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In his weekly column with Vulture, Questlove decided to take a different approach and opted to answer questions from his readers this time around. For part 5 of his “How Hip Hop Failed Black America”, he tackled on issues pertaining to why hip hop is losing its steam.
“When Hip Hop is everywhere, it’s nowhere,” Questlove says in the Vulture column. “In the aggregate, the genre isn’t challenging culture or channeling change in any real way, and it’s even losing steam as a commercial concern. Look at the brute sales numbers. Ten years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for major albums by major Hip Hop stars to sell 3 million copies. Now the commercial heads aren’t doing big numbers anymore. Big Sean went from selling more than 300,000 copies to under 150,000.”
Quest also answered a reader’s question as to what he was doing himself to help what he proclaimed to be a failing culture. Quest candidly responded by saying, he’s making music and writing a column to help guide the followers of the culture.
”This is hard to answer, but also sort of easy to answer,” Questlove writes in his column. “What I’m doing about it is writing these columns and making records. The new Roots record, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, is just out. I can’t say that it solves any of the problems that I’ve discussed. That would be arrogant. But I can say with confidence that it tries. It’s an example of how, even within our own ecosystem, we’re trying to strike a balance between things that are more commercial and things that are more artistic.”
And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is currently in stores now.