No Stairway

Reading this story in the New York Times the other day about how classic rap albums are selling as if they were used hypodermic needles, I couldn’t help but think: I’m just as guilty as everyone else of contributing to this phenomenon.

The only classic rap albums in my relatively meager CD collection are ones that I copped way the fuck back in the day, and so they weren’t really classic at the time. What’s more, the only rap album I listen to from the pre-mid ’90s era is the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill, which is apparently the only old rap album that still sells.

Meanwhile, it’s not like I don’t listen to old music. I spent my college years rocking out to the likes of In Utero, New Miserable Experience, the Blue Album, You’re Living All over Me, Surfer Rosa, Rumours, Highway 61 Revisited (maybe the oldest album I really, really like) and so on and so forth.

Who knows how any of those albums sell (someone should start tracking that sort of thing!), but my guess is better than the majority of the consensus best rap albums evar. And keep in mind, these aren’t the likes of Dark Side of the Moon, Boston, or Their Greatest Hits we’re talking about either.

For the week ending November 12th of this year, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, fairly widely regarded as the best rap album evar, only sold about 400 copies. Other classics from the era, including LL’s Bigger and Deffer and Run-DMC’s Raising Hell fared way worse.

Meanwhile according to the Times story, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, one of the top catalog albums evar, still sells about 10,000 copies a week more than 30 years after the fact. What gives?

According to some of the angry old rappers quoted in the story, classic hip-hop is just not promoted as well as classics from other genres of music. And there probably is a certain degree of truth to that. For example, there’s never been classic rap radio the same way there is classic rock radio.

I wonder though if part of it’s just that hip-hop as a genre isn’t meant to persist over time the same as other genres of music, which would explain why the more rock-like hip-hop albums sell better over the years. Maybe hip-hop is just more of the moment than other genres of music.

If so, I don’t know if that’s such a bad thing artistically, but I guess it is too bad for the poor bastards who rely on album sales to make a living.

  • Metaphor126

    1st?

  • J

    J

  • P

    …third?

    This is why rap is (still) great, if you ask me.
    When a “subculture” or genre or whatever gets to caught up in nostalgia, that’s when things really begin to go downhill.

  • hurricanefrank

    Fuck eat

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Can’t fault you here, Ashlee. A Classic rap station would be nice. As it is, Old School at Noon is playing stuff from 2001. Congrats, Ash. This was your first post in a month that didn’t involve me or Jay-Z.

  • The Bizness

    GET SIRIUS! the only drawback with “classic” hip-hop radio is that they think it has to shit form the 70′s and early 80′s. We need to hear that true school era circa 93 till

  • Fin

    Yeah, rap is “(still) great” because they have no sense of history and no respect for those who paved the way.

    Just look at the Bow Wow ad on the right, that’s exhibit A on how rap as a genre is so self obsessed.

    Rap fans themselves don’t remember what happened last week far less 10 years ago.

  • http://www.allhiphop.com Rey

    Pete Rose Jr

  • http://xxlmag.com Bol

    >Just look at the Bow Wow ad on the right, that’s exhibit A on how rap as a genre is so self obsessed.

    Well, he’s got some chains on. That’s a nod to hip-hop history (indeed black history in general), right?

  • Fernando

    You got it right on this one. I never hear old school rap anymore unless I play it. Even a 90′s rap station (on sattelite radio of course) would be sick. The sad part is that when 106th does flashback video’s, it ends up being B2K ro some other ish from 2000.

    Im of the ilk that believes rap peaked somewhere around 94-96. I can seriously name off 30 rap acts from that era that were 100x sicker than most the crud out these days. Every coast or region had its best artists at their best at this time.

    NY – Early Busta, Jay, Wu, Boot Camp, Das EFX, Nas, Camp Lo, Rawkus Records, Etc. Etc.

    South – OUtkast, Goodie Mob, Scarface / Ghetto Boys, UGK, South Circle, Big Mike, Devin

    West Coast – Dre, Snoop, Eazy, Cube, Ice T, Lynch Hung, Mac Dre, RBL Posse, Dre Dog, Dogg Pound, Bloods & Crips, South Central Cartel, etc. Etc.

    Damn……that makes me depressed

  • Fernando

    Cant forget 2 live crew, Digital underground, Paperboy, Brothaz Unda Madness, wrex in effex (not that good of a group, just had to throw them in)

  • http://Ifux.blogspot.com I Fux

    Yo for real Bol…..and them motherfuckers tour and make a killing 100 years after they were relevant……..but now the only place Big Daddy Kane can tour or Slick Rick and make some money is in Europe or the Oriental….Slick Rick is in LA doin a show at a little cumbersome Bar/Restaurant for 20$ and if any motherfuckers know anything The Art of Storytelling released my Senior year of high school in ’99 is prolly top 10 on my all-time hip-hop albums and that was like 10 years after he dropped his original classic……..Classic Rap Stations are a must so Hip-Hop can Live more so than ever

  • http://Ifux.blogspot.com I Fux

    ifux.blogspot.com

  • Fernando

    One thing about super old school rap is that while everybody respects it, the beats & rhymes actually kind of suck.

    I respect the hell out of Run DMC, but I cant listen to it in my car. They basically spit nursery rhymes over some irritating beats.

  • content

    >One thing about super old school rap is that while everybody respects it, the beats & rhymes actually kind of suck.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I’m glad somebody said it

  • Were Read 2 Def

    Classic rap = mid to late 90′s rap

  • http://www.myspace.com/gopentertainment Sayso is Donny Slaughter

    It helps U understand tha evolution of hip hop, shyt I can still listen to ‘Long Live the Kane’, ‘Microphone Fiend’, ‘I Shot tha Sheriff’ by EPMD, see tha sweet thing is U can take 1 or two old school joint that U like, rip em to your computer, and make old school cd’s of your own, with tha old school cd’s U still got, shyt, ‘Biz Mark is Goin’ Off’, ‘The Symphony’, shyt yall gon make me burn one while I burn one!!!LOL!!!

  • http://twerkolator.com twerkolator

    “They basically spit nursery rhymes over some irritating beats.”

    you can tell y’all niggas was born in the 80s.

  • Yo

    lol

  • Block

    rap has evolved into more than just music.its more of a culture.this culture consist of being fresh to def and fly,constantly poppin tags.my point is hip hop lives in the NOW.remember thong song.that summer it dropped you couldnt get away from it.after that you probably never heard it again.stay new,stay fresh or get ghost.

  • dameSTATii

    Fernand, you from the “O”?

    Lynch, Dre Dog, DU and the Bums? (the bums actually sucked though, but I did use to bump the tape).

    And what you know about that Piru Lov? “Don’t say cuz, cuz blood, this is piru, all the time.”

  • Ghost of 2Pac

    If it wasn’t for the boyz back then. It wouldn’t be rap, hip hop, and etc. Some of the sound may have suck back then. But i bet some of ya boyz bittin’ of their sound! Bet on that!

  • Meka Soul

    >Well, he’s got some chains on. That’s a nod to hip-hop history (indeed black history in general), right?>

    sure, if kunta kinte was a rapper.

  • http://theartistwithwords.blogspot.com/ Davinche

    Big post bol.
    I agree mainly with everyone, new cats in Hip Hop lack the respect for the people who paved the way for them to become mainstream and big sellers. They think/act like Hip hop was always accepted. Furthermore most of them act like Hip Hop never existed before Pac and BIG.
    However the biggest problem if you ask me is the internet. If your someone experimenting and looking for old skool rap your not gonna go into your local music store/best buy and find it sitting their on the shelf. Then their are all these “specialist” stores who wanna charge you extra to hear music from 15/20 years ago. Most are hard too track down and usually the beats are so redundant you would rather wish they had just done accapellas. So your left to get a free, easy to access, and of course illegal version. Thats the deal. Rock fans, and other genre fans respect where the music has come from. Even if they like the most wack rock shit they still know the life story of Nirvana and bands before them and respect what they done. The only time hop hop fans respect em is if they got shot and killed. I can bet you a million bucks that if you asked people who buy 50 cent shit who is public enemy they will have no idea.

    Also truth be told, but hip hop music ages quick. The genre builds so fast on what it learns and is so fast moving that when you hear the original shit you can not stand it. Plus its moved so quickly into mainstream shit, that its now the replacement of pop music for rebellious white fools. Hip hop now lacks the substance and reality it once did and is now nothing more than s tool for these record industries to take middle Americas money. Thats why.

