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Thread: Hip-Hop Culture Wars

  1. #151
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    Gunplay isn't out of time he's out of steam that's such a fanciful thing.

    This album is shit I can't express this further. The first song is a terrible rewrite of a Cam'ron song from over a decade ago with Gunplay just listing off comparatives pointlessly. The hooks are lifeless. Currensy is outrapping him with ease and quite frankly if he had more rappers with life in them (Yo Gotti is a consistent rapper who is just there, and in no way on earth can Stalley outrap anyone) it'd be apparant to your guys.

    I think if you do want a catalyst for him falling apart, it's the two hit KO of the trial and also having G-Unit treat him as a speed bag at the BET Awards.

    But no, he's not rapping nearly as well, its lazy, its forced, and you could say its 'the fire' but it is not the quality of three years ago. I saw the signs of this when he did one leak over some terrible trancey type pop-rap record with none other than Yo Gotti where he kept screaming "DRUG LIFE" in a Tupac impersonation, trying to start a new meme. He'd lost the plot, he was trying to do promotion for himself, not work. Great rappers sell themselves with their work, which is why Lil B was a thing when he wasn't always embracing the fans with his persona, but rather when the body of work was just an undeniable draw for such disparate people.

    Ross-wise... I think he'd just plateaued once he reached the top. He was never actually a great rapper when he was in rapper mode. It was a lot of imagery and words but it never meant anything. He lived and died by "BMF" and the extremity of his delivery, but he just peaked around... I'd personally say "Holy Ghost" off the top of my head. Once that tape came and went, the next Ross album was notably lesser, because the delivery was canned, it had no desire to seize a moment, it was just trying to force lightning to strike in the same place twice.

    The R&B/Rap relationship is interesting, but I want to dwell on that for a while and come in with a better review when I'm recharged. *DRAKK VOX* I'M CHARGED UP!!!!

  2. #152
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    http://www.npr.org/sections/therecor...than-you-think

    Kris Ex for NPR

    This is the best article I've read about this beef and one of the few that doesn't tow the ''Drake using ghostwriters doesn't matter if the music's good!'' line.

    Unlike other art forms, the idea of authorship is tied into hip-hop's DNA. At the birth of rapping, rappers didn't quite own the music, which was stitched and spliced together by a DJ from breaks. But they did own their lyrics, which were a form of currency. The four elements of hip-hop MCing, DJing, dancing and graffiti are all tied into things one can create for oneself. One doesn't have to follow a fundamentalist's or purist's line to accept that despite the mutations of vocalization, production, movement and art in the genre the idea of making something from nothing, of authenticity, of realness is tied into hip-hop in a way that is absent in other musical spheres. Pop stars who can't sing become career superstars and EDM DJs who don't mix records regularly make millions, but the ethos of hip-hop has always been against such bait-and-switches, even as it's grown into a billion-dollar industry...

    Meek's accusations against Drake which were later backed by reference tracks made by little-known Atlanta rapper Quentin Miller that were played on air by Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex mark the first time a generation is dealing with the question of ownership of lyrical composition in rap. A few years ago, similar allegations were made against Nas, but, with twenty years behind him as a professional rapper, Nas belongs to another era to many of Drake's fans, he's actually dad rap. Drake, on the other hand, is of the now. His incredibly self-referential blend of emotional narcissism and confessional pornography resonates with a generation in which oversharing of mundane observations has become performance art. His ability to present middle class ennui in thug verbiage has a universal adapter quality to it. The words that have come out of his mouth are mantras, memes and retorts fit for just about any and all occasion there's even an app for that...

    In many ways, the conflict between Drake and Meek Mill is a class struggle. Unlike Drake, Meek is a ravenous MC who's been battle-tested and approved. He speaks for the downtrodden, the forgotten and is viciously socially aware, while not being above the ills of fiscal irresponsibility, crime, violence and misogyny. He once remixed Drake's "The Ride," a song about the mo' money mo problems trappings of fame, into "Faded Too Long," a musical middle finger to a personal rebuke from his district attorney. On "Lord Knows," the opening number of his most recent album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, he proudly raps, "Difference between me and most of these rappers I'm talking about work that I really put in."

    Meek is also known to feel all the feels all at the same time. He's sensitive, but not Drake-sensitive. Sensitive in the ways that growing with little to nothing and seeing systemic inequality at play raises the importance of loyalty and words as bonds. Meek once beefed with his labelmate Wale over not promoting his album, which is something he also mentioned as one of his gripes against Drake. It seems silly, but to Mill, not tweeting his album is akin to not showing up to his baby shower, and providing him a verse written by someone else is like having a third party pick out his birthday present.

    What ultimately set Meek Mill off is a mystery that may never be solved. It's likely something acutely related to the dirty laundry he aired online, but it would take more than a personal slight for him to risk f****** up the money and bringng down the whole house of cards. When Funkmaster Flex promised to not only premiere Mill's response to Drake, but to also play more incriminating material on the radio, it felt like the threat of a man ready to burn everything, consequences be damned. But none of it happened as advertised. And Flex's weird silence and the station's defensive and omissive response in the aftermath reek of a corporate shutdown. Drake is, after all, worth a lot of money to a lot of people. It's not insane to imagine some of the shareholders in Drake, Inc., worrying about the health of their investment's reputation.

