Rappers vs. Internet thugs

Sometimes I wonder if the Internet is the worst thing to happen to rappers yet. Tipper Gore, Bill O’Reilly and the Hip-Hop Cops have nothing on the beast that is the Internet.

I know, I know, MySpace is supposed to be a super way to generate buzz and build a fan base. And yeah, the explosion of hip-hop discussion boards and blogs has dramatically increased exposure for artists. (Not to mention providing entertainment for the rest of us.)

But here’s why the Internet can sometimes hinder careers more than it helps: it levels the playing field. In days past, artists weren’t very accessible. Someone would have to put in a lot of work to get at them—i.e. stand in the rain at the backstage door, hunt them down in the mall or at their hotel or at the club, hang around for hours at in-store signings, write fan/hate mail, send a letter to the editor at a magazine. And most people aren’t willing to put in that kind of time or energy.  

As it stands now, Joe Public has instant access to hip-hop stars. All someone has to do is log on and find their MySpace page, and viola, the channel of communication is wide open. It isn’t just MySpace either. One can simply post a comment on a blog, discussion board, or fan site. (Artists skulk around online as much as the rest of us, and have been known to constantly google themselves, so regardless of where you post, chances are good that they’ll read it sooner or later).

Some fans use this new Open Door Policy to show love. (I’m guessing the Internet works extremely well for groupies and/or strippers looking to get naked in booty clap videos.)

But more often than not, the ones who actually bother communicating end up being (a) nutty Stans that are addicted to CAPS, (b) angry haters who can’t spell, or (c) bloggers who get a kick out of baiting artists. Basically, whatever random shit these folks can think up gets spewed into the atmosphere within seconds of them thinking it—and often anonymously. There’s no effort required and no filter to weed out the bullshit.

The result? Many, many meltdowns. More and more often, we’re hearing from artists that are massively fed up with the impact that net nerds are having on their public profile.

Take Fabolous, for example, who aired out his beef with “internet thugs” yesterday over at MTV News. Apparently, he’s pissed that a bunch of people put up false MS pages in his name. (Elliott Wilson isn’t the only one getting jacked for his identity.)

F-A-B-O responded with a diss track, “MySpace Freestyle.” (Since when did rappers start making diss records to get at music nerds?) The track gives voice to the frustrations a lot of artists are experiencing right now—frustrations that seem to be hitting a breaking point. “You shooting e-mails, you a Internet thug,” Loso raps. “You a MySpace addict, caught on Internet drugs.”

This reminds me of something Oliver Wang wrote a while back on his blog. “Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, there are no sacred cows, no artist is above being crapped upon. I’m not saying this is an improvement but clearly, something significant has changed. If artists like Jeru and Ice Cube (not to mention, um, J— G—) were pissed off at writers in the past, I can’t imagine what shit must look like as the blogger community gains even more influence and visibility. Bloggers these days write stuff that makes the criticisms of earlier writers seem like back rubs by comparison.”

Clearly, the Internet—be it MySpace, blogs, or discussions boards—is the best thing ever to happen to rap fans. But I have to wonder if it does rappers any good. I’m not sure if the web has the power to dead a career as of yet, but it’s got to be messing with rappers’ heads anyway. At the very least, you can bet that taming the Internet beast represents a giant headache for publicists everywhere.

  • http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic Therapist
  • http://www.unkut.com Robbie

    True. Rappers are best advised to stay out of message boards and blog comments sections, because they’re bound to lose.

    Making a “Myspace Freestyle” is the gayest thing to hit rap since Erick Sermon was prowling the locker room.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    You know what else is gay?

    Wack-ass rappers who keep spamming the comments with their myspace url, as if they’re about to be discovered over the Internets.

  • http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic Therapist

    yea those guys are gay…

    but the really good rappers who occasionally throw out the link to their myspace page are cool… i would say way cooler than the dork blogger that works at wal-mart

    http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    Yeah, I’m sure the myspace rapper will end up in XXL before the blogger.

    Oh wait…

  • 2cheLupe

    How “out of control” this myspace is goin’.. I wouldn’t be surprised if XXL showcased the MC’s of Myspace in monthly in their mag
    FNF Up
    MadisonMan
    Food & Liqour coming soon…
    …..the real one

  • http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic Therapist

    aw man, got me there! now I see why you are where you are! does the top really feel so much better than the bottom?(1) oh, wait..

    ———————————
    1. no homo

  • Scorpio

    sensitive thugs they all need hugs. Jiggaman

  • BlackBoy

    …weak comeback…

  • THAEDGE

    fuck myspace

    myspace equalz people who have way 2 much time on they hands & have NO FUCKIN LIFE @ ALL. They just lookin 4 juice.

  • you’re stepdad

    the rapist wins, bol lost.

  • allnice

    Another good post. The internet let’s people say whateva they want, so of course the criticism of rappers is going to be a lot funnier, more honest, and sometimes off the charts than the press. Rappers are here for the fans after all, so they should use the internet as an opportunity to check what the fans really want.

    Dissing myspace? That is a good idea for Fab because his career is coming to an end. I guess he needed some type of beef to start up, so why not run with the internet? He could start a trend that will revive his career, who knows? He needs any type of exposure he can get because no one is checking for the new Fab anything.

  • http://www.saiditincolor.com Stingy

    let the rappers form relationships with their fanbase and form alliances only with those bloggers/critics that show positive reinforcement for their projects and efforts.

  • Prodigy

    Making a rap about “e-thugs” just proves how sensitive most these rappers are.

  • http://www.hiphop-blogs.com Hashim

    “…and often anonymously.”

    The most outspoken bloggers I know actually use their real names.

    Hello, I’m Hashim Warren and I live in Harlem. And Fabolous sucks.

    There you have it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/writeonpointmagazine janice

    I think the bloggers do a good job. A lot of these artists out deserve to be baited and challenged.
    Good post!

  • XRAY3000

    I think Tara Henley should get a Myspace account…Im tryna see some more pix..cuz she sexy as hell..and she can write..”She dont know it, but thats wifey right there” Na but serisously-ne body know if she got an account though…?

  • BROOKLYN
  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    myspace is going nowhere. i read that record labels troll myspace seeing which artists have a buzz, who’s songs are getting played/dloaded… i think we mgiht see MORE artists getting deals or at least getting shine based on their myspace shit.

    as much as FABO hates on myspace, he is using myspace to show his hate, so that’s a win-win for Myspace, not Fab.

  • http://novaslim.com nOva

    Hip-hop fans are a pathetic bunch. The worst thing in the world is to see someone go off on an artist with bad language, bad grammar and bad spelling. And then end the whole comment with G-G-G G-Unit!

    Idiots.

  • youngdelta

    it would be smart for rappers to fall back on these blogs, cuz most of the people on here aren’t record execs. and don’t know the buisness. i mean 9 out of ten people on the street don’t know shit they talkin about, and its the same on the blogs!!!

  • INTERSCOPE JACKSON

    ” more often than not the ones who actually bother communicating end up being (a) nutty Stans that are addicted to CAPS, (b) angry haters who can’t spell ”

    Hahahah, thats funny , but very true Tara.

  • Ian

    True making a a diss record was a bit LAME, but it was also smart. By doing that he’s letting people know that it’s really his site, but if he were going to do that then he could have posted some new stuff that hasn’t been heard yet. As for the thugs online. Those people are funny saying they in this set and when they see such and such they gone blow they heads off. I guess doing that makes them feel gangsta, because the cds aren’t doing it anymore. This just support what I’ve been saying for the last four years: When a suburb teen places a gangsta rap cd in they cd player they too can be a D-boy or Gangsta for seventy minutes.

  • mathew

    the internet is here to stay, Fab is ill but he needs to learn to ride the wave, not fight against it. wise up!

  • bxconnect

    i hope rick ross reads bloggs ive been giving him the business for a minute now.FUCK RICK ROSS WHERES MY REDMAN ALBUM?

  • NsaniT

    Myspace does have the ability to deaden careers, there are a FEW talented rappers on myspace musical section. But the fact that they’re doing that over a demo deadens their careers before it starts

  • Sarutama

    IF you are some thug rapper, and you get your feelings hurt by what someone says on the damn internets, you should wait until your period is over, hose down the old meat tunnel, and stop being such a woman.

  • http://www.bookwormbrown.blogspot.com bookworm

    why think that “nerds” are the only people peeping shit on the internets? You’d be surprised how many students with bad grades [the anti-nerd] spend most of their day in class on computers…watching videos, listening to music, selling their body.

    The issue does bring into focus the tension in hip hop’s ethos between a) not giving a fuck what people think and b) making music for the “people” [to buy].

