Does It matter If A Rapper Writes Their Own Lyrics?
Hip-hop/rap music had grown from strength to strength. Several hip-hop songs have topped the pop charts and a few rappers have crossed over into pop superstardom. In light of this commercialization of hip-hop, some people are of the opinion that it no longer matters if a rapper pens his own lyrics. ‘Straight Out of Compton’ dominated the theaters recently, and revealed that Ice cube penned majority of NWA’s lyrics, some are saying he never did. Meek Mill and Drake had a lyrical beef over the said issue. Drake’s fans were undisturbed by the revelation that he used a ghost writer for his raps. This might be because Drake himself was always more a kin to a pop star than an emcee. Even though pop, country, reggae, and R&B artists have always been assisted by writers, many hardcore followers think that there is no respectable space for that practice in hip-hop.
What say you? Does it matter if a rapper writes his own lyrics or not? Leave a comment below.
Has The Internet and Social Media Revolution Affected Hip-Hop Music?
Billboard Magazine found that, since 2000, rap sales dropped 44%, and declined to 10% of all music sales, while still a commanding figure when compared to other genres, is a significant drop from the 13% of all music sales where rap music regularly placed.
Some blame the sales decline on the quality of contemporary hip-hop music. For instance, sampling as become less and less prevalent in hip-hop as cost minimization becomes central in the music’s commercialization. Some also blame the contemporary hip hop sound for not being as diverse or lyrical.
Others say the music is just as popular as it ever been, but that fans have found other means to consume the music. It can also be argued that many young people now download music illegally, especially through P2P networks, instead of purchasing albums and singles from legitimate stores. Billboard has only recently adapted its system to include hip-hop album streams. This might help give greater insight into the true consumption of contemporary hip-hop music.
Social media has also affected hip-hop culture, in a variety of ways. While providing a wide platform for artists to have their music discussed, shared and also gives the artist a direct global outlet for voicing their opinions. It also lets the outside world into their daily life’s, which before social media they were not able to see. Meek Mill was recently jailed for violating his parole. He appeared to have a handgun in an instagram post. The day he was released it is said that he almost shutdown Instagram, which was developed in 2010. Facebook, the mecca of social networking was developed in 2004. Twitter was developed in 2006.
Artists have also taken to social media to vent their frustration with label situations and other artists. Lupe Fiasco, Bobby Schmurda, Tyga and most recently Lil Wayne have all expressed frustrations with their record label or management via social media. Many times these expressions are too candid and end up being deleted later. But by that time the world has already copied and pasted, snapshotted or shared this with everyone they know.
Do you think the internet and social media have positively or negatively impacted the hip hop industry.
Leave a comment below.
Is The Music Business Changing? Is Independent Now The New Way To Go?
The new year is almost a month away and only one album has been certified platinum. Taylor Swift’s 1989 is the only certified platinum album in 2014, so far. Swift says 1989 is her “first official pop album,” which is a musical evolution from the country pop style in her earlier works.
Is this reflecting the industry’s transition from major label domination/relevance to an independent label atmosphere?
Artists Kevin Gates and Rich Homie have both generated a huge buzz recently. Rich Homie’s ‘Some Type a Way’ entered the Billboard 100 and peaked at number 19 on the Billboard charts earlier this year. He did so independently and has since remained independent despite garnering the interests of several majors.
Meanwhile the Caribbean rooted recording artist Trinidad James and Chicago native Chief Keef have both been dropped from major labels. Also Tyga of Cash Money records known for hits ‘Rack City’ and more recently ‘Pass the Hookah’ has publicly expressed his desire to leave his label and establish an independent situation.
Is the music business changing? Is independent now the new way to go? Or do some artists lack the mass appeal to enjoy major label success?