As long as we’re on the topic of things failing miserably I suppose we might as well talk about hyphy, this new form of Bay Area rap that’s poised to be the proverbial new ska.
First of all I should note that I’m no expert in Bay Area rap. I’ve only visited the area once, and that was back when it was still a buncha gay dudes and dirty hippies. This was back before clown dancing and riding down the street hanging out of your car (which is dangerous) and what have you.
Then again, being an expert on any kind of rap is the domain of the Chinese. I saw the thing on hyphy on MTV2 the other day and I once owned a copy of “I Get Around” by 2Pac on cassingle, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m as qualified as I need to be.
Also, I’ve been around long enough to recognize when something’s being foisted upon us by the Tall Israelis that run the record industry.
In fact, this is not even the first time Jimmy “Double Fantasy” Iovine has attempted to sell us hyphy. Longtime followers of hip-hop blogging will recall that the first failed attempt took place way back in the dark ages of 2004, with the release of an album called “Rick Ross Presents The Federation,” or some such.
This time they’ve managed to recruit E-40, who was somewhat nationally known during the early to mid ’90s and is credited with introducing the world to such slang terms as “for shizzle,” though you’ll notice most of his contributions to hip-hop were actually popularized by other rappers – primarily Snoop Dogg.
Also, there’s this fellow Mac Dre, who was unfortunate enough to have died. Though I doubt this was planned, having a dead rapper around never hurt anyone’s bottom line. MTV2 made sure to shout him out in their little special on hyphy. Thizz in peace, as they say.
Of course this is standard operating procedure for the record industry. For example, emo no-talent Conor Oberst was on MTV’s “You Hear It First” 4 or 15 times over the course of several years (sometimes appearing under the alias “Desaparecidos”) before Viacom made its money back on him.
That said, I doubt this will work, even with a hip-hop legend (so to speak) and an important corpse in tow. The music itself just doesn’t seem distinct enough to make much of a mark. In fact, I’m still not sure what it is about any given hyphy song that actually makes it hyphy.
The shaking your dreadlocks and walking down the street next to your car seem interesting (not really), but then there’s no way to actually package and sell them.
Not to use this space for self-promotion, but the world famous Weed Carriers blog will be making its triumphant return shortly.
Its new URL: