View Full Version : Once Hip Hop became top 40, everything changed.

01-19-2010, 11:57 PM
I was digging in the blaugs in the early AM hours the other night and stumbled upon this entry by a guy who goes by the name SOULMAN. I think he was pretty on point about the industry and also what happened to HipHop culture especially during the transition into the 90's.

This is gonna be painful for some of you to understand or accept but this is a necessary read.

THE MUSIC BUSINESS HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH MUSIC (http://www.thatrealschitt.com/2007/12/music-business-has-very-little-to-do.html)

http://bp1.blogger.com/_R9Jz1Kpfano/R219xzZ39PI/AAAAAAAAAP8/nVpgdq8A54c/s400/julian+bevan+music_image02.jpg (http://bp1.blogger.com/_R9Jz1Kpfano/R219xzZ39PI/AAAAAAAAAP8/nVpgdq8A54c/s1600-h/julian+bevan+music_image02.jpg)There is so much written on the internet (and elsewhere) by people who pose as Hip Hop experts but really don't know their azz from a bucket that it's always great to see somebody who really gets it. So I gotta give a shout out to the world famous DJ Julian Bevan who dropped some truth nuggets in the bio on his site. His Wu-Tang in-the-studio story is a classic (I thought ODB pissed on the LL Cool J plaques, though, not spat on them). But I personally loved some of my man's views on the music biz. A few of my favorite excerpts:

"Working at Chung King, I learned a great deal about the music industry. Most important of which was just how awful and ruthless it is. I watched group after group pour their hearts into their entire album, only to have it shelved, and their careers forever frozen in contract limbo. For so many of these kids, rapping or singing was pretty much their one shot at a a decent life. Their one ticket out of poverty. And to see their dreams built up so high and then smashed to bits, simply for some record label's tax break, was really heartbreaking. This happened more times than I can count. It really made me realize that the record label career I had been considering for a moment was definitely the wrong path. The music business has very little to do with music, and everything to do with business."

"Towards the end of the 90s, the music began to shift, at least from my perspective. Hip Hop, that was once something cool and underground and shunned by the big clubs, became WAY too popular. The parties that were once filled with people you'd actually want to hang out with were now getting over-run with outer-borough thugs, low-level gangsters, knucklehead bridge and tunnel types, fake-ass promoters, and cheesy fucking celebrities. I'll never forget DJing at The Tunnel and watching some stupid suburban kid standing on a speaker, with his crew of Jersey white boys, miming the lyrics to Tupac's "Hail Mary" like he was some kind of gansta. It was embarrassing. The genie was definitely out of the bottle. Hip Hop was now main stream, and the new Hip Hop generation was pretty fucking scary from where I stood."

"To add insult to injury, even the music started to suck. From the late 80s thru the mid-90s, being a Hip Hop DJ was great, because you never had to play a bad song. There was so much great music. And since Hip Hop was still not quite mainstream American pop culture, your crowd still had relatively good taste. They weren't in to top 40, they were hip hop heads. Once Hip Hop became top 40, everything changed. Everything changed because the masses, in general, have lousy fucking taste. Yet it was the masses that were now dictating what hip hop song was popular, and you only have to tunr on the radio to see what kind of results that has yielded us. There was another factor worth mentioning, and that is the great schism between mainstream Hip Hop and indie Hip Hop, also known as "underground Hip Hop" or "backpacker Hip Hop". Prior to the late 90s, indie Hip Hop was not really even a separate genre. Indie Hip Hop was simply Hip Hop on an independent label that hadn't quite hit it big yet. Yet it always had that potential. And it had potential for club airplay because it was still dance music as Hip Hop had always been. Then along came Wu Tang Clan. I blame Wu Tang as the root cause of the great schism for two reasons: 1) They made totally weird, original music; with unorthodox flows that bordered on freeform conspiracy rants. 2) They really wore the term "underground" as a badge of honor. They bragged about it constantly. None of those things are a bad thing, mind you, but it was their legions of inspired white boy followers that took those two elements to heart, whilst disregarding one of the founding principles of Hip Hop: IT'S PARTY MUSIC. At least it used to be. Wu-Tang, however, struck the perfect balance. They made banging fucking tracks that were truly like nothing anyone had ever heard before. On the other hand, the kids that followed in their footsteps seemingly didn't care if anyone ever danced again. It seemed like their successors just wanted to find the craziest sample they could, and cram as many fucking words in to a sentence as possible, while bragging about being underground. My #1 example of this would be Company Flow. Maybe the schism is really their fault. They made some interesting shit, no doubt, but did anyone want to hear that shit in a club? Hells no! And from there, it was all downhill. If you wanted to stay in the bigger clubs, where women actually danced and DJs made decent money, you left the indie shit at home and you put the top 40 shit in your crate and you called your cab. And thanks to Hip Hop now being top 40, what was left in your crate was Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z and DMX and the sleeping giant known as "dirty south" music. It didn't help that Swizz Beats and Master P were determined to bring the tempos back down to 72 bpm either. This is right about the time I said "Fuck this, I'm done". I had a good run, but once I stopped enjoying the music and the people, I figured the writing was on the wall."



Ghost In The 'Lac
01-20-2010, 12:03 AM


01-20-2010, 12:05 AM
And this guys blaug post is gonna offend people in the United Kingdom the most. I might as well be transparent.

Ghost In The 'Lac
01-20-2010, 12:10 AM
generally people in the Uk dont care about hip hop really, especially UK hip hop.

on da street its only about grime, dubstep and all its garage derivatives that include rapping in our own way. theres a big thing in doing it "our way" and its based on the pirate radio scene (or was)

the only people who do hip hop in an american style here are not payed attention to anymore, if your not doing it in the english waytheres no market for you.

our most popular rapper is Dizzee Rascal, and hes a perfect example, of doing rap English stylee, copying American rap is not the "scene". everything is still based in garage 2 step.

01-20-2010, 12:13 AM
Lets keep it that way.

Edgar Erebus
01-20-2010, 03:46 PM
Agreed, this is gonna hurt some people's feelings, especially those who have absolutely no music taste of their own and have to look at Billboard to see what's hip to ride on. *cough*Pat*cough*

Although there's one detail...

I blame Wu Tang as the root cause of the great schism for two reasons: 1) They made totally weird, original music; with unorthodox flows that bordered on freeform conspiracy rants. 2) They really wore the term "underground" as a badge of honor. They bragged about it constantly.



IMO the schism actually started in 1990. First there appeared the first overtly commercial rappers (I won't say sellouts, to be sellout you first need to sell out), like Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer, plus first crossover attempts like Heavy D and Teddy Riley. A backlash followed, and people like already-mentioned EPMD or Boogie Down Productions started with their underground/real rap crusade, and twenty years later here's where we are.

01-20-2010, 04:14 PM
On the other hand, the kids that followed in their footsteps seemingly didn't care if anyone ever danced again. It seemed like their successors just wanted to find the craziest sample they could, and cram as many fucking words in to a sentence as possible, while bragging about being underground.

true words, that is a huge part of what killed hip-hop right there.

I think the reason is that the Wu had talent and influences, all the copycats are just Wu crazy and that's probably all they listen to. with influences comes the ability to make good music. Rza made crazy beats because he was listening to mad different music because he enjoyed it. the wu clones just listen to mad different music cause they want to find a sample, it's forced and unnatural. you can listen to soul music all day looking for a sample, that doesn't mean you understand the music and can translate it well into hip-hop.

01-20-2010, 04:59 PM
lotta valid points, hip hop culture took a shit during the sale spike era!!!!!!!

hip hop isnt in the back of the record store anymore, its on tv, its in japan, its everywhere!!!!! even gays are checkin for hip hop now!!!!! its hard to keep order when the population keeps inflating!!!!!!!

the industry didnt give a fuck about rap until they saw a nigga get rich with it, they wanna suck you up to a major and fuck you in the ass, or cockblock you to death with leagalities if you do it independently!!!!!!!!

ill always respect an artist thats able to leave a mark both commercially and artistically, theres a lot workin against it!!!!!!!!

01-20-2010, 05:04 PM
Slightly unreleated, but I was reading the article that your original article referred to on the Wu-Tang and about ODB. Hillarious stuff:

Of all the groups that came through Chung King, Wu Tang was by far the most entertaining. This was a year or so after their debut album, so each of them was in the process of recording his solo record. I think Meth went first, then ODB. Whether all of Wu Tang showed up, or just one of them, they never arrived without an entourage of less than fifteen people. And not just fifteen normal people, mind you. Fifteen crazy fucking gangster kids from Staten Island. ODB and his whole crew were just a fucking train wreck. His manager was Buddha Monk, a loud, fat, obnoxious, just-don't-give-a-fuck type kid from Brooklyn. He liked to eat. He liked to eat A LOT. He would order 5 pizzas for his whole crew, and when they arrived he would grab the first one and spit all over the pizza, so that nobody else would want a slice. Charming, really. They used to order chicken wings from Pluck U on Third street, then send their boys down to the lobby to rob the delivery man when he showed up. After the second time, Pluck U stopped delivering altogether. ODB was the craziest of all. He was usually drunk or dusted or both and was just totally fucking insane. He was fond of threatening producers and engineers and other rappers in the studio. One night he was recording a guest verse on LL Cool J's "I Shot Ya" Since he was crazy, and an egomaniac, he got all offended that LL hadn't show up for the session. He got really belligerent and insisted that the engineer erase LL's vocals entirely, so that he could record the whole song from scratch. The Producer, one of the Trackmasterz, tried to reason with him for about an hour. ODB just kept telling him he was gonnna kick his ass if he didn't erase the track. Eventually, the producer was like "fuck this noise, I'm outta here!" and walked. The engineer, fearing for his life, pretended to erase the tape and recorded ODB on a new track. ODB proceeded to rant incoherently for about 30 minutes. How I wish I would have saved that recording. Talk about priceless. It was like the angel dust-induced ghetto version of Jim Morrison's "American Prayer". After he was done, he ran out in to the lobby and started ripping LL's gold albums off the wall, throwing them to the ground, and spiting on them. The entire staff literally hid in the office with the door locked until his tantrum subsided and he left the building. This was a normal ODB evening.momg.

01-20-2010, 05:23 PM
I been knowin wu tang and white kids made hip hop what it is today.

01-21-2010, 10:23 AM
jus another person playin the blame game of how hip hop iz today.
SMH all ppl wont be satisfied. <<< TRUTH

01-21-2010, 10:43 AM
That's a good article but i disagree with him blaming Wu Tang Clan for changing rap music because of their style. Rap music shouldn't be only party music that you can play in the clubs. There's nothing wrong with rappers that are lyrically good and making you want to think and use better vocabulary. Can you imagine if 90's rap lyrical style still sounded like the lyrics from the 80's talking about the hip hop the hippity hip hip hop and you don't stop? Hahahahahahahahaha. Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care hahahahahahahaha. Yes there are some rappers and producers who sucked Wu Tang's dicks and tried to copy their style but Wu Tang brought a new level of emceeing to the rap game and i thank them for that. Now i have been disappointed with Wu Tang's group albums after their first one and i've been disappointed at several of their solo albums but not too many rappers can fuck with Wu Tang lyrically. Old Dirty Bastard was a retard and he was acting like a bitch threatening the recording engineer to erase LL's lyrics and having his crew rob a chicken delivery guy. I don't wish death on nobody but Old Dirty deserves to be in the cemetary.