Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Hip Hop Generational Shift

I'm not one for making predictions nor am I any kind of expert in the subject matter I'm going to touch on but I make this prediction on the basis of patterns.

I predict that MTV's MC's to Watch in 2009 will set the standard for all Hip Hop artists in the future.

Now this is not to say that all of them will be wildly successful but they will cement themselves as what everyone, whether fan or aspiring rapper will look to as MC's in the years to come.

Like I said before, I don't make this prediction based on any "expert" opinion but on the basis of patterns.

Changes in attitudes that keep Hip Hop moving (Fans and the Media) and changes in both the attitudes and techniques the artists use to express themselves are the patterns that are implementing this change.

The reason for this change is simple.

Anyone remember the quote, "Hip Hop is Dead"

Yes that simple quote uttered by Hip Hop Legend, Nas, sent the entire Hip Hop community into a frenzy. Some agreed, some didn't but what is important that quote forced the community to look at itself in the mirror.

And the result of this self analysis?


And This...

And also this...

This is just an example of three of the five that MTV named MC's to look out for in 2009.

In their interviews, it is clear that they all believe themselves to be not like anyone else and they understand that being like anyone else is flattering but they would rather be themselves.

"I realized that, if I'm going to fail at doing music, then I'm not going to fail [by] doing what everybody else is doing,"  said, B.o.B, one of the MC's named by MTV to look out for in 2009.

And that's the attitude they all express, a willingness to be themselves and do what they want to do even if it fails.
Technology comes into play with the arsenal of new media weapons (Viral Video and Social Networking Sites), the rapid shift in how we receive and send information,  and mainstream media finally recognizing the potential of the Internet.

MTV reports that even though Kid Cudi, the last of the five, just recently got a computer, his hype came way of his friend and producer posting his songs on the Internet and the Internet did the rest.

"I think the biggest accomplishment so far with me is none of my — what they call — 'hype' is gimmicky or forced," he explained. "I didn't beat into the heads of people, like, 'Yo, you're going to listen to my music, and you're going to do this and you're going to do that.' I just kind of put them out and let them breathe."

This is the new "formula" of becoming a Hip Hop artist. The thing is not every artist or ever Hip Hop fan knows this or even understands how its possible. For these five artists to collectively be given such high media coverage from such humble yet tech savvy and sophisticated beginnings gives a lot of credibility to my prediction.

It takes the mystery out of the industry. You don't have to have loads of money or know people to get a chance anymore. You don't have to create gimmicks to sell and in the case of Wale, you don't even need an album anymore to get loads of press from big media outlets.

All you need is to be good at what you do, be determined and be yourself and everything will fall into place.

Just as things in any good art form ought to be.

No comments: