My first hip hop rant in a decade!
The UK ‘urban’ music scene is in a bit of disarray at the moment in my opinion. Don’t get it twisted, there a few artists making a lot of money right now, and those working around/for them also getting them £P’s in. But there does not seem to be anything in the mainstream arena that epitomises the urban sound, that authentic neck snapping hip hop banger that man on road can be like ”bwoy”. I always keep one eye on the underground anyway as a hip hop purist it’s important to me, and something I have been doing since a teenager. I have never really been a ‘mainstream’ dude, so I KNOW there are some amazing talent plugging away out there.
However I understand how the radio playlist politics play out, and how a selection of people, often from a demographic that does not reflect the ‘urban’ market, decide what the general public get to hear on regular rotation. I also understand it is the regular spins that ensure the greatest chance of commercial success. The decision to put an artist’s song in category A, B, or C of an independent or major radio stations DAYTIME playlist has commercial ramifications for the artist. Even if you tick all the boxes ‘popular artists, internationally known artists on the hook, big budget video, pluggers paid off’ you can’t guarentee a shot at the ‘A’ Playlist.
It’s unfair to expect a hip hop artist to continue to create the music they love without receiving recompense due to the unjust politics of radio, but the end results are a mish mash of pop genres which alienate the ‘urban’ audience. How are you gonna make music that you don’t even like to listen to yourself? When your ipod playlist is full of US artists holding down that hip hop sound, or grime artists battling in the underground scene, your there making club/dance music hybrids with ‘abc’ raps.
People respect success I know, but surely a musical legacy is built on authenticity. Do you want people to remember your tunes for years to come as classics of a genre? Or are you happy with quick fame and change now?
It’s a personal choice I know, and some of my favourite artists stay broke which I hate. But I have said for years that the way it is set up in UK there is NO WAY we could have had a UK version of JayZ, Nas, Rick Ross, Mobb Deep, Lil Kim, or even a Wacka Flocka.
As a hip hop fan I could not have been more happier when Wretch32 went number1. Finally a lyricist at the top of the charts, I had to be happy right? I was for sure, he’s a rappers rapper, a true lyrical genius, but I would have been happier if he made hip hop music and STILL achieved success. Chip tried to come back to the sound he liked on his 2nd album and radio pressed the big red X on him. They wanted him to still put out that corny material, but Chip is a decent MC, and I think craved authenticity similar to the underground scene from whence he came. I’m happy he flew out to US cause the tracks I’m hearing from him now on TIP’s label are craaaaaaaaazy. If he blows stateside then watch the radio over here get gassed.
People are gonna say WTF does this old man know about shit, but I’ve been an almost exclusive hip hop fan for 30years! I’m not one of those guys stuck in a particular era either, whether it’s old school 80′s stuff, 90′s boom bap, or 00′s bling bling. I’ve seen it all, I’m a fan of the culture, so I move with the times and stay up to date with the genre. Why? Because I LOVE hip hop, and hip hop culture has defined Rap6 since he was 11years old.
I rate a lot of artists currently, although most of them are considered ‘road’ artists. But I fear they will decide to switch up the sound to get that paper also, leaving only the likes of Giggs, SAS, and Blade Brown riding for da mandem as they already got that paper. I’m watching KKoke to see if he manages to ride this road wave all the way to the top staying authentic. Also I have my eye on Scorcher but I fear because he deserves to be rolling in that £guap based on talent alone, he may feel forced to make that dance pap to get heard nationally.
But you guys want me to name names don’t you? LOL yeah that would be hip hop right… You want me to name some of the artists I respect and rate as MC’s, both lyrically and how they put it down on the mic. Those MC’s who I WISH would make the kind of ‘urban’ music that would make my neck snap off my shoulders, but may ultimately get them blacklisted off the radio LOL. You already know them, c’mon guys, YOU KNOW!
Those who know Rap6 know I am Mr Opinionated, which is a little annoying to many, but I’m cool with everyone… seriously. Nothing I’ve said here I would not say to an artists face, and actually some of your favourite artists have heard this from me already LOL. So this rant is not to be taken as a diss to the artists, as there is no beef whatsoever. But a rant is an opinion, and this here is mine. Take it as it is, from a old dude in the genre, Pop’s to the Game ya heard.
OVER AND OUT!