The Adventures of a PR Neophyte

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blank Tape: Recorded Hip-Hop Opinions

I wouldn’t completely say that Hip-Hop is dead, but it has become stagnant and diminutive of visionaries and trendsetters. Hip-hop was once an edgy art form that cultivated and spun creativity, originality, excitement and non-conformity, but now that’s all changed….Hip-Hop has become too predictable. Originality is now far and few in between…..After the end of the Golden era of hip-hop and the immediate preceding of bling…hip-hop lost its edge. Since the post-golden era, hip-hop has had spurts of innovation from artist such as Nelly, Eminem, Ludacris, Kanye West and Lil Jon.....and even Dem Franchize Boyz, but the emergence of Crunk and Snap music, further halted hip-hop's lack of creativity and individuality….. The current snap frenzy is a movement of easily crafted production, and stylistically…. many of the artists within the genre are undistinguishable. If you fall back and analyze our hip-hop lineage...our greats were and are in categories of their own…….Now their arts and swags are commonly imitated as well, but the difference is……Their arts are not imitated EFFECTIVELY….…….You would NEVER deem Run DMC, LL Cool J, A Tribe Called Quest, Nice & Smooth, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Redman, Wu Tang Clan or Outkast as undistinguishable, because they've constantly pushed the envelope and strayed from conventionality. With the direction hip-hop is going in right now…Any and everybody thinks they can rap….. As soon as someone heralds in something fresh, it's staled by bandwagoners. Within the new pool of emcees, originality is damn near void.

Back in the day, I associated VH1 with artists like Amy Grant and Michael Bolton. I would sometimes flip to VH1 to watch Phil Collins, Bruce Springstein, Billy Joel and Paul Simon videos, but I relied on Video Vibrations, Video Soul, Rap City and Yo MTV Raps and Fade the Black on Sundays for my dosage of hip-hop and R&B imagery…..Every year I would watch the 4th of July A-Z countdown on VH1….I would sit patiently waiting for them to land on the letter J (for Michael and Janet Jackson videos) and H for (Whitney Houston videos). With that being said, I must say that VH1 has changed tremendously. Thinking back, VH1’s progression towards hip-hop was completely unforeseen, yet seamless.....Somewhere in between a Russell Simmons, Snoop, or Notorious B.I.G Behind the Music, VH1 got hip-hop, but I just can’t pinpoint it……………..


At 9:57 PM, Blogger zqclay said...

You bring up interesting points about the uniformity of the rap music coming out these days. I used to get upset at it, but now I can understand why music is the way it is.

That is a much needed explanation which I will not fully delve into now. But I will say that the lack of originality in rap is deeper than just lazyness by the emcees, or lack of skill. It falls right in line with our generation and the way we view success as dollars.

However, that diatribe is for another day, another time. Great blog, Kayla.


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