Iron out those wrinkles, Cuse!

I promised to post something nice today, but had nothing specific in mind. So while I was scrambling for ideas for an update and looking through my collection of albums to post/review, I realized something. We don’t listen to hiphop the same anymore. I really do believe that the music as a whole has gotten better. We (yes, including me) just take it for granted. Everything that comes out today is automatically guilty until proven innocent. Pretty much everything that comes out today is….Underrated?!!

Yeah I said it. Granted there’s a lot of terrible shit coming out, there is also a great deal more good than bad. This idea that we don’t listen to the music the same now as we did in the recent past might be “hard for some to see, but it’s clear as day to me” ~masta killa. I will try to explain why I feel this way. But again, I have no plan so we’ll see where this leads us.

I’ve known hiphop since I was a wee lad. I didn’t really get into the ‘real shit’ until around 2000-2002, which was the boiling point of my rap fanhood. And even then it wasn’t Pete Rock and CL, Black Sheep, or Public Enemy. The shit I was high on at that time was Non-Phixion, Mos Def, Aesop Rock, Del(tron), Mhz, etc. The latter were my gateway to the former, but thats besides the point.

Circa 2001, I was so hyped on the music, that when I was about to hear a new song my mind was already made up that it was gonna be sick! It would have to really suck in order for me to change my mind. I blame credit several different things for that. For one, I was just being exposed to a whole new world.  I couldn’t get enough cuz I was so stoked on rap! Secondly, I couldn’t get enough cuz, well, the exposure just wasn’t available 7 years ago like it is today. Yeh we had Napster and Audio Galaxy and shit, but nothing like we have now. And third, the turn of the millenium was not the aftermath of ten years of rap that consisted of bashing itself.

Let me clarify… (to keep it simple I will round the years). From 2000 until today rap music itself has been the main target of attack from its own shareholders (see: black on black crime). Rappers in the new millenium have constantly bashed what the genre has become. Emcees seem determined to portray themselves as  being bigger than rap. That is mainly accomplished by belittling the music instead of ‘big-up-ing’ oneself because, well, rappers are bullies, and that’s how bullies make themselves look better.

In the 90’s there was plenty of bashing, don’t be mistaken. But the bashing was directed toward other emcees, not toward the genre. It’s ok for Burger King to bash McDonalds and vice versa, because they are still both maintaining that fast food is the shit! But whats up with Wendy’s coming along and bashing fast food?!! Wendy’s slogan is something like “it’s not fast food, it’s Wendy’s”. If all the fast food chains started campaigns like that, dissing fast food, eventually they will all suffer.

So here we are after about ten years of listening to rappers complain about rap. No wonder we all hate rap, even though we continue to be obsessed. No wonder when I hear a song for the first time nowadays, instead of giving it the benefit of the doubt, I’m thinking “I hope this is good, cuz nothing is good in hiphop anymore”.

I mentioned earlier about exposure as one of the reasons this is happening. Let me explain. In my early years I knew of probably 30 mc’s/groups. I knew their names and where to find their music and even see some shows. When they dropped something new I was all over it, cuz it wasn’t every day I was exposed to new hiphop. Now it is every day. Every day I am exposed to new shit.

Back then I was lucky to hear a new song, let alone a new artist! Today a new artist (who is probably very talented) will be overlooked by me…everyday. A new song by an established artist is hardly something to get a boner about. In order for me to really love something in this day and age it must be an incredible brand new song by a brand new artist. Otherwise it just isnt fresh.

That’s why I stay listenin to older shit. I can’t take the recent overload. But it is a paradox. I don’t want a record company to decide what I listen to, but I also don’t want every jerkoff with a Mac to be able to infiltrate my fortress.

So when I listen to a new song from now on, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to forget the sea of shit and remember how lucky I am that I have access to this one song that is currently playing. I’m going to remember the days when I wasn’t so fortunate to be able to hear something new whenever I wanted. When I either liked a song immediately, or listened to it until I did like it. I’m gonna remember the days when a new song was a treat and a new artist wasn’t a wrench in the gears.

We don’t listen the same anymore, whatever the reason may be. Hiphop isn’t as bad as we think it is. It is a very awkward time in rap music but hardly a pivotal time. We are experiencing a plateau when we are used to extreme growth. I suggest that we all kinda convince ourselves that we are brand new hiphop fans, as i was ten years ago, all hyped up about the music whenever we hear a new song. When you hear a song that sounds like a regular beat and a regular rhyme, dont dismiss it right away. Pretend you don’t know shit, and you just found out about some shit!


December 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Seen your site on HHB, good shit man you have some real shit here. I might start quoting some of your posts on my site if you don’t mind. Keep up the good work

    Comment by hearitfirst | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. damn. bloody superb write up bruv. imma have to alert the good people to this one. more of the same man

    Comment by nofrillz | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. Word up, I like your outlook on Hip Hop. I’ve been listening scince the early 90s but in the late 90s I started getting into “the real shit”. I feel like Hip Hop is at a point now where there is something for everyone. Nas is a dick for saying it is dead.

    Comment by DeCypherWize | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  4. Call me an old fuddy duddy then. While I don’t think hip hop sucks, it’s not what it used to be. I do buy into the “we are bombarded by material”, I still think music is far from ground breaking or the genre bending music that it used to be. I’m not sure if it’s all been done, or what, but it’s rare that even the albums that I love these days I listen to more than four or five times a week. A lot of “good” albums, I don’t spend more than 2 weeks with them. I attribute some of that to too much material, but a lot of it just fails to really hold me, the replay value just isn’t there.

    But hey, it’s just opinions and you built a good case for yours. Stick to your guns no matter what anyone says…

    Comment by Travis | December 19, 2008 | Reply

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