Sunday, July 12, 2009

I took a long writing haitus, and for my return, I've figured out what's wrong with hip-hop...

It's all of the damn hating, but not the way the rappers would have you think. In fact, it's still the rappers that are the problem too.

If you listen to most hip-hop mixtapes these days (by using the term hip-hop, I'm only acknowledging people who already possess a decent amount of lyrical prowess), you'll hear a whole lot of complaints about critics and bloggers. "Bloggers hating...", "Ain't worried bout you lil n**gas bloggin..." etc.
I won't pretend like the advent of technology has been kinds to artists. It's been especially unkind to musicians. Blogging has really just become an entirely new realm of criticism musicians now have to withstand. That compounds with the threat/guarantee of bootlegged albums and illegal downloads to make music a much less lucrative field of artistry. Plus, rap today is all about the profits.

And that's the problem. Hip-hop today is more of a commercialized enterprise rather than an artistic arena. Everyone gets into it for the money nowadays rather than for fun or to say what's on their minds and in their souls.

Having said it, I realized that it's really just a rehashing of the whole "hip-hop's gone commercial" argument/criticism. Been done a million times. Seemed really ground-breaking and revolutionary when I realized it though. I guess, why I was so shocked when it hit me was how I saw it, which I think worth mentioning because it's a major phenomenon that really needs to stop. The "Quit Hatin'/Haters" plague.

Everyone in hip-hop likes to paint themselves as a victim of "hating." Many view their "haters" a necessary stride in legitimizing their endeavors and little more. No one ever stops to listen to what their "haters" are saying or concede that those dissenting voices may have a valid point. No one knows how to take criticism anymore. It's like no one understands that dealing with criticism is a necessary part of being a successful artist, be it monetarily successful or successful in reaching people. The real problem presented by the "haters" phenomenon is that it lays bare the fact that no one is in it for the sake of art or craft, but rather for reasons I would consider less pure.

And I hate it.