dictated, not read
Were all aware of those old late night commercials in the mid nineties advertising the cheesy old 80’s hair metal hits and power ballads. Cross dressing, and ironically now most likely right-leaning republican white guys; all doing the same moves, wearing the same tight leather pants, teased hair,eyeliner, ibanez and BC Rich guitars, and inevitably playing the same sounding music.
Could the same now apply to rap music today?
Hair metal came to be in the 80’s, the peak in america of vanity and excess, and along with the debut of MTV a perfect storm of plastic narcissism and a disturbing lack of substance swept over the popular culture of america. Bands like Poison, Winger and Whitesnake ruled the TV and radio airwaves. And back at a time when the music industry was lucrative, they wasted no time turning the genuine rise in popularity of heavy metal,and introduced a process of homogenization to the genre guaranteeing money for the companies, but ultimately leaving the art, scene & culture in shattered pieces.
Hip hop today seems to be following the same trajectory, tons of artists all with an identical sound; Aesthetic over substance, and a culture almost split in two. Rap became the most profitable genre for record companies in the last decade, unfortunately this happened at the same time that the music industry has become everything but profitable these days. Money can be made with social media following and advertising more than they can with an entire album of work. Most of today's hot Rappers have never even put together more than a mixtape.
WHAT FUCKING NOW?
Is hip hop doomed to be a late night in eyeball advertisement you see before you shut off your eye-phone at night? Are the dab and bleached tips doomed to go the way of the tootsie roll and the mullet?
Hair metal eventually died due to grunge, is Kendrick our Kurt Cobain? I keep coming back to one verse when I have these questions….
Listen.. people be askin me all the time,
" Mos, what's gettin ready to happen with Hip-Hop?"
(Where do you think Hip-Hop is goin?)
I tell em, "You know what's gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever's happening with us"
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out
If we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin alright
People talk about Hip-Hop like it's some giant livin in the hillside
comin down to visit the townspeople
We (are) Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin
ask yourself.. where am I goin? How am I doin?
Til you get a clear idea
So.. if Hip-Hop is about the people
and the.. Hip-Hop won't get better until the people get better
then how do people get better? (Hmmmm...)
Well, from my understanding people get better
when they start to understand that, they are valuable
And they not valuable because they got a whole lot of money
or cause somebody, think they sexy
but they valuable because they been created by God
And God, makes you valuable
And whether or not you, recognize that value is one thing
You got a lot of societies and governments
tryin to be God, wishin that they were God
They wanna create satellites and cameras everywhere
and make you think they got the all-seeing eye
Eh.. I guess The Last Poets wasn't, too far off
when they said that certain people got a God Complex
I believe it's true
I don't get phased out by none of that, none of that
helicopters, the TV screens, the newscasters, the..
satellite dishes.. they just, wishin
They can't really never do that
When they tell me to fear they law
When they tell me to try to
have some fear in my heart behind the things that they do
This is what I think in my mind
And this is what I say to them
And this is what I'm sayin, to you