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Has anybody seen my hip-hop? I set it down right here, some time in the early to mid 90's, and now I can't seem to find it anywhere. Anybody?
So, what the hell happened? Now I'll admit I'm too young to have possessed a deep appreciation for guys like Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC. But what I can tell you is that we have come a long way, for better or, more likely, worse, from the glory days of post-disco jazz heads with a penchant for rhyming.
The current state of black music, particularly the rap industry, has found the genre at an all time low. As it is true for every other aspect of society and popular culture, the idiots reign supreme in the music industry at large. And the world of bling-bling rap is perhaps the most "glowing" example of this phenomenon.
The most obvious problem with mainstream rap is how far it has detached itself from its original commitment to creativity and originality while maintaining a respect for intellectual ability. Today's pop-hop artists are now obsessed materialism and mysoginy - quite a turn, eh? Instead of Q-Tip or Phife Dawg seamlessly flowing forth about the simple pleasure of being with friends at a chill block party or how to win the heart of the hottie down the street, we're now assaulted by a bombastic new breed of uneducated, would-be (and many real) murderers, rapists, and deadbeat fathers attempting to intimidate its audience by shouting about their newly attained wealth by way of broken, roughly-flowing raps and homogenized, cymbal-riding beats.
Which begs the question, "What is so entertaining about someone else showing off their wealth?" Unless they're giving me a cut, I'm not getting off on the idea of Lil' Wayne driving a gold Hummer. It's got absolutely nothing to do with me, so I could really give a fuck. Yet some people see this flash and feel some urge to jump on board and encourage this street trash to keep stroking their egos for the MTV audience.
And what the fuck is up with these album covers? Jesus H. Christ! This is some of the most childish, self-indulgent shit I have ever witnessed, outside of this site. It looks like everyone one of these new school blingers have commissioned whomever does the shitty, home made used car dealer commercials to do the covers for their records. They've all got a certain theme to them that includes, but is not limited to, the following: stacks of cash, expensive cars (that they likely borrowed for the shoot), jewelry, cash, flames, dollar signs - on EVERYTHING, women, guard dogs (optional - because you've already got an army of fellow thugs to keep out, uh, whomever), women, cash, alcohol (Cristal, Hennessey, Curvoissier, etc; expensive = better), cash, HUGE megalomaniacal lettering of said artist's name (written in some low class sort of money-lettering or diamond-studded font, surrounded by flames, of course), women, cash, cash, women, cash, cash, cash, women, cars, jewelry, and just about anything else that screams, "Who needs taste?"