  • http://xxl bolisbush

    he made that song so you cyber nerds would go listen to him one word marketing oh yeah bol=bush

  • WI$EGUY

    I LIKE THE STORIE BUT HEY TIMES ARE CHANGEING FOR THE BETTER,YOU SOUND LIKE YOUR GETTING OLD WITH YOUR PURIST ATTITUDE AND PERCEPTION OF THIS INTERNET WORLD WE NOW LIVE IN. ALL WERE DOING IS GETTING A CHANCE TO CALL IT HOW IT IS AND BABY GIRL THATS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE!!! THATS WHAT AMERICA AND OUR CULTURE IS AND WAS BASED AND FOUNDED ON. YOU CRASH TEST DUMMY.BABIE GIRL STEP YOUR GAME UP AS WELL BECAUSE AN ARTICULATE CAT AS MYSELF IS GONNA BE THE ONE TO EXPOSE THESE HOES AND TAKE YOUR JOB! HONEY GET WITH IT,THIS IS A FAST WORLD.ONCE PEOPLE MAKE IT, THEY TEND TO FORGET WHERE THEY CAME FROM AND I THINK YOUR BECOMING ONE OF THOSE PEOPLES WHO IN THE LONG RUN PLAY THEM SELVES.AND EVEN IF WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPELL THATS WHAT SPELL CHECK IS FOR!ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU WANNA BE AN ENGLISH TEACHER!! HEY I THINK YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO THAT IT WILL DO YOU SOME JUSTICE,AND ITS A EASIER WORLD TO LIVE IN…LOL…J/K AND RIGHT NOW WHO THE FUCK IS FABO HE AINT MADE HEATERS IN YEARS!!! BUT ITS OK FOR HIM TO LIVE THE LIFE AND MAKE MILLIONS AND BUY CARS EVERY SO OFTEN BECAUSE OF PEOPLE HE GETS OVER ON. BUT YET MY 20$ IT COST TO BUY HIS 2 OUT OF 18 SONG GARBAGE CD IS OK FOR ME THOUGH HUH ITS COOL IF I GET JERKED HUH BUT NOT THE FABULOS GUY HUH ”FABULOS USE TO BE A HOMOSEXUAL TERM OF INDEARMENT”(spell check that 1) AND now all of a sudden its a RAP cats name AND HE’S REPPIN THE HOOD!>>.WTF??????…LMFAO WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TOO??? WTF!!!

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  • Blue Season

    “fuck the internet”

    “www.myspace.com/therapistmusic ”

    LLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL

  • Blaq Thought

    My Space will play out just like BlackPlanet and Kaaza. Whenever the media jumps on something popular it dies (look at rap music not Hip Hop culture). I laugh at how people get shit confused. Rap is something you do and Hip Hop is something you live (thanx KRS)! The Internet is primarly designed for communication, if you don’t like what people have to say (type) about you don’t listen (read it). It’s that simple. Artists get hated on just like everyday people get hated on by their peers, coworkers or fake friends. DEAL WITH IT, THAT’S LIFE!!!! I give My Space 6 more month before some new program takes over.

  • WI$EGUY

    A GIRL GET AT ME I AINT MADD AT CHA,I CAN TELL YOU NEED A THUG IN YOUR LIFE…EMAIL ME…..

  • H-Man

    Dats all I know. Thugin like 2pac. On da net, in da streets, and especially in da studios. Live like a man and someday die like one. peace

  • http://www.mostdeaf.com Mel

    Thats tooo funny

    -MostDeaf.com Team

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  • Victor Trammell

    I’m a student cause I’m tryna learn something instead of attempting suicide in the dope game. I peeps out this website cause I love XXL magazine. Down time between studies is a good time to hit up the internet. I also happen to be a Kansas City area rap artist who is dealing with Talent2K, a company that is adverised in this magazine. (They really work for you!) Okay back to the program. I hate most rappers and internet “thugs”. I have lived the life of a real hooligan and don’t condone or brag about the benefits whether you makin money or not. Most of my best homiez and relatives are dead. It’s time for a real rapper like Pac (without dying) that translates the grimy life into positive heartfelt reality. I make music you can feel in your gut not that bullsh*t like “my champagne”, “my car” “my clothes”. Fu*k all that. Most rappers is just as plastic as an internet thug! I’m only 24 years old and I vow to bring reality back to this decaying culture that is lush with fakers.

  • Pingback: » Loso’s Way - XXL

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