Lord Jamar / Blog

Advance the game

Ahh, the good ole days. Remember when an artist would bring you into their world? Create a landscape that was unique just to them? Groups like EPMD, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, and yes, Brand Nubian, were all known for their original sound, and style. Hip Hop in those days had more diversity, as far as content, & topics. Artist would often produce their own music, & get this, they would even write their own rhymes. I know it sounds crazy, but they did. Back then sounding like another artist, dressing like another artist, rappin about shit another artist raps about, that was called Biting. Biting was frowned upon back then. The Hip Hop game was moving forward as far as styles, & lyrics, & biting would only show that you couldnt think of shit on your own. Artists took pride in reppin themselves, in their own way.

Whatever happened to those good ole days? Why has the game come to a virtual stand still? Todays Hip Hop is littered with artists, all doing pretty much the same thing, talking the same shit, over the same beat. If one artist is successful, a whole slew of new artist come behind to try and emulate that success. A hand full of producers beats appear on 85% of the product that comes out. Today it seems were limited to three main topics: violence, materialism, & sex. Now dont get me wrong, I personally think all three have a place in Hip Hop, b.u.t. Hip Hop is so much more than that. The fact that a large portion of the Hip Hop community has chosen to stay specifically within those three parameters is, in my opinion, a waste of potential.

It would seem the blame for the present stagnation in Hip Hop, can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the record companies, retailers, radio stations, video outlets, & the buying public themselves. The chain goes pretty much like this. The record company only signs, & puts out bullshit. The retailer, sells the bullshit. The radio, & video stations play the bullshit. We, the public, buy the bullshit. Now out of all the parties I just mentioned, who do you think gets the short end of the stick? That's right, us, the public. We are the ones who are spending almost $20 for a CD that cost the record company 50 cents to make, & only has three good songs, that sound identical to three other songs you've heard before.

Back in the day of Motown, Barry Gordy would develop his artist. He was able to look at raw talent, and see what it was capable of becoming, rather than what it might have been at the time. Today, record companies don't nurture talent anymore. The aim these days, is to find artist who can be a record companies version of whateva's hot at the time. These corporate witch doctors, have made zombies out of the artist, & the public. They sit confidently behind their desks, thinking that they are the ones who decide whats hot, and whats not.

The Black Panther Party gave us the answer to our Hip Hop dilemma, in the slogan Power to the people. We, the people are the ones who decide whats hot, & whats not. It is our dollars that these corporations, posing as artist outlets, are after. If we did'nt purchase the bullshit, the bullshit would'nt get made. Lets face it, these corporations are motivated by greed. If tomorrow the people decided they were only gonna buy construction worker rap, then that's what these companies would start putting out. The fact that we support the bullshit, only perpetuates it. If the game is ever gonna truly move forward, it will be the voice of the people that makes it happen.

So I say to the artist, the fans, the record companies, radio, & video stations. Please lets advance the game/how many times can we rhyme about cars, & chains/how many bricks can a nigga really sell/ how many times can a nigga really go to jail/ how many murders can you do on one album/put em all together musta did about a thousand/I'm just say'in lets change it up/if not nigga hang it up. Peace.

Lord Jamar