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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 

Stuck In The 80's

“Bring it back,” “Old school is better than new school...” “They don’t do it like they used to…." Those are the expressions of depression that saturate the tongues of Rap fans these days. Hip Hop heads are stuck in what I call the “back-in-the-days-mentality”. An artist’s 1st two albums are automatically the only ones worth buying as far music-listeners are concerned. In fact, this assertion is even a legitimate viewpoint. Artists in general tend to slack off after the first hard-earned effort on their projects. But, that’s not always the case. The few outstanding ones that strive to attain the much elusive consistent form, sometimes go unappreciated. OutKast, for instance, has never released any underwhelming CD in my humble opinion. Yet, I’ve heard people clamoring for the "old OutKast" (even on this site!).
How could we forget the dynamic influences on music and art in general- substance, modern issues, lifestyles, culture and society. Artists evolve in accordance with these vicissitudes of life. Public Enemy was the shit when the KKK was a humongous force to reckon with. We were in desperate need of that music - that message. These days, cultural integration is almost at par with the continual racial polarization. Times have changed. So, dropping another “Fear of A Black Planet” would be easily perceived as stale by the so-called old-school heads. Even the staunchiest fan would be quick to profess that the artist who makes such music is stuck in the 80’s. So why do we applaud the oldest records and despise everything else?
Maybe, it’s the fact that after 1 album, or in rare cases 2 albums, rappers only talk about money, rims, and hoes. Not necessarily. A rapper’s personal growth is easily misconceived as depreciation. Soon after Illmatic dropped in 94, it became the yardstick for measuring all NaS albums. The street tales, and poetry exhibited on Illmatic were reminiscent of the state of society at that time. The disparate I Am…and God’s Son, on the other hand showcased the artist’s maturity; good or bad.
When such endeavors are greeted by feelings of disappointment, pop-rap and anything else that brings in revenue becomes the code of the day. Fans almost always exhume misconception towards experimental efforts even when it’s not mainstream(Phrenology, Electric Circus,The New Danger.,etc). As a result, money-hungry labels engrave their feet on the blaxploitation process to make up where real music falls short. They win, we lose. Appreciation or lack of it would only force the powers that be to continue to steer us in the path of degradation.


Extras:
In Rotation: Curtis Mayfield - Superfly for all you old school heads! Enjoy.

Rhyme of The Day:
"I'm so ahead of time my parents haven't met yet" - Big L

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  • Reppin' Houston, Texas, United States
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