Friday, November 17, 2006

challenge to lyricists

I am a product of hip-hop; I could be considered a member of the founding generation of hip-hop. And although I like the beats and the music that I hear, there is something lacking that makes me uneasy. There seem to be a lack of lyricists nowadays. Sure everyone claims to be a lyricist, but there are very few.

By definition a lyricist is one who writes songs, but it seems as if a lyricist should also be socially conscious, creative and never willing to write about or on the same subject matter over and over. Currently, the only thing that one hears about in the hip-hop game is materialism, vanity and falsehoods that do nothing to improve the corpus of listeners that make such artists wealthy. Sure, I have heard that this is what goes on in the streets, and that people want to purchase these songs, but isn’t there a higher purpose to making music than just stacking loot?

I just wonder how many times can one talk about shooting folks, selling drugs, platinum teeth, diamonds in a watch on their wrist, cocaine, 24-inch rims or smoking purp? How much can this actually be contributing to the betterment of folks that are already devastated historically by the pangs of racism and prejudice? Now don’t get me wrong, I listen to the same music too, and like most of it, but there is a greater good, people. Not to mention, half these folks talking about the dirt they are doing or are likely to do, don’t even live in the communities they write about.

So y’all folks who consider yourselves to be dope lyricists, show me something, because for the record, you’re just talking out of the side of your neck and repeating news that ain’t newsworthy at all.

21 comments:

Waterfallz1920 said...

I agree. I'm tired of all of the "I got this, I can pull that hoe, I'm riding on these". Don't get me wrong, everyone has their way. But when EVERYONE has that same way...it's boring. Have some substance. That's what the majority of LYRICISTS today lack.

Ladynay said...

It's funny cuz I was trying to find your blog the other day cuz I hadn't been by in awhile and POOF here your are! LOL

I agree, most of the hip hop/rap/urban music I listen to now is mostly for the instrumentation. The so called lyricists are not saying anything that hasn't been said...

I am the king/queen of this area...
I sold/sell this drug...
I buy out the bar...
I wear this and drive that...
I was with your girl/man last night...
I got mad women/men
I am hood...
I have been shot...
I am better than you...
My this cost more than your that...

or better yet...Mary had a little lamb! It's not out yet, but it's coming! Don't even start of the lack of imagination with songs like Chicken Noodle daggone soup! UGH! I am not a hip hop head but I don't have to be one to be embarrassed.

It's sad.

Anonymous said...

hip-hop is dead, don't get mad, this isn't coming from a "hate hip-hop" kind of vibe, not at all. it's just a truth that many may not be ready to hear. the fact is that many of the hip-hop artists sales are in serious decline, and that includes the top names also! the old music industry, the mechanism which hip-hop depends on to "stack paper", is imploding beneath the artists. the rules has changed while the conventional players are still on the field. it's not going to be a pretty picture as many of these artists come to the realization that they can't get anymore work out of the same old sounds and lyrics.

change does not ask for permission

addae

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

well said folks

ashanta said...

Ok let me tell you the real deal about this rap music, I did a sound track in a movie Goodnite Mr. Charlie, many of the actors in this movie is not the real characters that they pertray, I must give respect, but the real deal with rap they have to follow the script, to follow through with this so call success, it is sad to see that our brothers and sisters are not inform of there dignity, it is all about the green, you be surprise what goes on in the entertainment world, this is why you see killing, jealousy, and betrayal, lets take it back to the Willie Lynch concepts, many of these groups or directed under the mask, but lead to fool the people that it is a black thing, this business is the most under handed business in entertainment. Don't believe the hype, many brothers are targeted, they sign there souls to the devil.

Rachel said...

Hey just stopped by to check out yo page its nice..well hope u have a good weekend aswell.. Miss Rachel

I'm not a nice Gurl said...

well.. my knowledge is limited when it comes to what characteristics, skills or qualities a lyricist should have.. basically if i like it .. i just like it... however, i will agree that the mad majority of music circulating throughout the media is trifling, lacks substance, astonishingly ignorant and blatantly abusive...im so into ole school that its ridiculous..ive almost gone completely instrumental... i will stop there.. i too listen to a lot of the newer stuff.. i have teenagers .. so i guess it comes with the territory... BTW- Shout out to LadyNay she has the makings of a good song above according to todays standards... B.E.Z.

Ri said...

There is a lack of substance in lots of lyrics, both in hip hop and outside of it.

Hustle Simmins said...

Well i guess hip hop is all based off perception. I don’t think the challenge is for rappers to make more positive music. The challenge is for rappers to make positive music that is hot and that appeals to a wider audience. Okay, we can all stroke our egos and like the radio is ran by "blacks" If the radio was ran but blacks we would clearly have programming available that promotes the BLACK race in a positive light. Mmmmn.
Furthermore, continuously the black community blames hip hop for most of the problems in the community, but in the same light they don’t embrace positive rappers for "paid" shows with maximum exposure. I instead the community partners with the largest radio network in which partners with the rapper with the most spins. But the record with the most spins has messages about violence, aggression, sex, etc... and that message goes back in to the community. So the key is not to draw the good/bad hip hop lane. The key is to support artists that attempt to incorporate content and messaging within this "unfair" media template that exists within black radio. It is to far and between that a rapper's career gets broken off of a positive record. Radio execs turn down records that have messaging.. Black owned magazines don’t push artists that have messages in their music. Black owned underground magazines definite dont gravite artist with a positive platform. Sadly our teachers, doctors, marketing execs, blue collar, intellects don’t rally around rappers with diverse content, simply because they are not rich, famous, and not validated by the mass media. So, one solution is to rally around artist that provides a message within the madness. So lets stop blaming the artist for everything and start putting some responsibility on the black community within the industry, and the black commuity as a whole.
Also stop blaming the artists that have made it because of negative messaging and start supporting artist that have not made it because they have a message within their music that typically is not catered for the "masses." If the music on the radio is catering towards the "masses" then the masses Henceforth tif the masses if represented by the music on the radio then the black community is ran by successful pimps, killers, thugs, dancers, gangsters and drug dealers. Its logical- gravitates towards the music that represents you. Why didn’t the black community embrace LUPE FIASCO? LIL BROTHER? MOS DEF?- he just got arrested for doing a song that had a positive message? Did the black community tally around him to bring that message to the forefront of media? NO, It will quietly dissapear like the career of a rapper with a message. My name is Hustle and I am an artist from Atlanta, Ga. I make music. MYSPACE.COM/respectthahustle

Anonymous said...

Good Look Hustle, i can see u at war too. Keep that up God. -RDB

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Televisiontraci said...

I just wish the lyricist would be more original, and also be 0.more accountable for what they say. There is always an excuse for why they say what they say but noone ever owns up to it and says hey I glorify, abusive behavior.

TRACI

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