Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to the Future

In a few years, you may see 50 cent, Rick Ross, & numerous other less-tasteful rappers in the unemployment line, along side the out of work secretaries & mall-cops.

Well, not really. Although, from what I'm hearing, MC Hammer may be there already. & if his cousin's not in jail for attempted rape by then, he'll be there too.

See, a buddy of mine, the wise Don Mac, brought it to my attention that a new trend has emerged, betwixt the other new Hip Hop trends popping up every 6 months or so (remember Von Dutch & 3XL white tee's?). That trend is Hip Pop. Of course, this isn't a new thing; Hip Hop has been making funny-looking babies with other genres for years. Look at Kid Rock & Limp Bizkit [||]. But, this isn't your grandfather's experimental cross-breeding of music. This is a phase reminiscent of when "Snoop came through & crushed the buildings". A monumental shift in the raposphere. That exact time when an entire generation or two is rendered obsolete, rap music-wise. In layman's terms, fresh blood is making/taking all the money.

For all the gay jokes & wheel chair wisecracks I make at the expense of Kanye West & Drake, respectively, these dudes are frontiersmen. Pioneers of the next direction our beloved Hip Hop is headed. Like it or not, it's going even more overground than the purists already perceive. Whether that's bad or good is in the eye of the beholder, yet it doesn't change the fact.

The rap industry machine, for what it's worth, is falling apart. With the increase of internet & social interaction, the labels aren't the viable middleman they once were, like a thousand years ago, back in the 90's. There's no shortage of MySpace rapsters & street credible griots. Thus, the industry is gearing towards the exceptions to those entities. Some call it Emo-rap, but record executives call it bankable income.

Maybe 50 Cent should've kept singing.

Mainstream hardcore rap music is about to join breakdancing, DJing, grafitti, & actual skill as the dinosaurs of the culture. Vocorder's the new turntable. Skinny jeans are the new shell toe. Uber-emotion is the new misguided angst. Granted, the core mettle of Hip Hop can never be replaced, but it damn sure can get a make-over & swag surf it's candy ass across the Billboard 200. In roughly a 12 month span, Lil Wayne, TI, Kanye West & Drake have been the biggest selling artists in rap. Question their skill if you must, doubt their credibility if you chose, but don't tell me shit about their collective ability to generate revenue.

The ante has been upped, youngsters. Just wanting to rap doesn't cut it anymore. Leave your street cred at home & present these label A-holes & D-bags with product they can move. Or get used to be called a "starving artist".

"Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.." - NaS


SUPRSHAZ. said...

maybe it's just me, but is originality dwindling rapidly in hip hop?

*great post again, btw :)

Tony Grands said...

Nah Shazzy, it's not just you...

Anonymous said...


Good looking Grand$.

$ykotic Don McCaine

The L said...

You gotta give Cudi some love too! I think he might change the game as much as Drake and Kanye when Man on the Moon comes out. I don't think I've really heard a mixtape as good as A Kid Named Cudi in a long time.

Tony Grands said...


Yeah, Cudi's part of that movement, I just didn't name-drop him because I was talking more money-making than creativity.

Daywalker said...

Good post man. I think one of the reasons rappers like the ones you mention are the next up is that people get sick of the "gangsta" image people try to feed the kids and the rappers are getting exposed. Now the new rappers are giving the teens an image they can relate to. All kids wanna be fly so every rapper wants to talk about swag. The suburban kids got bored with the gangstas and switched to the rappers that got the girls attention. Next, they just copy their style and keep it moving. No love lost.

somebody said...