It's a fine line between trend following and die hard fan; if you like hip hop, it's because you GET it, you know? It's because once the phatness of the beat wears off, once the bassline ceases to be a constant soul rhythm for you, once the glitz and the glam disappear? And you know the words and the cadence and the emphasis and the drops?
It becomes you.
Hip hop is the experience of everyday people, just like us. Some of them have the gift of gab, a storytelling bent, and hip hop became an inside glimpse of a part of America that was heretofore ignored on a united national front; their presence was certainly felt, noted and moved on from- but they were the eternal underdogs, constant victims of a system that thrived off of them yet never fully recognized them... until they took it.
An urgent voice sprung up- then another, and yet another, and the floodgates opened. All manner of lifestyle and train of thought was brought to the national stage.
It's intensity and grittiness shocked many. Its depictions of inner city life and lower financial status areas forced us to look at it as REAL, as actual areas and parts of this country that deserve attention, as well as the people who live in those areas. Painted a grimmer picture of life than I knew of, growing up.
But then, the mass markets exploded. Not just with hip hop, but almost most notably.
Formulaic songs were produced and marketed, allowing for skills on the mic to take a back seat to a song's
jingle-ability'; the ability of a song to stay in someone's ear and mind, due to retarded musical whimsies placed strategically in the song, on top of some kind of sing-songy hook or chorus or whatever... and everyone's noticed it.
In just about every genre in which it happened.
With regards to hip hop, a lot of the steam is dying out- now that the artists are seeing the financial validity of their chosen art- but the industry's already made us sick to death of paying quality coin for sub-quality merchandise... and even if an artist puts his heart and soul into a record, it's gotta be tweeted and youtube'd and myspaced and all that before anyone even THINKS about buying the whole album. And even then, why would they buy it if they can listen for free?
So now the world of hip hop is waiting for a direction, a leader, a cause to support, since their original cause has been accomplished; something by which to define itself.
No one really cares about the bling bling.
Or the cars.
Or the furs.
Or the drinks.
Or the drug connects/prices.
Celebration and party, led to posturing, led to grittiness and honesty, led to blowing the door wide open about it, led to commercializing/formula-following garbage, led to......?????