Producing in hip hop hasnt progressed at any level (from real underground-to fake underground-to-hardcore/street to- backpack-to commercial) over the last 10 years.
It all just sounds like people dont know what they should be doing now to make it interesting. They all seem to be working off the one same "formula" for making a "hip hop beat".
I think theyre all just thinking about it too much. Trying to hard to make a hip hop beat, and sticking too much to formulas. Again im talking about alll levels of rap music. Rappers now care too much about getting the "cool" beats right on there albums. They care more about getting a big name producer giving them a beat than they care about actually making a good song/album. They think all they have to do is get a cool beat and rap over it and there you go: heres some hip hop .
It doesnt work like that. And thats lazy.
At the other end of the scale, away from the stupid "super-producer" era we live in now, is the underground or hardcore or street producers. They are failing also.
My belief as why is because of what i'd call Dilution. I dont think theres as many true muscians actually making hip hop because they are generally good at music. Theyve been crowded out by your average punk whos handy with computers and who have lots of money to waste on equipment. But they dont have a musical bone in their body. But they are able to make "hip hop beats" that stand up in todays watered down market, and seen as acceptable.
Its seems to me now, that anybody is able to make a "hip hop beat". You dont have to be a talented musician, or even knowledgble about lots of genre of Music generally, you just need to know the beats-by-numbers procedure of making hip hop music. Im not just talking about the myspace/soundclick producers out there, im talking about most producers who get songs on released albums, albums that usually sell in the 5k-30k region.
IMO, the guys who were making hip hop from the 80's thru to the mid 90's were talented musicians who just happened to be alive when rap music was sweeping thru their hoods, so they lent their talent to hip hop music. If it had been Jazz, Blues, Soul whatever as the popular thing, im sure alot of those guys wouldve been very good at that, too. But it wasnt what was in then.
And then you had the DJ's. DJ's like Premier who moved into beign great producers on the back of the immense year after year knowledge he had learnt from many many musical styles and years and years of record collecting and listening to many many different songs, that had nothing to do with hip hop, from Rock to Jazz to Funk. Premier knows ALOT about music, i read one interview with him where he was reeling off Jewelz about all types of music genres most people didnt even know he was a fan of, let alone super knowledgable about it.
These are the guys who are sorely missing in todays hip hop. Guys that didnt grow up with Hip Hop as their #1 musical influence. Guys that were making hip hop based off of other musical genres. But these days your average fruity loop goon is basing all his beat makign knowledge purely just on hip hop. He probably doesnt even know about other genres of music at all.
It would be too simplistic to call it the 9th Wonder/Madlib paradox. But its a easy comparison of one guy who is clearly making hip hop beats based upon previous hip hop beats (and who happens to use purely computers to make beats), and another guy who is making hip hop beats based upon his knowledge of music. (who happens to use real life hardware and keyboards and all types of shit to make beats).
I wonder whose music will stand the test of time?