I RARELY post anything on a Sunday, but this particular post I've been thinking about for quite some time, and I had to get this up today, August 31, 2014.
I already want to begin by saying I plan to make this one "non lengthy", but if it ends up being a long post, please understand where I'm coming from. Since I started this blog in 2012, I've frequently talked about the current state of hip hop almost as much as I've talked about the 80s and 90s (and I'll post some notable links at the end of this post). Recently I've said that I wouldn't do similar posts, because I'd really be repeating myself and saying nothing new. Also, I'm sure at times you've asked yourself "I wonder why Wayne doesn't talk about what's happening now in hip hop". Well, the answer is EASY and simple: there's simply NOTHING worth my time talking about. I go on sites like hiphopdx.com, hiphopwired.com, The Smoking Section, etc, on a daily basis and MOST of the headlines on display have nothing to do with hip hop music or the culture itself. It's almost like hip hop has slowly but surely become just another form of entertainment (much like reality TV these days) that happens to be music. I don't think I've ever seen the genre seem SO watered down and practically non existant, like it's just here with no purpose. Albums nowadays come and go with a buzz literally lasing all of one week, the constant announcement of albums that continue to receive push back, and the bar has been set SO low it's rather difficult to get excited about anything these days short of a new album release by Nas (that was personal by the way).Trust me, when there's something happening now that warrants my time, I'll talk about it.
I still have goals to enter the music business in some capacity behind the scenes, so I won't go far as to say that the end of hip hop is near. That's simply NOT the case, mainly because it's too many things at stake, namely money. Much like it did back in the 80s and 90s, hip hop is supposed to reflect the issues of the day, a reflection of creativity, originality, substance, etc, and we're simply not getting that at this point. I know there are some talented artists out there striving for better and doing the best they can, and it has to be frustrating knowing they're putting their heart and soul into something but it's not being heard for a variety of reasons. Take a look at this year for example. I know we have four months left, but right now I don't see my "Best Albums of the Year" list growing. Compared to even the past two years, the 2014 list, for me at least, is going to be one of the shortest ever. So ask yourselves, are we at a point where the bar has been set so low (there's that aforementioned bar again) that with each upcoming year, the quality is going to deteriorate even more and "Best Albums" lists are going to be smaller and smaller? It's just so sad to see, and even when you look back 10 years ago, granted things weren't of high quality 100 percent, but damn does it feel like night and day when you look back on how things were in 2004 and where they are in 2014. Crazy. Oh, and one more thing. Have any of you heard of "rapper" Trindad James? Several weeks ago, he apparently called it quits, citing he was broke and was being dropped from his label, which I believe was Def Jam. Now, I'm not knocking the next man while he's down, but I certainly would like to know whose bright idea was it to sign this cat in the first place, considering the EXTREME lack of talent involved. Had this guy came out at any point in the 80s and 90s, he would've been relegated to a "one hit wonder" and never heard from again. The eye for talent these days and what makes the radio (and TV) is, well, sad. Like Big Daddy Kane said in "Lean On Me", "my oh my things just ain't what they used to be"
Overall, I'm not sure what the future lies for a culture I'm still a long time supporter of. Just know that I won't be giving up on it even if this post sounds like I am. Thanks for reading.
Also, below are the links to some previous relevant to this one.