    And the lack of interest in the truth of the story spreads to conspiracy alert the media and other artists, who have remained largely silent on the subject in specific, opting to talk about ghostwriting as a whole, get in on the memes while they can, or ignore the story altogether. A story involving the biggest commercial rapper of the moment that has spiraled to include the beef between rival N.Y. radio stations Hot 97 and Power 105 and involved a Toronto Councillor Norm Kelley, is being largely dictated by Drake's internet minions, the #DrizzyHive. To date there's been no published investigative journalism into the origin, presence or authenticity of the purported reference tracks by any outlets of note...

    For many, this moment is an education in the mechanics of the music business and the politics of industry. The old values just do not matter, nor do inquiry or veracity in the coverage of music. It's no secret that the music industry has been watching its sphere of influence and revenue streams shrink and dry up since the early 2000s. It's also widely known that corporate interests have been underwriting music ventures to a never-before-seen degree rap is not immune from the corporatocracy that has infected sports and television and film. In this climate, Drake is the most logical and bankable heir to the hip-hop throne, too valuable to lose. The former occupants of the top spot Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne are too preoccupied with ventures outside of the music industry to assert any sort of continued dominance. The other hopefuls Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole appear utterly disinterested in playing the game the way it needs to be played in order to become King. Drake was not officially crowned during his performance, but that's just a formality. The excitement around his show, and the breathless coverage that followed, was a propaganda coup worthy of Edward Bernays. With the notion of authorship dispatched as silly and inconsequential, the way has been paved for even greater corporate influence over hip-hop.

    The question of authorship in hip-hop is not about some return to Eden mainly because rap's first commercial single, "Rapper's Delight" contained Big Bank Hank reciting Grandmaster Caz's rhymes. Yet there is the notion of growth and evolution as the core of hip-hop expands and moves closer to the center of mainstream ideas, it's natural that many of its original ideals, even previously fundamental ones, will be jettisoned. This conversation regarding authorship is one that spreads beyond the players at hand, or primal notions of competition. There's a strong degree of cognitive dissonance at play here for many of Drake's fans many are calling it a non-issue, which would only make sense if they were't busy quoting Drake's songs as proof of his lyrical superiority, his worth, the very reason why he is being so staunchly and emotionally defended and protected. But in doing so, they're making it easier for their allegiance to be transferred to and controlled by moneyed interests than ever before. There's an enormous amount of energy being spent on a conversation by the vast majority of industry players mainly because it's entertaining and full of juicy gossip behind the scenes. But many of these same players will simultaneously say that the inciting accusations aren't worthy of discussion. It's a troubling and disconcerting state of affairs where self interests and an eroding market share birth a lack of adherence to foundational principles.

    There are two conversations that should be kept going. The conversation of authorship needs to continue because it is not only about authorship, but about truth telling it's a conversation about what hip-hop is and what rap means, and having it centered about the genre's biggest star is a way to ignite and involve all sectors of game. And, more importantly, the acute conversation about these reference tracks their existence, their journey to the public remains important because the ways we talk about the small things determine how we'll talk about the big things. If the discussion around the veracity of evidence isn't followed here, the logical muscles that are needed to tackle the huge, meaningful issues of the day are not being worked. And the conversation around Drake's worthiness as King should not be silenced by voices screaming "Long live the King." A national election cycle is underway. Paying attention is necessary. Following the money is vital. Drake uses ghostwriters. And more people of note need to say that the emperor has no pants, while you can still speak your mind without being called an enemy of the state.

  3. #153
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    ^ Yes.

  4. #154
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    J zone, hopsin, vic Spencer etc all getting involved with this thread on twitter yesterday #trendsetters

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    J zone, hopsin, vic Spencer etc all getting involved with this thread on twitter yesterday #trendsetters
    Is this code for The Martorialist, Noz and David Drake communicating?

  6. #156
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    do british rap fans' opinions count for anything?
    even on this board it seems like americans (poisonous dart, crowley) are deferred to (maybe like how londoners would be for grime etc)

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubberdingyrapids View Post
    do british rap fans' opinions count for anything?
    even on this board it seems like americans (poisonous dart, crowley) are deferred to (maybe like how londoners would be for grime etc)
    I mean, I consider Martorialist a really good authority *shrug*

  8. #158

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    I was the very first person on this forum to recognise the brilliance of CrowleyHead and if I was a magazine editor I would give him a regualr column.

    My first commission would be a 2000 word essay on the 1995 Source Awards and its pivotal relevance to hip hop culture.

    My second commission would be a 1000 word essay on the history and making of Killah Priest's Heavy Mental.

    I have many more ideas for him.

    I reckon, on rap, Crowley is ten times better than Nelson George and twenty times better than Neil Kulkarni, whatever all that means.

    I think he's fabulous.

  9. #159
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    Craner, you'll be credited alongside my parents for always believing in me when I write the Memphis Rap coffee table book.

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    It'll be the first credit I get, but I always knew you were GOLD.

    You can quote me.

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    I was the very first person on this forum to recognise the brilliance of CrowleyHead and if I was a magazine editor I would give him a regualr column.

    My first commission would be a 2000 word essay on the 1995 Source Awards and its pivotal relevance to hip hop culture.

    My second commission would be a 1000 word essay on the history and making of Killah Priest's Heavy Mental.

    I have many more ideas for him.

    I reckon, on rap, Crowley is ten times better than Nelson George and twenty times better than Neil Kulkarni, whatever all that means.

    I think he's fabulous.
    craner is so proud of crowley today.

  12. #162
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    Craner reading Crowley's Atlanta rap posts today

  13. #163
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    This thread is really good actually, actively had to tear myself away from it on page 5 or 6 or else I'll get nothing else done for the next half an hour.

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