Music

The 5 things wrong with hip-hop

Sat., May. 11, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
by Rolling Out

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1. The Record Industry
The current record industry is the #1 thing wrong with rap. This is mainly because it can correct the four problems below. Labels show up after the A&R production, funding and development has already taken place and this serves to produce poor results. Pop, rock and even urban artists get deals based upon talent and demos; however rap artists have to do everything before they can even get close to a deal. OutKast, Snoop, T.I., and Biggie were signed based upon talent and demos, but today the talent pool has weakened because labels take chances on unproven, raw talent and proceed to attempt to  craft and develop the next generation of superstars. Def Jam, Interscope, WEA and Universal, step up!
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2. The Explicit & Criminal Element
Rap has been taken over by images and ideas associated with crime, sex and drugs. Most every popular song is driven by content about strippers, selling dope, shooting guns and using drugs. There’s barely any content about love, life and maturity.  No more “I Need Love” (LL Cool J);  just “pop a molly” and “bust it open for a real nigga.” Ironically, cleaner actually sells: just ask Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye, Lupe and B.O.B.

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3. Free Music & Mixtapes
The main issue here is the loss of publishing income by giving away free music. Mixtapes must be marketed and promoted just like music you would buy on iTunes. You have to spend money pressing CDs, flyers, shooting videos and taking over mixtape sites … just to give it all away for free. So why not sell your music? Mixtapes benefit already established rappers with label money or “people” that have $100k to throw at a project and not lose a wink of sleep over it, but most are throwing away millions in publishing hoping a record catches on so they can get a “deal” (see number one). Rap music has been branded as something expendable, cheap and less valuable as other forms of music. No other genre of music gives their music away for free. No Taylor Swift mixtapes. No Maroon 5 mixtapes. Even Macklemore sold “Thrift Shop” and people bought it.

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4.  Too Many Collaborations
There are way too many features and collaborations. A feature used to be done for the sake of creating an interesting song with two artists that may not have ever worked together. “Big Pimpin’” by Jay-Z and UGK was special and unique. Nowadays, these unions are a  lazy method used by record companies to get radio spins and attract new sales and fans from the featured artists’ fan base. The problem with this is that it’s the same rappers featured on most songs. The features are expensive and the main artist doesn’t standout.

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5. Rap is Impaired by Technology
Rap music is technologically stagnant. With computer software as the main tool of production, there’s far less musicality. A lack of live instruments and everyone using Fruity Loops and Logic has the majority of songs and producers sounding the same. The Neptunes, Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Lil Jon, and Justblaze all utilized live instruments on top of samples, keyboards and drums. The use of the MPC and Modules had producers creating unique styles, defining drums and signature sounds that separated them from one another. Now, everything is Snare Rolls and Synth Fanfares. Rock, pop, R&B and country still use live instruments to create hit records.

-@isaachayes3

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  • CJ IronSoul

    1) Well, in a sense. A full nearly right. Still demos are just loose-less, LOOSE ”LESS”. ‘Cos people in labels steals. Even in Def Jam. I was a victim, no matter if person has copyrights. Courts costs more & a good lawyer. Then more. For me, it was my pc broke down, that tune went lost which did got a producer a gammy, & a rap duo got their biggest hit, also it has been copied by about 15 artists in nearly all styles, even another countries then no.1, anyway. Even if you’re on 1 of biggest companies. You’ll be most likely on your own, if you want to go to court for a sue. But you’re right, no doubt.

    2) Yes. I agreed with that. Also rap about just seen or heard than been in the life.

    3) Why not?! Man. Its harder to be known now & billions of people do download & won’t say you’re a rapper, wow! I gonna buy your tunes. Nomatter you’re 50 Cent or a new guy. Free mixtapes are just give away a gift to get people. Taylor don’t, well. GREED wasn’t about hip hop at first & real hip hop never will be, unless lyrics are bout it.

    4) HAHAHA!!!!!!!!! Too features. A rapper cannot stand out of it?! How about? Three 6 Mafia’s STAY FLY, & etc. from them or Wiz’s BLACK & YELLOW remix or Craig Mack’s FLAVA IN THE AIR badboy mix. or Ruff Ryders. Even the groups RUN DMC, or N W A or DE DA SOUL or a song called THE RAPPER’s DELIGHT. WU TANG CLAN. SPLIFFSTAR with BUSTA, he hasn’t done when Busta raps or Star was a small feature but he always stood out to Busta. A group/team is same as features. A rapper cannot ”CANNOT” stand out, well he/she is weak to do great lines.

    5) C’mon! Now take the mick. Its not just laziness. At first time when hip hop was going on, what DJ which means Disc Jockey did? 2 things. Scratch & sampling mostly. They don’t use keyboards. NOT everybody plays & not have to. & How about ”GUITARS” sounds, call SLASH lol, or learn BB KING’s style, or BLACK VIOLINS. & How About disable people? & Drum playing are 1 of hardest. & a drum kit hasn’t got all drum sounds. A software is just here to help people. A person wants tobe lazy then let it be. But a person wants a software & learn more then it is fine.

    • Ramelo

      When you give it away for free, you automatically deem your value as $0.00. That’s why

  • CJ IronSoul

    Also Mister. On 5th 1. Do you know what real hip hop is? Its same as TRANCE & TECHNO. People always not know it. Its as hip hop & r’n'b.

  • http://twitter.com/BAM929 BAM

    What’s wrong is there are very few real artists! Check out my artist JP One at http://www.jponelife.com for real hip hop