I always wondered whom to blame for the state of music now.I’ve been sharpening my pitchfork for ages.
My torch has been on my bookshelf for so long, sitting next to my copy of The Art of War. But I cannot summon the mob, for I simply can’t figure out who to blame.
I mean really, who is the one green lighting Soulja Boy album after Soulja Boy album, and progressively making it harder for a Lupe Fiasco album to release?
It’s to the point that Lupe’s last attempt to educate the masses, Lasers, has been thwarted as the label postponed indefinitely.
Postponed indefinitely – a political term we all know as: Don’t hold your breath, dumb n*****.
Does the industry really control what we listen to? Do they have a secret agenda, as Lupe’s last independent video, “Dumb it Down” portrays, to dumb down the masses?
Why do Soulja Boy and similar artists get hundreds of thousands of dollars to make music and videos that are as intellectually thick as dog spit, when that Sunday morning porridge of Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli and Mos Def curdles away in a corner?
Why are these intellectuals being forced to pull money out of their own pockets to fund their videos? Is Soulja Boy actually the better artist?
Shouldn’t the artists who are actually trying to improve music as opposed to dragging it through the mud, be funded? Why aren’t they receiving grants like professors? Aren’t they too trying to raise the status quo of intelligence? Aren’t they making a substantial contribution to our culture?
On the other hand, the music industry is a money making machine. They work with figures and statistics and evaluate what’s profitable. In the heyday of hip-hop, we began embracing our intellectual artists,. Heck, even LL Cool J was putting out tracks to make you say “whoa.”
Anybody who wanted to be anybody in hip-hop knew that their music had to be of a certain caliber lyrically to even be called hip-hop, and that’s what the industry was pushing – real lyrics.
At the end of the day it comes down to “give the people what they want” and the rest of the time, give them what they can handle. It seems that intelligence isn’t profitable these days.
Considering this, I can’t help but think we are to blame.
Maybe we aren’t smart or cultured enough to be bouncing the thoughts of hip-hop’s greatest minds.
It wouldn’t make sense to sell a toddler a calculus book. They wouldn’t know what to do with it. And sure, there is even the age old excuse of, “we just want to keep it gangster.” Even if we want to remain gangster in our endeavors, who can teach us a little about how to survive in the streets, Pop it off Boys or Joel Ortiz?
The reason dumbed down music receives mainstream success is simply because the masses demand it.
It looks like intelligence and artful craftsmanship of music will continue being an underground phenomenon, unless we stop denying our potential to be more than we are.
We need to stop kissing these random girls through the phone and trying to get good music back, because we still love h.e.r.