Friday, October 23, 2009

The "New" Underground

I personally think it's wack!!!! Okay, so it's CMJ time, and I've been to a few of the events this week. I even participated in a few. Now I can't say how the shows were for other genres of music, but I can say the Hip-Hop shows that I went to were pretty lame. Not so much because of the talent, but more so the mentality. Now I am an elitist, and I ride my own d**k musically. However, I'm aware of my relevance, popularity, and overall rank on the Hip-Hop totem pole. Let's just say I'm not very high despite having a successful video, and having a solid net presence. Thing is, artists with less stroll around as if they're superstars even though no one knows them. I've prided myself on seeing and trying to be a part of "the BIG picture". You know, mentioned amongst the Jay-Zs, Kanyes, and T.I.s of the world. However, I think these kids are completely self absorbed because they are content rapping for their 3 friends and 2 rapper associates. It's pretty pathetic to see rappers perform in venues that aren't even a 1/4 filled, yet they act as if they have a following. I think to myself, "what are you in it for?" Marginal success is failure by my standards, and these kids aren't even marginally successful.

I think my biggest disappointement is to see kids whom I am a fan of, not making any progress and caught in this wild cycle of rapping for themselves. I guess my point is, why rap or be ILL if you never reach the people who will be able to truly appreciate it? As I saw folks I hadn't seen in months, they were all like "Shake the video is hot", while I'm thinking, "I've seen you perform here 1,000 times already." I'm not saying I'm in a better position than anyone, but I try to make progressively bigger moves. My sincere advice to anyone that raps and reads this is, create a fanbase. A real fanbase of fans, not peers and critics.

The excitement I had as a teenager while playing the same scene is completely gone. I've been to events where the lines would wrap around the corner to see groups that were relative unknows except to Hip-Hop enthusiats. Nowadays, it just doesn't happen. I don't think music has changed THAT much. I think it's more the quality of music that's changed. Years ago, I'd see groups that had the potential to make the transition from underground to Top 40 radio. Now, I just don't see it. It was great to be a part of the era that gave birth to Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Common, Eminem, and The Roots. Where is that today? Wherever it's at, it surely wasn't what i saw at CMJ this week.

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