I love hip-hop. I love almost every genre of music–country and classical are the two that I just can’t rock with–but hip-hop will forever be my favorite. I love the sound of it, and the message that many of the artists convey through their music. Hip-hop is probably the only genre of music that has fans all over the world, which makes me love it even more. From Boise, Idaho to London, England, you will find fans of A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Little Brother, Kanye West, and other artists of the genre. It is, in my opinion, without a doubt the greatest music genre there is.
Yet, I now find myself angry and frustrated with it. I scoffed when VIBE magazine called the Black Eyed Peas “the most hated act in hip-hop”. When watching MTV’s “Sucker Free Countdown”, I force myself to acknowledge that it’s nothing more than an attempt to keep its younger and more sophomoric viewers. BET’s 106th & Park has always played R&B videos, but it’s gotten farther and farther away from playing what I believe are hip-hop videos. Nicki Minaj and Soulja Boy are ushering in a new wave of hip-hop phenoms? Suddenly, hip-hop needs to be rescued? Dammit, now I know how members of the Tea Party feel about the federal government and the direction that this country is headed in. (Although I don’t agree with the Tea Party; they’re a little…crazy, in my opinion)
I’m sick and tired of hearing about pseudo-hip-hop fans. Not long ago, one of my favorite producers, 9th Wonder, went on a Twitter rant about the dedication and seriousness of self-proclaimed hip-hop fans. He tweeted that there are too many who claim to be fans of the genre, and yet, they don’t buy albums or support the music. They’re pretentious. Self-righteous. Looking down on those who don’t know everything there is to know about Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, and anyone who has contributed to the music that I love so very much…even though the main source of their knowledge is Google and Wikipedia. You know what? He was right. There are simply too many hip-hop fans who have put up a divider between themselves and those who they feel aren’t worthy to even say they’re lovers of the genre. There are also people who want to fit in so badly that they’ll put up a front; disguising the fact that they’re just posers and nothing more. Hipsters have always been around. They’re at the forefront now mainly because of said posers.
However, man in the sky dammit, I want my music back. I want producers like 9th Wonder and artists like Talib “Intellectually Superior” Kweli to focus on the real fans. There will always be detractors. As dope as the two are, there will always be someone who feels they’re wack. The same goes for the phonies. I didn’t appreciate Talib collaborating with Gucci Mane because I felt he didn’t do it in the name of hip-hop. He did it to sell records. I have hard copies of “Quality”, “The Beautiful Struggle”, and “Eardrum”, and yet, I don’t yell through a bullhorn that I’m the world’s biggest hip-hop fan. Nor do I feel that I’m intellectually superior or better than anyone because I’m not a fan of Gucci Mane or anybody who’s similar to him. Worry about the people who spend hours online and scouring through the racks of stores, just to buy your albums. Even when they’re half-assed works. Even when they’re remnants of your former artistic self. Get back to making music!!! Ludacris and Raekwon collaborating with Justin Bieber hurt my heart. Does anyone seriously think that the two are genuine fans of Bieber, or do you think they wanted to benefit from his popularity? And that is supposed to be hip-hop? Don’t be upset because we’ve called you out. I know that I’m tired of all of the attention being paid to “haters”. If you don’t like criticism, retire from your profession. Whining and bitching won’t help, especially when you’re in your mid-30s, you rich, spoiled brats.
It’s time that me and people like myself take hip-hop back. We’re tired of 37 remixes for one song. We’ve grown sick of every other artist say that they’re here to “save hip-hop”. We don’t want to hear complaints about people not buying music anymore. We’re in a fucking recession and my $15-$20 will go to bills and other necessary expenses, and not another (I’m looking at you, Jay-Z) mediocre effort. We feel left out by artists and producers who take to tv, radios, blogs, and social networking sites to address their critics, and not their fans. When the attention finally turns to us supporters, we get spammed with tour dates, album and mixtape release dates, and pleas to support a less talented artist or buy something that we don’t want or need. Over the years, I’ve sunk thousands of dollars into hip-hop, and I feel a little…underappreciated, as do so many other true hip-hop fans.
If hip-hop artists and producers don’t comply with our demands that they get back to the art form and stop worrying about sales and popularity, the Hip-Hop Tea Party will grow larger and larger until the genre’s powers that be are overthrown. If Sarah Palin’s “movement” could gain relevance, then so can ours.
P.S. I miss Karen and the Moondance Woman!!!
P.P.S. I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings. I’m just drunk.