...people, how are you doing this lovely morning? And yeah, 11:30 is morning by my definition, sue me :D
So, I just got up like thirty minutes ago, did some sport (yeah, I actually do a few push-ups, sit-ups, etc. every morning...) and am now sitting here again, typing random letters on my keyboard.
The reason I am writing today is, well, there is no real reason to be honest, but I wanted to write something, so I though that my blog may be the best place to do so, but, anyway, I'll be talking music today I think, maybe add a little pieces of insight here and there, but the focus will be music.
Today, I would like to talk about music that was released before 2000, namely good old Hip Hop music à la Method Man, Redman, Busta Rhymes, Big Daddy Kane, Geto Boyz, Ice Cube, Coolio, 2Pac, Wu-Tang Clan, etc. etc.
And even though I'm going to sound like a grumpy old man, this music was so much better than most of what is being made today, at least in the same genre! Nowadays everybody that can play an electronic, life- and soulless beat and talk to it in a monotone manner is considered to be a 'rapper', and auto-tuned little girls saying words they don't even understand melodically on electronically created garbage are considered to be 'pop-stars' and 'singers'.
I mean, what has music been reduced to? Unfortunately, it seems as if it was reduced to nothing but a simple commodity, an economic entity which only fulfills the purpose of maximizing profits with no regard to real musicians, and people who would want to listen to real music. Now, I am not saying that there is literally no good music being released at all anymore, but I am saying that the amount of such music is constantly receding, making it really hard to listen to anything that was released recently.
But let's get more genre-specific: I mean, what the hell is going on in Hip Hop anyway? Right now, I'm listening to Big Daddy Kane, and it couldn't remind me more of how disappointed I am with today's Hip Hop.
Firstly, nowadays it's not really Hip Hop anymore, it's just Rap. I myself don't DJ or break dance, and can not draw for shit, but I still try to somewhat incorporate all four elements into my music, and be it only verbally, but that sentiment apparently got lost at some point, which is really sad for the entire Hip Hop culture, seeing as the Rap element is now being pushed to a point where it's just pop, and the other elements are being neglected.
Secondly, what is it with the sell-outs? I mean, let's take e.g. Ludacris. I remember on "Theater of the mind", he was rapping about not giving a fuck about money and doing his thing for Hip Hop. Well, a couple of years later he starred in Justin Bieber's 'Baby' music video and even rapped a part on the song. I mean, you can hate or love Bieber, I don't give a fuck about him, but Luda's move there just shows how far his integrity actually goes, and that's just awful to see as a fan.
Thirdly, why the hell are people using the same topics again and again? I mean, yeah, bitches, cash, weed and violence were always a big topic in the Hip Hop community, but I remember a time when even these stale topics were packaged into intelligent, funny and creative songs and lyrics. Today it's just like the artists don't even care anymore and just try to press as many swearwords into a sentence as humanely possible. There was a time when swearwords and above-mentioned topics were cleverly used to show the problems of the poverty-stricken, 'ghetto' inhabitants and of course to provoke the general public.
But nowadays one could publish the most gruesome murderous thoughts, and would only provoke a shrug by doing so, seeing as the obscenity has been pushed too far, and now people are not responding to it anymore.
Lastly, I would like to dedicate a paragraph to the cause of all these developments: MTV, VIVA, and the entire corporate music industry. These people at some point realized that they could make money of of young and talented musicians, which was actually good, because at the time the artists were actually talented, and made actual music. But then, I do not know what happened, but something must have happened, seeing as suddenly, these people started realizing that when pandering to the lowest intellectual denominator of society, they could actually make money with untalented artists that look good. And so they did.
And thereby erased all creativity and originality out of popular music, and even worse, turned a lot of "underground" (not mainstream is meant by that) genres into popular music, and then destroyed their essence, making today's music the ugly, corporate, sell-out mess that it is.
Well, this was actually somewhat 'food for thought', just with a musical topic, wasn't it? I did not plan on that, but why not, it's still focused on music, and I have heard from a few people that the 'food for thought' segment was what they had enjoyed most on my blog so far, so I guess that this here will also be received well by you guys, but please let me know!
And in that light, I hope that, if you hadn't realized it before, this post opened your eyes a little and makes you think next time you turn on your media player or access Youtube.
Furthermore, as always, here are some links to some of the first-mentioned artists music:
2Pac - Cradle to the Grave
-> awesome song, legendary artist... 'nuff said! "See the doctor tried to slap me, but I slapped him back"
Coolio - Smokin' Stix
-> Hahaha hell yeah! Great track, great artist (people are way too hung up on 'Gangstas Paradise', this guy has so many great songs besides that!). "Who got the Bong? Who got the Bong? Somebody, everybody, who got the Bong?"
Wu-Tang Clan - C.R.E.A.M.
-> No words needed here, Wu-Tang Clan on their debut "36 Chambers"; classic track, simply and purely awesome! "Cash rules everything around me! Cream! Dollar, dollar bill, yo!"
Busta Rhymes - Rhymes Galore
-> Ooooh yeah, this song is so great, I'm really starting to run out of adjectives to describe all these awesome pieces of music :P "Mayday mayday, mayday mayday, walk bared foot all day like kunta kinte, so what you say, what is you doin you walkin this way, I burn you like I'm smokin a jalis with helta censa"
Method Man - Release Yo' Delf
-> Another classic track, gotta love Method Man, great song! "Emotion, rushin through your down street vicinity, blunt smoke in the air reveals my identity"
Redman - Smoke Buddah
-> Hahaha, I fucking love this song, always gets my mood up, and is just awesome! "Ey yo, I got a slight problem, I smoke weed too much!"
Big Daddy Kane - 'Nuff Respect
And I needed to put one song here that doesn't really fit in as well, so : Snoop Dogg - My Medicine, which is Snoop with Willie Nelson making country music about weed, which I think went really well, I like the song, but this is really something you either like or hate somehow, so, if you don't know the song yet, go and figure out which one it is ;)
And that concludes today's entry, I hope you could enjoy reading it, and, as usually, the comment section is awaiting your feedback/discussions/comments, so feel free to do so!
- I am a dedicated and ambitious aspiring freelance journalist, blogger, and writer. My main asset is my international background - I was born in Germany, then moved to France, and proceeded to grow up in China - and the cultural open-mindedness inherent to such a life story. I specialize in opinion pieces, but am also well-versed in travel/event reporting, and writing general news stories. I blog regularly on my two pages, and have contributed to multiple online publications, including Gonzo Today, a web page dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo" journalism and his legacy. If you have any writing needs, I am the right person to talk to! I will be able to match the tone and style you desire, will work overtime to make you happy, and will deliver high quality content. You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn as "Mark Linnhoefer", and on Twitter as "@markalinnhoefer". For work proposals please feel free to use the contact form on either of my blogs!