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Westsider Rider

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hip Hop Today

It's been pretty slow today again at work so I've got nothin else to do but write another entry. I've been thinking lately about the music that I listen to and how Hip-Hop has degenerated into what it is today. Listening to the radio all you hear is the reggaetone crap that I can't stand, then they'll play 50 Cent about 50 times and every once in a while you'll hear some good stuff. It seems as we're force fed these songs that are supposed to be "hot" and eventually it grows on you to the point that you want to buy it. Case and point this new guy Mike Jones, when I first heard "Still Tippin" I thought it was awful and now when I hear it on the radio I'll actually listen to it now. Then "Back Then" came out and now I'm thinkin this dude is actually pretty good. I like the hook a lot on "Back Then" so maybe that's it but I'm actually thinkin about gettin his album. Along with the other Houston cats comin up Slim Thug, I read somewhere it was a real good album, and then Paul Wall joint drops next week and Kanye on the radio this mornin said it was hot so I'll probably get it on that recommendation alone. Hip-Hop has become so commercially viable that it's not what it used to be. The roots of Hip-Hop are gone and now it's just all packaged commercial bullshit. There's a term for this from a Comm class I took but I can't remember it right now that describes this phenomenon exactly. The example at the time was extreme sports like the skateboarding and the skating, etc. This too used to be done by kids for fun and since it turned into such a commercial success the major corporations took this and are exploiting the hell out of it.

Another way to think of it is KDAY which came back on the air sometime last year. For those that don't know KDAY was the first station in Los Angeles ever to play hip-hop music back in the early 80's. Then they went out of business for whatever reason and they came back last year. When it first came back they played strictly music only for a few months. No DJ's, no commercials, just the classics. They played stuff that other stations would only play during off peak hours. But because of that they started to get a large audience that appreciated those old school joints. Although it isn't the same as the Beat or Power yet, they are getting close to becoming the exact same type of station. KDAY will still play some old school stuff mixed in but now they're starting to put in some R&B along with some songs that are shoved down our throat by the other stations. Same thing, the station sees that a lot of people are listening and now they add commercials and DJ's, the whole nine and its soon to become the same as the other two major stations in LA.

That leads me to where, will hip-hop go next? It's probably going to reach its saturation point soon in American culture and then what will happen? It will be interesting to see but hopefully there will always be some artists that remind me how great it is and can be. Speaking of which if you don't have the Common CD you need to go cop that. I hadn't heard a good new CD in a while before Common dropped and it's definitely one of the albums of the year. I cannot wait until the new Kanye drops as well, hopefully it'll be another classic like his first album is going to become.


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