Hype- promotional publicity of an extravagant or contrived kind
-Merriam Webster Dictionary
The world is filled with it. From sports to the next cell phone implanted into your brain we are inundated by it. Sometimes we fall for it, sometimes we can see it a mile away, but one thing is for sure it gets our attention. I can't help but to think that hype is a word hip-hop has pushed into our everyday lexicon. Public Enemy encouraged us to not believe it but at times we can. Lately I'm finding myself starting to get more suckered into it.
Today's hip-hop has fallen more into the realm of who can get the most hype surrounding them without actually exhibiting any proven skills. Lil Wayne started the trend and without a doubt the skills are proven to be real. But a lot of artists feel that if his template works why can't it do the same for them. Here's a reality check:
The difference between MC's that are respected and have actual longevity and the "hype" is that skills will always win in the end. If anything about this past weekend's 2-round debacle of Pacquiao vs. Hatton showed is that you can show up with an army behind you hyping you up but skills will get you destroyed in a matter of minutes.
Never before has rap been so dominated by PR firms and how much press you can get. I have yet to hear a single song from (insert rapper here) that proves to me that he/she is the future of Hip-Hop. The unfortunate thing is so many have bought into it that it wouldn't surprise me that he/she already got their platinum ring tone plaque framed and ready to hang in their bedroom.
As a fan of the culture you have to curb your enthusiasm. Be honest with yourself and be more realistic about the things you see & hear when everyone else is telling you that the hype is real. You have to go against the grain in order to find out whether or not this is something you want to buy into. I'm not saying don't like it for the sake of being different, if you dig it, you dig it. Hell I dig Plies (I know I lost a lot of you with that one but hey I'm real) but if you get approached by the "hype machine" resist on purpose.
Because if the hype does turn out to be real, I'll be the first to sing your praises. If not, I along with a whole lot of peeps like me will have no problem pointing you out as a fraud and spreading the word about it. As a fan nothing pleases me more than being pleasantly surprised and first impressions are everything, so no, I'm not believing the hype.
I encourage you to prove me wrong.