Rap has been in a strange place for some time. The old guard has been holding on to the game with a vice grip, while creatively, most of the new blood hasnt offered anything strong enough to snatch the music from them. Our contemporary greats are on the brink of bowing out the game all together. Furthermore record sales continue to plunge as technology advances and the marketplace matures. Sure we are still getting some quality music but on the flipside there is an obvious landslide of nonsense that we constantly get bombarded with each year. The game is flooded with a sour mix of thug posturing, dance fads, and nursery hooks; all fueled by get rich quick dreams.
There are some folks that do bring some different to the table though. Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and a couple of others show that sex, money and drugs arent a prerequisite to rock the microphone. Additionally, Scarface and Jay-Z showed us this year that representing the gangsters could be done tastefully. While there is more balance than we are led to believe, Hip-Hop still isn't perfect. To put things in perspective, we asked some of Raps elite what they would change about the game. While their opinions differ, you get an inside look at whats on your favorite rappers mind going into 2008.
I would change the respect. Hip-Hop has to gain more respect. Im not just talking for the new guys or the old people; Im talking about in general. Theres too much bickering and complaining. Theres a lack of respect. Whens the last time we had a female artist put out an album that we all got excited about? Whens the last time a young rapper that everyone could embrace? Whens the last time an old rapper came back and we embraced instead of us segregating and generalizing? Like you got young ni**as talking about these old dudes taking these new dudes shine. Thats corny. Thats an excuse because Lebron James came into the league that was full of all-stars and competitors and he made his way. When Rakim came into the Rap game he made his way! He didnt complain about Melle Mel and them! Its like the young dudes have to find their niche and stop complaining. And the older dudes have to show more love to some of the younger guys. I think we have to have a mutual respect, thats what Hip-Hop is really lacking. -
Artist development is non existent now days. The way records are thrown out there, its like a flash in the pan. You are not giving a chance to have a brand name anymore. Its not even a brand name anymore its a catchphrase or a theme or a hook. Thats not Hip-Hop to me. -
I would change people putting more into their songs dude. We allowing our music to die. Im writing a letter and writing a couple of songs about that sh*t. If there is no talent in our music, then anyone can do it. If anyone can do it, why should someone buy your record if there isnt anything talented about it? We got to put some level of talent back into our music. Its got to be something advance or something hard about it. I hate the fact we watering our music so f***ing much. Rap is the only form of music that people sit out in the crowd and think they can do it better than the people on the stage. Thats crazy. I just hope that we understand the blessing that God has given us through music and we got to start taking this sh*t more seriously. Its going to be gone. Its real close to being gone now! -
I would give out single deals to a lot of these artists instead of album deals. A lot of dudes come out and they [are] wack man. Itd be better on the consumer man.
I would switch the old heads out and let the young ni**as take over. Its just time for a change. Im not an old head, Im an OG.
Album sales, I would shut down any burning of the CDs and internet stuff where you can get the music before it comes out. And it you would have no choice but to buy the album.
Its crazy right now, a lot of people get the music before it even comes out. So to a certain extent its taken a lot of money out of pockets.
Dirty Swift of Midi Mafia:
I would hope to see more focus on artist development rather than song development. In other words, these wild songs that people do but the artists never go anywhere and its just one song. Thats shit is annoying because you never really know whos who. I want to see more artist development, I want to see more careers, I want to see more of the young talent thats coming out to have more a chance to make that statement like what Jay-z has been doing putting out all these albums over the years. Its really hard to do that with all these ringtones, hopefully we can survive this era thats so single orientated and get back to real artist development again.
Thats a good question. What I dont agree with a lot of people talking down on Hip-Hop like Oprah and them. On a whole, I dont agree with how everybody is trying to make it so real life. It aint going far away from entertainment. A lot of these dudes is WWE Wrestling. They dont let kids know that it is WWE. A lot of people dont lead on and tell them its just entertainment. In some peoples case 50% of it is true, but nobodys case is 100% real. The best thing of emceeing is that you get to tap into the other side of your brain. I think in every other genre of music they just make records. I think Hip-Hop has gone away from that. Everyone saying their stuff is the realest sh*t. Now if you do a battle Rap you finna kill this ni**a. I would bring it back to the entertainment feel of it, I dont really want to kill this man. A lot of these ni**as talking they be wanting to kill but when they see each other they dont even clip each others toenails.
Id change the muthaf***ing downloads man. Ill put a muthaf***ing law in place and stop all that download shit cuz that shit is really fucking up Hip-Hop for real. Its different now, its heavy out there. Its crazy.
I would bring in more young people in. When I went back to listening to the deluxe edition of Amerikkkas Most Wanted, it said Cube was twenty years old when he made that record. So if he was twenty during that record, all that shit he was doing with NWA he had to be seventeen or eighteen years old. I think Hip-Hop needs to go back to the youth if we are to go back to our golden era. We need to hear what they got to say.