ShanaSpeaks-->What's She Saying Now?!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

R.I.P. NY Hip Hop?

For the past at least 5 years (I say more like 8 years), hip hop has been dominated by mostly Southern rap artists, as well as some from the Mid-West (Nelly...remember him?). Last year, Lil' Wayne broke records with Tha Carter III, having the biggest debut since 50 Cent's The Massacre in 2005.

And you can hear for yourself on the radio (unless you're in NYC) that the game is pretty much dominated by rappers with various Southern drawls. And, for the record, I love my share of this music just like anyone else. (I go to school in Atlanta, ok)

But where does this leave everyone else, specifically New York rappers? No one can deny that NYC pioneered hip hop and even further evolved it into the late 90s (along with other regions, of course). So where's the play? BK rapper Fabolous (who isn't really the best NY has to offer, if I may say so myself) had a few words about it on Hot 97 with DJ Kay Slay.
"They trying to force us [NY rappers] out. Not really trying to force us out, but take over. We need balance. Everybody can shine but we need balance and New York gotta get in where we fit in, too...You don't hear nothing [on Southern radio]. You might have something classic, like iconic, they don't cross that line..." Fabolous Calls On New York Rappers, "They Trying To Force Us Out" [Video] [Shared via AddThis]

Well, that's one way to look at it. It's true; Southern radio stations play Southern music and pretty much nothing else. But I'd argue that this could just be pay back for all those years when hip hop was virtually New York and nothing else (Ok, sometimes the West Coast). Let's be 100% real about it-- back in the 90s and early 20oo's, New York rappers were celebrating their fame and fortune and weren't really trying to share with anyone else. They didn't even want to collaborate with each other, let alone someone from New Orleans or Atlanta.

But what about Jay-Z? Jay continues to get play everywhere. Well, Maino (remember "Hi Hater?") thinks it's also a New School v. Old School issue: "So you mean to tell me that there is no one capable of becoming a Jay-Z? The problem with New York is that we don't produce stars no more we still stuck on the old stars...when Jay-Z puts out a record its gone be like, the biggest thing since the steering wheel...I'm glad Diddy signed Red Cafe cause nowhere [else] is opening up an avenue for a new n*gga. Instead of concentrating so much on his self..."
See Maino's Interview -- "Maino Ready to Bring NYC Forward" (Not Back!)

So what do I think? Well, my take on it is like this-- if you're making ringtone music, then you're signed, sealed, and delivered... enough to make the quick money for the label but not enough to develop a long-term career. Ringtone music = catchy beat + easy dance + shallow lyrics (YUUULE!) The fact is, whether or not you're from NYC, if you're a rapper who takes your craft seriously enough to expect your label to invest real time and money in your development, then you're pretty much left to the streets (or Myspace lol).

ALL IN ALL... Rest in peace to New York hip hop? Ha! I think not. That's just not the New York way-- please believe that we will bounce back.

But here's what everyone in the hip hop game should be worrying about-- Taylor Swift. She beat out EVERYBODY last year with her album, "Fearless." And now she's collaborated with T-Pain on a rap song. Don't call her Taylor; call her T-Swizzle. Taylor Swift Reclaims Billboard 200 Throne [Shared via AddThis]


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