Skip to comments.Can Hip-Hop Still Be Artistically Viable When It's Getting Spanked ... ? (DinoMedia DeathWatch™)
Posted on 01/03/2008 8:58:33 AM PST by Milhous
As a way of profiling three artists who made three solid hip-hop albums this year--Turf Talk, Prodigy, and Project Pat--the New York Times' Kelefa Sanneh has written another entry in the "hip-hop: possibly dead, definitely changing" trend piece parade. The reasons, in case you've been otherwise occupied: sales are in the crapper, hip-hop sales are really in the crapper, one-hit ringtones rule, albums by former backpack outliers are (shockingly, right?) selling better than albums by the one-hit ringtoners, and the genre's mainstream is taking the reality of the new model harder than most thanks to its longstanding "if you're not getting money, you ain't sh_t" philosophy. The difference being, Sanneh argues, that the rappers themselves are (sometimes) finally realizing the need to scale back their ambitions and "keep grinding" on the indie circuit. But what if hip-hop's multitudes can't be contained by the indie circuit alone? What if the genre needs the money men to foster creativity? What the underground needs the promise of the giant gold tank to keep that grind rolling?
Under-the-radar releases, weird tour schedules, modest sales figures: none of this is new. The success of Southern hip-hop in the last decade was built on a foundation of independent and independent-minded rappers, many of whom worked with the scrappy regional distributor Southwest Wholesale, which is now closed, like many of the little shops it used to serve. In an earlier era these regional scenes were farm teams for the industry, grooming the top players and then sending them up to the big leagues. But what if there are no big leagues anymore? What if there's no major label willing or able to help Turf Talk get his platinum plaque? Would his next album sound as brash? Will his musical descendants be as motivated? The mainstream hip-hop industry relies on a thriving underground, but isn't the reverse also true?
Eventually, a (new?) group of executives will find a business model that doesn't depend on shiny plastic discs, or digital tracks bundled together to approximate them. But for now the major league is starting to look a lot like the minor one. And in ways good and bad and utterly unpredictable, rappers may have to reconsider their place in the universe, and their audience. Some will redouble their commitment to nonsense, like Project Pat. Some will wallow in their misery, like Prodigy. Some will merely revel in their own loudmouthiness, like Turf Talk, hoping someone will pay attention. But if sales keep falling, more and more rappers will have to face the fact that they aren't addressing a crowd, just a sliver of one.
Ah, I can only hope crip-crap will die.
The Casa Lormand is a Rap/Hip Hop Free Zone, and always will be.
That's what I thought in the late '80s. Just hang back a few years and it will go the way of disco.
Technology being what it is today, any up-and-coming producer can make beats with $2,000 worth of equipment, and any MC can afford to press up a few hundred "mixtape" CDs.
That's how Little Brother got started in the first place.
Jazz was considered a fad in the 1920s.
Disco died too and lives on longer as retro-nostalgia.
Jazz is not commercially viable these days. It is ignored by the MSM.
Brilliant Insight #3,384 from Greg F.
Musical styles that rhyme with hop or bop are fads, shown by the meaningless catchy nature of their name, and die quickly. Witness Hip Hop, Bebop, and doo-wop.
Hip hop music is a style of popular music typically consisting of a rhythmic style of speaking called rap over backing beats performed on a turntable by a DJ. Rapping and DJing are considered two of the four elements of Hip hop, a cultural movement which began in New York City in the 1970s, predominantly among African Americans and Latinos (the other two elements are breakdancing and graffiti art).  The term rap is sometimes used synonymously with hip hop music, though it originally referred only to rapping itself.
Wikipedia . . .
Whatever you want to call it, it’s still gutter garbage.
...or the know-nothing 12 year olds who write for Wikipedia.
Hip-hop is both. It was actually a genre of music first, which lent it’s name to the subculture. Kind of like the rock and roll lifestyle in the 70s.
Although the exact origination of the term "hip hop" is and will always be unclear, it existed as a term before it was a music.
It's pretty well established that DJs at street parties in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan invented the practice of using two turntables and two copies of the same song, to play the drum/bass break that was usually present in extended dance remixes of funk or disco records.
There were dancers, or b-boys (break boys) who were known for doing athletic dance moves to these very rhythm-heavy portions of the songs.
The DJs would alternate from one turntable to the other, playing and replaying the drum breaks of the records over and over again so the b-boys could dance continuously to their favorite portion of the song.
Their dance moves were called "break dancing" or "top rocking" or "up rocking" or "hip hopping." There were various dance crews, each of whom came up with their own names for the style of dancing they were doing, so there were a lot of different names for the kind of dancing done to breaks.
During these repeated breaks the party organizers (MCs) would often make comments about the dancers and their skills, make announcements, etc. That was the beginning of rapping.
In the earliest rap songs there are plenty of references to dancing, breaking and hip hop, thus the nonsense patter on songs like "Rapper's Delight": "the hip, the hop, the hip hip hop you don't stop rocking bang bang the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat." This sounds like what it probably originated as - an MC at a party encouraging the dancers.
The first tracks used for rapping were called "break records" or "break beats."
So to me it seems that hip hop begins as a style of funk/disco dancing that created its own subgenre of music performance - i.e. playing break beats on two turntables.
The lack of melody inherent in playing break beats over and over lent itself to spoken, not sung, vocals.
So hip hop dancing lead to hip hop music (DJing) which led to hip hop vocals (MCing).
That's my view.
Smack My B*tch Up !
From the Rapper Krugerand......
Kill the Rapper,Kill him dead
Shoot the scoundrel in the head
Crush his throat with his gold chain
Watch the video of his pain.
Hate the bastard, the illigit
Mouthing nonsensense, verbal shit
The story here that we must tell
Let the sob rot in hell
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