The real reason the South is on top
First of all, I should start out by sending a big shout out to Mr. Len from the group Roosevelt Franklin, who showed up in the comments of my post yesterday about his free rap album Bare Food and offered what prominent hip-hop journalist Oliver Wang likes to refer to as "context."
I was a big fan of Company Flow as a child, and once reviewed a solo album (er, shameless repackaging of Funcrusher Plus) he did on my own site way back in its infancy. Never would I have guessed he would actually have the free time to comment on one of my posts.
Moving on, a question was recently put forth by one of my esteemed colleagues as to why shitty southern rap - crap hop, if you will - is currently dominating other forms of hip-hop commercially. It was suggested this might have something to do with unity between southern artists.
You see, a southern rapper, especially Bun B, will show up in a video for one of his fellow southern rappers. This shows that Bun B believes in his fellow crappers, and in turn causes today's youth to go out and buy these albums. Because young people - the MySpace Generation, as scholars are calling them - have a keen sense of social connections.
New York rappers, meanwhile, do nothing but argue back and forth with one another as if they were a bunch of women. If I wanted to see dumb women argue all day, I'd work more hours at my low-paying job. Some of the girls there are rather attractive, and one has ridonkulously large boobs. And almost all of them happen to be in that perfect age range.
This seems a plausible enough theory, but I'd hasten to add that nothing goes on in hip-hop these days without Jimmy "Double Fantasy" Iovine - the real President of Def Jam - signing off on it. Southern hip-hop is on top right now primarily because the tall Israelis that run hip-hop put it there.
Think about it: Mike Jones rap, though it had been around since the mid '60s, was just beginning to become a commercial force in early 2005. The Academy Award-winning film Hustle & Flow was in theaters no more than 5 months later. Common sense should tell us that the production cycle for the average Hollywood film is about 3 years.
Could it be that Mike Jones rap was part of some corporate marketing plan as early as 2001? SquareEnix's incredible Final Fantasy XII has been in production since I was in the 11th grade. These things don't just happen.
But that was last year. This year's proverbial new ska is snap music, led by Dem Franchize Boyz, whose debut album We Got Our Own Thing is currently burning up the chats. Lo and behold, I go to the movie theater the other day to see Dave Chappelle's Black Party, and damnit if there wasn't a trailer for some Atlanta-based "gritty urban drama."
I suppose that was just a coincidence.