THE RANT: State of the Game

10PM Tokyo Time. An unexpected rainstorm keeps me, my girlfriend, and my mentor Beni Barca within the confines of T.G.I. Friday’s in Shibuya-ku. The topics of conversation volley back and forth, from my disdain of city jobs, managing strippers, family issues, and finally, the state of hip-hop. I hear a lot of opinions and see alot of views on this topic. Some people are excited about the curve in which hip-hop is bending, transcending the boundaries of genre and audience. Some people have an isolationist view about hip-hop, sort of like Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate/Meiji Restoration (LOL). They feel as though rappers are just making music for the money, the content being stupid and unsubstantial. Then there are those people, like my girlfriend, who just don’t give a fuck about the game.
Me? I believe that hip-hop is undergoing a fantastic and wonderful transformation, and I am like a newborn baby on the train. I am so amazed and entertained by the new crop of hip-hop artists. I’ve finally seen the UNITY this genre once lacked. Yes, hip-hop has fans all over the world. But do you honestly think a kid like Asher Roth would have been able to come out with a song called “I Love College” and not garner some hate? Hell, he’s probably still gotten some hate from hip-hop purists already. Kid Cudi is recieving the most interesting mix of love and hate I’ve ever seen. There is no grey area concerning his debut album “Man on the Moon: The End of Day”. You either absolutely love it, or you hate it. I have no qualms with a healthy dose of constructive criticism of any artist. But as an artist, I would hate to hear that the debut album I worked so hard to make, the ultimate reflection of my own soul, SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING ALREADY OUT! I have a few friends who say that it sounds like Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak, and I just don’t see it. Is it because you’re looking for a way to box it up and move on? I feel like many hip-hop fans want the basic, materialistic rap thats been in the air for the better part of 13 years. I could’nt tell a soul that I was disappointed with the BP3 Album. OH HEAVENS FORBID! Blaspheming the name of Jay-Z that way? LOL you would think I deserved the electric chair. Hopwever I feel like this. Blueprint 3 sounds like a feeble attempt to cross into the Alternative hip-hop genre. That’s not to say it was a horrible album, its just an attempt by one of the most prolific MCs to cross into a category spawned by various artists like Kid Cudi, MGMT, Empire of The Sun, Kanye West and many others. Many people fail to realize that Kanye’s 808s album wasnt an “Autotune singing-rapping” album. It was an alternative hip-hop album inspired by old school Euro-Electronica. Do your research if youre going to love or hate a piece of art from somebody who worked so hard on it. My point is that the Music Industry isnt suffering. The fans want progress, they want that new-new, but when they get the new-new, it’s “wierd, trippy, lackluster, wack”. I’m convinced that some fans don’t know what they want. At the end of the day, as long as an artist has his audience, everything else is speculation. However, I’m a little disappointed in the amount of people who didnt even give any new album an educated listen, because of the opinions of folks who limewired the 2 lead singles.

The game’s changing, like it or not. Without opinions, this world would be sad. But take it this way. When I hear an album is wack, I listen to it anyway, and will still reccommend it to others, because you never know who would like it. This isn’t wrestling anymore, the days of your favorite artist taking over the airwaves are over. Just enjoy the art guys. That’s all I’m saying.

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~ by Chucky_Nite on October 20, 2009.

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