Today I tuned in and listened as Hot 93 went off the air. I wasn't sad because let's face it we all saw the writing on the wall. Well at least I did. Hip hop radio like I wrote in an earlier post is slowly being eliminated due to the fact that radio itself is dying. Mass media conglomerates control radio now instead of small companies & they don't see how their decisions affect things on a "local" scale. Back in the day each radio station had one program director for each genre of music in charge of deciding which songs would make it to air. But due to downsizing & loss of revenue radio conglomerates have shrunk these positions down to one person trying to decide what makes the airwaves for FOUR OR FIVE different stations & genres. In a majority of these cases its someone who's background isn't nowhere related to hip hop so they defer these decisions a majority of the time to corporate. Which means in the case of Hot 93 its some dude or chick in Indianapolis who's probably getting paid by the major labels to play the bullshit you hear now.
This explains the trickle down effect. The director of urban programming in Indy or NYC says play these 8 songs every hour on the hour, object and we will find someone else to do it. Trust me your favorite on-air personality wants to but in this economy & job market would you suddenly get a conscious & prepare to give up everything you love & stop putting food on the table just because you're tired of hearing Drake's "Best I Ever Had" 20 times a day? A majority of club DJ's aspire to get one of these prized radio gigs because its stable income. This is why when you go to your favorite club those DJ's are playing THAT SAME PLAYLIST because they want that gig & YOU the listener never objects because you are too busy getting lit & dancing.
It all fits into the unseen war against hip hop. I'm not a conspiracy theorist at all but the signs have been troubling. If anything about the election of Barack Obama has shown its that when we are all together for a common goal, nothing is impossible. Corporate America has seen this especially in the hip hop community. While everybody is happy & content & talking shit about "My President Is Black" behind the scenes moves are being made to ensure that that shit talking comes to an end. Local radio jocks are being replaced by syndicated shows to stifle the local voices. Rappers are (though its their own damn fault) are being locked up left & right to silence any buzz they may be acquiring. Videos aren't being played, albums are getting leaked & undershipped, venues that cater to the hip hop audience are disappearing. It's really looking bad for our culture.
You can blame the music if you want to but that's not the central problem. There's awesome hip hop everywhere if you look for it. You can blame the companies but how can you? They don't answer to you unless you own a portion of it & even if you did you want maximum return on your investment. If they are turning a profit why should they care. The problem is YOU & ME the people who love this culture & cherish it & want to see it grow even more than it already has. We don't support the music we love by going to shows or putting a CD or emailing a great track or video to someone else. We don't put up a fight anymore because let's face it WE GOT A BLACK PRESIDENT IN OFFICE SO WE GOOD. I see this attitude is prevalent in hip hop America but we feel as though there is nothing else to achieve. This is when the enemy strikes.
An old head used to tell me the best way to catch somebody slipping is with their pants down. If you see them in a stall pissing sneak them. Well Hip hop is in the stall pissy drunk from all them Patron shots from the inauguration & corporate America is behind us with a billy club. If you don't become aware of what's going on we will lose.
Clear Channel radio has already set up shop with its own hip hop station in Austin & just like Hot they have picked up where they left off, same playlist, only this time with no voices from the community. Just music. This is what the enemies of hip hop want you to do. Just keep dancing & singing along while they ruin our community by not running PSA's about how to get a vaccine or what's happening in local politics or anything that could be beneficial to you.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The other day somebody asked on Twitter "What makes Gucci Mane so hot & why do people like him?". I know the answer to this question but I kicked back & waited to see if anyone else would chime in. Of course no one answered so the person who initiated the question simply stated "No one answered therefore he must be overrated & wack". Now I personally can agree with him being overrated & wack but I do know & understand how he has risen into the current state of position. Its a demographic that mainstream hip-hop has long over looked & never understood until its too late.
"The Chitlin Circuit"
For those who don't know back in the Motown Era a lot of its acts would tour through the segregated south to black owned & operated bars & clubs to perform because they weren't allowed to perform in the white clubs. These tours & the cities they traveled to were affectionately called the "chitlin circuit". Even though times changed & more mainstream clubs became more accepting of these acts the circuit has remained.
As it relates to Hip-Hop, this circuit has been beneficial to many of today's acts. Boosie, Webbie, Plies, Jeezy, Gucci are just some of the names that are major throughout the circuit. While Jay-Z or 50 Cent would laugh hysterically in the face of a promoter offering them 5 grand to come to Tallulah, LA to do a show at a hole in the wall club, these cats jumped at the chance. Why? The answer is quite simple...
Let me give you an example. My current job required me to travel to Northern Louisiana & East Texas twice a week (mainly the I-20 corridor of Louisiana from Monroe to Shreveport with occasional stops in Longview & Tyler TX). My partner & I would go to places & have to TELL THEM about the latest Jay-Z or Kanye or whoever we consider a major hip-hop act albums release. But they could care less. All the knew was Lil Boosie or Gucci was coming to town & everybody was going to be there. It baffled me at first but I quickly understood that these cats rapped in their language. Poor English & vocabulary structure & slang, simplified beats & hooks. Nothing wrong with that because I personally own several of Boosie's albums but they related to what they rapped about. And with these rappers choosing to come to their small town, not driving by, not stopping by, but in these folks eyes this rapper who was on 106 & Park the other day way up in NYC is actually COMING HERE is enough for them to lend their undying support.
A majority of these rural areas don't have the Internet let alone cable so they are not privy to the exposure of new hip hop from other cities & regions outside of their own. They usually have one hip hop radio station which in most cases is still locally owned & operated by a local company & not Clear Channel or Emmis. This allows program directors to put local & small time acts into rotation. But the most important factor in this whole equation is that THEY STILL BUY MUSIC!!! Like I stated earlier a majority of these places can't afford the extra income to pay a monthly Internet bill. Therefore they are not privy to illegally download music. They happily go to their local mom & pop store or Wal-Mart & drop $10 to purchase an artists music & just performing in their little hole in the wall club which will probably only fit 200 people is enough for them to make that purchase.
Major labels have know this for years, since the days of Rap-A-Lot, to Master P, to Gucci Mane. This explains why the South has had nearly a decade of dominance in hip-hop. Majors are rapidly running out of ways to make money so the second they see an artist with a strong enough buzz appealing to a group that still lays down $$$$ for music, they are going to do whatever it takes to make sure the rest of us do the same. Never underestimate the buying power of those rural areas.
That is until they start getting the Internet....