Live @ Russell Simmons' Phat Farm Exhibit @ the Magic Convention - Classic 90's Hip Hop
3 minutes short of 4 hours of 'remember when they used to make them like this'? Equivalent to the Jazz age or any of the artistic renaissance eras, some call this the golden era. Certainly, this was the era of lyricism and point of view.
Juxtapose the 90s Hip Hop attitude next to today's and the difference is not only in the music. Then, clever couplets, now, product placement and 1000 reminders about how much more they have than you & me. Hip Hop didn't really sell out, but it did get bought by the powers of money, and those powers now give it back to you to promote fashion, automobiles, alcohol & hipster lifestyles.
So when people reflect on golden eras, they reflect mostly on the intent. Nobody wants to wish broke-ness on anybody, however, many, attuned to this sound of Hip Hop, wish that new hip hop would get paid off of music and lyrics that include more ideas than product placements. We miss quality control and the artist that sits down, writes a rap, collaborates with a producer, and makes a song that people FIND and spread, thus that artist is rewarded for his or her unique vision.
Now, there is the intent of the capitalistic 'artist' to get paid from popular hip hop trends and not necessarily create music that transcends, touches, and has staying power. More colloquialisms and less commercials in my music please. What do you buy into? The commercials? Or the music? You bought into the art of commerce or the art of musical imagination?
Nonetheless, mine is the minority opinion/concern and the majority rules.
Wasn't it a shock, NYC/Philly/East Coast people, back in the 90s, when you realized that there were way more people in the U.S. who DID relate to the rappers that we thought were country & corny? The dirty south & west coast = (apparently) real (more marketable) black America. No offense folks from those areas, after all, you have had the last laugh and are doing so all the way to the bank.
Fading stereotypes & epithets revived and now thrive for the sake of commerce and fame. In rap we look like the way that people think that we should, thus, an easy and logical sell to those people based on the way that those people generally reference the black character. Interpolating American Football coach Dennis Green's great rant, maybe those people with the power and $ to saturate us with perpetuating perpetrators think, "They are who we thought they were."
Not necessarily. But when you need to sell it to wider audiences, you also need to simplify it by thinning the scope of topic to maximize corroborating corporation's cross promotions:
I always joke that Manhattan's an island and when you look across the Hudson at New Jersey, I often think, 'Here's New York and then, over there, is the rest of the U.S.' Not so mutually exclusive.
Hearkening back to the times of hanging out with your friends and rhyming for rhyming sake. Watching Ralph McDaniel's Video Music Box, Fab Five Freddy On Yo MTV Raps, and the pre-"drug dealer rap" influx Rap City on B.E.T. A blend of head nod cyphers, fun, a tad bit street with wordplay galore. If I'm going to be a part of selling, then I'm going to respect your discerning taste and sell you using quality.
The Spawns of the Genesis thrive in this mix. Dig a little deeper and you'll realize that I reference the name of a song on Nas 1st album (I met Nas before his 1st LP at the Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito radio show way back in 1992 when I was studying for my Master's at New York's Columbia University - they mentioned my hanging out with them at their show on this http://filthyspeakeraddict.com/2010/10/the-stretch-and-bobbito-show-20th-anniversary-on-wkcr-899-fm/).
Words from the wise... De La Soul - Biz Markie - Big Daddy Kane - A Tribe Called Quest - Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Notorious B.I.G. - Nas - Outkast - Diamond D and The Psychotic Neurotics - Brand Nubian - Black Moon - Ill & Al Scratch - Wu Tang Clan - GangStarr - Run-DMC - Public Enemy - Craig Mack - Fugees - Nice & Smooth - Jay-Z - Mase - Heavy D & The Boyz - Nikki D - LL Cool J - Queen Latifah - Naughty By Nature & more