Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tell'em Why You Mad Brother Michelin!!

Can I tell 'em why I'm mad?!?!?!? I'm mad cuz that "Shake yo' money maker" shit is aight, but aint nuttin out more john blaze than that. And dey not recognizin'. The industry is not makin music that can be honored any more. What are the hip hop honors of 2015 going to sound like? Will they honor Lil Jon's Yeeeeeeeeaaaaah?! Well, Yeeeeeeaaaaaah. But WHY? Why do we have to settle?

Simple. Video killed the radio star. It's real. We're so caught up in images that we settle for a package and not the "real -ish" Mobb said it best: "I can' never get enough of it. Yo, das my sh'.. . ." But even their most recent album fell to the depths of mainstream mediocracy. The 90s were our time. Individuality reigned supreme. Cross-colors made sense, just like cross-pollenation of musical styles and culture. Hip-hop Jazz and poignant lyrics. "Hey Sucka Nigga" and "Putting a sucka in the front for the ones that front" Addin' "mutha fucka [only] so ignant niggas [feel it]".

It's the age of the Ignant nigga. They're buying records because they can bump the superficial without scratchin their heads. And you know what, I'm glad that the 'Do dis dance' song has returned to the mainstream, but if we continue to let the mainstream be the deciding factor as to where major companies place their advertisements, then we will always be under the cloud of the Ignant.

This is deeper than creativity. It goes back to the fact that there are billions of people on the planet with only enough cash to buy a radio or TV, and 8 people wealthy enough to buy a broadcasting station of any kind. Until thoughtful individuals, who are conscious of the negative direction of Hip-hop music, come together and use that Oprah money to put out real music for the informed listener, we've only got the 90s to relive. From Onyx to some ol' mellow-my-man type toons, the spectrum of the 90s will always appeal to the masses and satisfy those who look for social clarity through music.

I will always remember the year I graduated high school. 1999: When hip-hop died. But has always been a phoenix. She will rise again. Until then, I'll keep an ear to the ground, headphones plugged into my mixer and my eyes on the ashes.

"The way we do it like THAT, this for my mellow my man, Like that for my mellow my it like THIS, that for my mellow my man, like this for my mellow my man"....

--Robert Michelin
Visiting Lecturer in Music
Williams College

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