Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Youtube Killed The Hip-Hop Star

I read something a little while ago where someone wondered if Hip-Hop would go the way of Disco and other 'fringe' music. I thought about it and the first thing that came to mind was that it would be fantastic if this happened.

Why do I say this? Besides the hilarity that would ensue from rappers in disco-like outfits a la John Travolta, singing and dancing to tightly choreographed routines, while on roller skates... I've always wondered how many rappers would still be in the game if the possibility to make a lot of money really quickly disappeared. How many of these guys do it because they genuinely love the music? (And why does this only seem to be a question with Hip-Hop? I very rarely hear this with other types of music... or maybe I'm just oblivious) There are tons of 'successful' dudes out right now that say all the time that they aren't rappers, but rather hustlers. If these guys are hustlers, what does that make us as the consumer?

Jay-Z actually said it well in a recent interview:
“When a guy says – and this is definitely no disrespect, because everybody has their place – but when a guy says, ‘I can make a mil saying nothing on a track,’ you know you have reached a bad place. Not only did you think about it, you said it. So, [Hip-Hop] is way past salvaging. So, I’m just gonna do what I do.”
This is not to hate on anyone's hustle, if you can get people to believe in what you're selling... more power to you. However, don't get upset when someone who considers your hustle an art, calls you out. Because to them... this is the only way they can truly communicate with the world. And to bastardize that, can be seen as a great sin. I've always wondered why certain rappers got so upset when people challenge their music. I mean, if you don't really care about it, whats the big deal as long as folks are still buying?

And when the bubble bursts, as it appears to be close to doing now, what happens to all the hustlers? All the kids that came up because of a YouTube song and dance... where do they go? Hip-Hop and music in general is being saturated with watered down gimmicks and flash in the pan artists and eventually people are going to get tired of it. I mean they have to... right? (I would like to blame Viacom and Vivendi and maybe even YouTube for that)

It will be interesting to see what will happen to Hip-Hop when the bubble bursts and the labels give up on it. When all the people that really have no true interest in it, or passion for it, find
something else, that will be huge. Who is going to still be around and who is going to be on the next big thing? How many people are still going to care... or will it become something only done in those weird clubs by those odd people that get all decked out in their retro clothing while everyone just stares? Sorta like those people that get all dressed up for The Rocky Horror Picture Show? (Are those the hip-hop fans of the future?)

Or is Hip-Hop way too much of a cash cow for any of this to even happen?

Anyway... just my random thoughts...

As an aside: I just got an image of Soulja Boy doing his dance in a sort of Saturday Night Fever, disco-esque get up...
I think I would pay to see that. (Does that make me part of the problem?)

Crank dat Disco Stu....

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