Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Long Before Rap Collapses?

Ok, I've never been a big fan of rap and hip hop. While I've never gotten too terribly deep into the genre, there was a time I had to admit that there were some artists that were simply brilliant -- NWA, Public Enemy, Snoop, the Death Row Records days at their height. At the moment, I still think Missy Elliot is incredibly talented. Beyond that, however, the music industry has basically sucked any sort of life out of the style. That's not to say that there aren't people out there who have something to say, but by and large, I can't help wonder how bad things can get before people wake up and say, "Goddamn, this is awful?"

Example #1 (above) - Simon Rex - the gay porn boy turned MTV VJ attempts to showcase his lyrical... uh... skills? It was so bad that I couldn't even make it past 5 or 6 seconds into it. Example #2 - I was watching MTV last night and discovered that Jamie Kennedy has a new surreality show about him wanting to become a rapper. Now my guess is that the core element of this show is based on irony, but it sort of proves my point.

Now, rap/hip hop have been in a pretty bad state before -- remember Vanilla Ice and Gerardo? The difference, I think is that hip hop hadn't really made it into mainstream culture at that point -- in many ways, the cheese factor helped introduce the genre into the mainstream. Now you can't go out in an evening without some suburban straight girl asking you to play that annoying Usher song with the phone ringing.

Back in the late 70s, Disco had made its way out of obscurity and onto the main stage, where the record industry basically ripped anything positive out of the style and put out a load of crappy music that really only used the style of disco. By that point, the public was fed up and the Death to Disco movement swept through the nation.

Will history repeat itself? I'm not sure we're quite at that point yet, but I think we're well on our way.


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