I'm sure there are quite a few people that are going to disagree with me on this, but I am going all out.
There is a very big issue with Hip-Hop.
Not enough weirdos in the game to sustain the voyeurs and the Hip-Hop head itching for something that doesn't look like it walked off the block.
We have enough "block stars" in rap to last us for the next million years or so. And, there is nothing inherently wrong with a rapper from the streets - nothing at all. Unless that rapper's mind remains stuck on the block.
I'm not going to name names, but there are some highly skillful rap artists that have lost relevance like Cross Colours after gangsta rap. These rappers sound good, but after 5 or 10 years of saying the same thing, they no longer matter. They went the way of the dinosaurs.
Back to the weirdos.
I love weirdos and I am a self-proclaimed weirdo myself.
Weirdos are creative in a way that defies all convention and logic.
We study weirdos.
We look at weirdos.
We prod and poke at weirdos.
We cut them up to see what makes them tick.
We love weirdos.
We hate weirdos.
Why are we still talking about Andre 3000? I mean, seriously. Andre is a weirdo! The guy used to wear there craziest clothing and say the illest things and we miss it. Admit it. You miss the weirdo named Andre 3000. In theory, rappers have come and goes and come back and we're still putting Andre in our Top 5 Dead or Alive. You favorite thug rapper emcee killer loves Three Stacks.
Lil' Wayne has proclaimed himself the "Greatest Rapper Alive" for quite some time, but that's not why we are enthralled by him. Wayne has been a marginal rapper since the 90's. And, he cranked out a near-classic album on Carter II, but did that make him a superstar? NO. It wasn't until Wayne turned into a weirdo did people (HIp-Hop and others) truly care about Lil Wayne. Even the whole kissing Baby was mystifying to people. I don't see Hip-Hop - which is supposedly so homophobic - giving Wayne the heave-ho after that. Why? Dude is a freakin' weirdo that you really can't fully comprehend and therefore, he's something to entertain you at no end.
That is what is all boils down too: entertainment.
Kanye's last album, 808s & Heartbreak, was god-awful. It was terrible and still sold a gaggle of records and he became more interesting to the paps, the fans and even the haters. Honestly, I watched his first video about 300 times trying to figure out exactly what he was trying to say as an artist. I tried to understand why he broke the new single at that time on "Ellen." And we have been trying to decode Kanye ever since. Hell, AllHipHop's Staff has consistently wondered why we haven't gotten an interview in years despite our unwavering support for Kanye (past and present), but that's another story. He's a freakin' weird person! Who cares about that past stuff!
The point is, we can talk about Kanye on any given day and its most likely going to be interesting. People are going to be passionate, scornful, supportive, understanding or the opposite of each. They are going to feel something though and they will not be indifferent.
Think about a typical rapper these days.
On the real, dudes are getting shot and the public doesn't bat an eye. A lot of them are spitting lyrics like crazy and nobody really...cares. Not about them, not about their life, their health, lyrics, family, well-being or anything. They are just there until the next write up on a weirdo comes around.
But, don't take my previous examples of weirdoes and try to find some common thread or some pattern. There is none.
KRS-One is a weirdo! Dude said that Hip-Hop could be a new religion and he's written a 900-page book about it. Who DOES THAT?
Look at Redman's first three album covers! Weirdo!
Look at the creative genius of Q-Tip. Man, everything about him - from his beats to his rhymes to his dress - sceams weirdo! That's why he's still here.
Why are we dying for Lupe to come back with a new album called We Are Lasers? Come on, you already know!
Ol' Dirty Bastard- Weirdo!
I mean, you can go back even farther to the founders of Hip-Hop that engaged in all sorts of crazy garb, crazy activities and crazy lyrics and look back with reverence.
There's no shame in being a weirdo.
There is a shame in not pushing the culture and yourself forward in some way. There is a shame in not evolving. There is a shame is being an artist that is inherently boring as a human being. There is a shame in doing what everybody is doing just, because you are afraid...or keeping it real.
Well, if you see people getting bored with Hip-Hop and sick of it...you know why.
Not enough weirdoes.
De La Soul In The Daisy Age
Eminem and his Mexican wrestling mask
Redman's Muddy Waters