Monday, May 17, 2010

Hip Hop Ain't Dead..... Part II: "The dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum?"

Big Name Hip Hop Producers: With respect due to the beatmakers that introduce a track with the name of their production imprint, ad-lib all over it, and insert themselves as guest rappers 50% of the time, they overshadow the actual vocalist of a song. We certainly don't begrudge any of them the right to employment, but when an artist has to do an inventory of who produced her project to qualifiy it instead of telling us what the album is about, we have to take exception. Reality check: If you're trying to goad me into a purchasing your album because you have a Pharrell beat on it and I'm a Pharrell fan, then that's the only song I'm buying. Your album has to have legs of its own.

As the Masta Killa verse in the title suggests, its the mass move of the public to focus on the beat more so then the rhymes that greatly tipped the balance in the game about a decade ago. Now there were always great beat smiths like Dr.Dre, Dj Premier, Pete Rock but as rhymes simplified the production advanced for beyond the words that were being placed on them.

See I don't really blame a Swizz, Timberland, Polo or Mannie Fresh for advancing at their craft. I'm disappointed in the fans that made weak word play so acceptable. Just give 'em something to shake their asses too and you're good. It was a change that commercial America saw and picked up on very quickly. A vital piece to the formula of mainstream success that produced wavs of similar sounding tracks and many wannabe's. The sped up tracks of the Heatmakerz and Kanye West were copied by many in the home made studios. And even now the Chopped and Screwed element of southern production have made there way up the coast.

Where does flattery end and blatant duplication begin? The up and comers try their best to do what is being done on the mainstream level and those who are established fill their album production credits with all their money can buy. Not to create a cohesive sound for their work but to pack as much "star power" onto a single disc with the hopes that Album full of big name will result in big really doesn't work like that.


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