proper way to handle the situation. This is the same, where Lupe is attempting to be controversial and extreme just to get attention.

I mean even Bill O'reilly has to defend Barack which is something that I know irritated him but there is a bigger point here. You can't just keep jumping to conclusions and going off of your limited information. I know conspiracy brothers always think they have the inside track on information that the general public doesn't have, or that when you prove them wrong, they have a way to excuse it so I don't want to try and change their minds totally, but it stands to reason that you aren't going to know everything that happens in the government because you aren't in it. This is called need-to-know information and you don't need to know and in fact it's better if you don't know so that others can do their jobs. Is the government always forthcoming, no. does the government agenda always align with my personal one or that of my circle of associates, no, but neither does the next group of people's agenda. The idea that if it does not fit in with my personal goals then it must be wrong or fraudulent would be doing the exact same thing.

I know it might seem odd, but Lupe sickens me. I honestly look at him as the Nas type who has read a couple of books but when someone tries to break it down, and that doesn't fit into what he has already decided, he turns that knowledge away. He is a guy who seems intelligent but isn't necessarily smart. He also is arrogant in that Kanye way where he comes across as if what he says is the absolute and if you don't go along then you are the idiot, not that it is based on fact, but just because it is how he feels. Much like this editorial and diatribe that I am presenting right now in a way. Going on based on some interviews and his music, I think Lupe is always going to attempt to go 'counterculture' and against the mainstream just for the sake of doing such.

I'm pretty sure people will disagree with me, especially when they look at my blog and the type of music I generally support, but I'm not down with Lupe or his ideals.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Album Review-Bad Meets Evil- Hell-The Sequel

So one of the biggest developments in underground/lyrical hip-hop was the winter signing of Slaughterhouse to Shady Records. One of the back stories to the entire deal was the reconciliation of Eminem and Royce da 5'9. Though their beef had been squashed years before it took some conversations and 'manning up' over the past 18 months or so to bring this entire deal about. So its a good thing, and while we await a new studio album with major backing from the slaughterhouse quartet, it seems that Marshall and Royce were feeling the mood so much that they hit the studio to record a short album.

The album starts with "Welcome to Hell" a rapid fire re-introduction to what you can expect from a Royce and Eminem collaboration. A dark beat with a quick tempo and a lot of complex metaphors and similes used to describe one or two things in a verse. If you have the patience and listen multiple times you will enjoy an album that is gonna give you new things with each listen. "FastLane" is a slightly slower song for the duo and is the first single with a catchy half-hook while the duo goes back and forth on the second half of the song with some serious bars.

"A Kiss" has a mean beat but the lyrics can be hard to follow, the gist of it is about how the two would like to choose to treat groupies. "Lighters" features Bruno Mars and is the most introspective song on the record as Bad Meets Evil chronicles the paths they have traveled, especially Royce. The entire Slaughterhouse clan is on "Loud Noises" which does sound like that,a lot of noise with some seriously rapid fire verses, highlighted by Joe Budden and Crooked I(after his first 4 bars or so). The subject of music piracy is discussed on "Take From Me" where Em feels let down and disappointed by fans who want more constantly then just go and download an album illegally.

"Above the Law" is alright, not really about anything and Royce's verse are slightly better because they are easier to hear and understand. Meanwhile "I'm on Everything" samples a Mike Epps comedy routine for the chorus which gives it that oddness one would expect from an Eminem album. Now there are two bonus tracks on the deluxe edition (why they didn't just put them on the 'regular' version is beyond me but I'm pretty sure everyone will have these two extra songs). "Living Proof" is hot, not really about much but Em addresses some of the things people complain about him, that he talks about women too much and doesn't have much depth. The same thing is with "Echo", album filler in a way.

Overall, people who like the old ridiculous slim shady might be satiated by this album because he does go back to his roots. Like I said before there are a lot of lyrics to catch but the biggest issue is that all of the songs are at this tempo, and both Royce and Em seem to be yelling. Mixed in with the loudness and harshess of most of the tracks, it becomes somewhat distracting. Casual fans probably won't be buying this at all but it is a decent offering for the market it is targeted to.

Rating: 3/5


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