Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Some of you might have been waiting for the post because, well, if you follow sports, you couldn't have missed the headline. Red Sox, in their continued pursuit to stock their team deep like the Yankees, went out and made their bullpen probably the most feared in the game by adding Eric Gagne from the Los Angeles Dodgers (wait, did he play ball in Texas?). Yep, first Garnett to the Celtics (which was also finalized today) and now Gagne to the Sox. I wouldn't say that this guarantees us anything except we got some arms in the bullpen. In fact, if you're scoring at home, we got three All Stars in the bullpen. Obviously a move that only improves our league best pitching staff and makes us stout down the stretch. It's like Christmas morning around here.

Wow, Geto Boys' "Mind's Playin' Tricks on Me" comes across iTunes. Beautiful. Reminds me that I promised a 10-shot of my Top 333 Hip Hop Songs of All Time. Reminds me again how much hip hop sucks in 2007. I mean, I thought last year was lousy. This year is shaping up to be one of the lamest in ages. Rappers are just scared. They act like they forgot how to do it. I watched a documentary on American hardcore coincidently called American Hardcore. They ended it with everyone recounting the final days of hardcore in America and how one day, "it just ended." A few bands went the major label route, got stacks of speakers, loaded their hair full of aerosoled products and then it just died. Makes me wonder if the same fate lies ahead for hip hop. I mean, cats these days don't even know how to make a "street" record. Everything's so polished. So radio-ready. So freaking lame. I'm not known to be one of those snobby "that-ain't-the-real-ish" type of head anymore. I grew past that because, essentially, the lines were blurred when the underground went sour.

But now the industry's just rocked by this perceived "digital revolution" that heads are thinking they don't need to put out albums to get theirs so you have a bunch of singles, but no artists. It's like going to a fireworks show and just getting dudes lighting Black Cats in garbage cans. You think about it, the game's wide open for a dude to come in and blow it up. I can barely name five records since 2003 that I'll probably be listening to ten years from now. It's a pretty shallow pond and still hip hop heads are just stifled. No icons. No heroes. No legends. No promise. No future.

Angry Tim told me the advance he received of the new Aesop Rock record was dope, but certainly not good enough to change the game. Make no mistake, he's dope as hell, but is his latest work going to be that good? Are we going to talk about it this time next year? Are we even going to remember his name ten years from now? Is the indie game just filled with guys making the formulaic indie record and, in that, just making the cookie-cutter records they have stood against for years? What about Aesop over Pharrell beats? Could it work? What about Yung Joc rocking an MF Doom beat? Why are there such hard lines in an artform that, essentially, is nearing an ugly maturation and, perhaps even, an untimely death? This is when heads should be flying at each other with collaborative propositions and it's, no, let the indie kids do their indie records and the untalented rappers do their radio singles. A&R's are cold sleeping. That's the truth and I can prove it on an Etch-and-Sketch with one knob. B'lee dat. Recognize. WHEN'S ATLANTIC GONNA RELEASE JEAN GRAE? You gonna shelf her ass until her prime has passed and she's doing the Missoula, MT circuit (no offense to Missoula, represent)?

Of course, it's a noisier market now because everyone thinks they're God's gift to the mic and, let's be real, your friendly neighborhood rapper next door might know every lyric to Young Jeezy's last record and might be able to even hold a mic like a rapper, but he's no rapper. Everyone wants to rep, but no one wants to take it on their shoulders and pull the game out of the deep rut we now have found ourselves in. Everyone wants to have their name in the lights, but doesn't want to hustle to get there. And all the good rappers are freaking retiring (what the?) or going to Hollywood and putting out crappy movies.

Hate to be overly critical, but be real, it's been a while since you've read me going on some stupid aging hip hop head rant. I know Wil feels it because, well, we alike in that manner.

Here comes another embarrassing fourth quarter from the music industry when they say, "Here's your Kanye record. Here's your Fiddy record. Eat it up. Don't talk back. Tell your friends. Don't say we never did nuttin' for you, chump." They'll overmanufacture, overship and ultimately undersell because kids have moved from hip hop to video games because, for the dollar, they're more entertaining. An artform once considered limitless is now nestled in its own cozy little pigeon hole. Thanks labels. Thanks radio. And thanks to every mindless, spineless and soulless rapper. I thank you for landing hip hop in the most embarrassing hand-to-mouth bull-ish I've ever seen. It's the puppet and the puppeteer. We gotta take the power back, f'real.

Enough bitching. Time to sleep. Por tu informacion, this marks The Root Down's 400th post. I made it to 400 before PayRod made it 500. That's all that really matters.


sarahsmile3 said...

Ya know, the same thing happened wih rock n' roll. It died a while back, but bands like the white stripes, wolf mother...and the like are giving it CPR.

j3 said...

...oddly with replicating the sound of rock's past...

i mean, c'mon, it doesn't matter if it's derivative. just make sure your biting someone's style that actually meant something.

sarahsmile3 said...