  • dameSTATii

    kunta kinte is a rapper, aka keak da sneak!

    grating accents like whaaaaa!!!!

    (Bol made Dj Drama Quit. that’s fukkd)

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    shoot they need to dig in the crates and get some old EPMD…KSOLO…but

    old school imo are the following

    Run DMC, LL COOL J (radio dayz), Public Enemy, BDP, MC SHan, MARLEY MARL, COLD CRUSH, UTFO, GRANDMASTER FLASH AND THE FURIOUS FIVE, BEAT STREET ALBUM, CHUBB ROCK, BIG DADDY KANE, RUN DMC, NAughty by nature, MC LYTE, BLACK MOON, BOSS, ONYX, WHODINI, ERIC B AND RAKIM,ICE T (COLORS)

    shyt i am 36… i still got ALBUM and cassettes and it in the era of digital…the problem is the record business was slow to change.

    now bec Christmas is the time where they drop a zillion records… but the ? is …. does it sound right?

    i used to be crazy about super tuesday now i am like whatever …

    however jay z album is mad nice

    however every year i still get the life after death album… cuz can u picture me scared of a nicca who breathe the same air as u and me? uhhh noooo lol

    rip hip hop!

  • Da PartyStarter

    xm radio hasa station devoted to Old School Hip-Hop music and as a D. J. I make sure to include an Old School set whenever I play. Sometimes, we have to do it ourselves.

  • THE ONE

    Bol, you fuckin white boy. No wonder why you bash rap so hard. Vanilla Ice as nigga.

  • THE ONE

    Well, he’s got some chains on. That’s a nod to hip-hop history (indeed black history in general), right?
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    HAHAHA you racist bastard. That was kinda funny tho.

  • sDOT

    >One thing about super old school rap is that while everybody respects it, the beats & rhymes actually kind of suck.

    I respect the hell out of Run DMC, but I cant listen to it in my car. They basically spit nursery rhymes over some irritating beats.

    - – - – - –
    agreed. the thing about classic rock compared to classic rap is the rock really hasn’t changed much. true it has gone through phases (60′s hippies, 70′s arena rock, 80′s glam, 90′s grunge, 00′s crap), but they all pretty much stay consistant. there is only so much you can do with a guitar. hendrix, clapton, and santana pretty much maxed that out.

    hip-hop is a different because a producer can use a computer to an infinite extent (although they don’t). the sound keeps changing.

    with that being said, i would love to hear a station that played tribe, souls of mischief, main source, etc. all day long.

  • jacquez
  • dirtySOUTH

    LIKE WHAT DO YOU NIGGAZ GET OUT OF NAS & ALL THOSE OTHER OLD SCHOOL PREACHER RAPPERSMUSIC? KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE STREETS!?!??!? ALL YOU NIGGAZ ARE NOT EVAN FROM THE STREETZ GET OFF THIS “TEACHERS” DICK like i know if most of you who listen to this nigga are scared of songs that talk about girls sex partying clubbing its your way of escaping that life but than again what do you see in Nas’s music you cant RELATE TO ANYTHING THIS “TEACHER” TALKS ABOUT.

  • sDOT

    i guess my point to that rant was, people like classic rock because today’s rock (even as crappy as it is) still sounds like old school rock. a guitar is a guitar. today’s hip-hop doesn’t really doesn’t sound like yesterday’s.

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    listen to the intro to mos def cd black on both sides…we are hip hop…which explains how certain things get outdated…for example…the 80s ish…it was a reflection of the time…which explains the state of hip hop now…we as a people are f’d up and on some other ish…so much more can be said…but i dont feel like doing a whole lot of typing…

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    whatever, Hip Hop(artisticly speaking) is meant for “the long haul”…

    There’s no “classic rapper” tours, nothing…

    so unless ur r a producer (who can change their sound with the times and work with NEW writers constantly) or an executive- u gotta get that guap while it’s hot!

    Now on to another thing, “Hip Hop is Dead” is not Nas’ best album, but FAR from his worst…

    It fit’s right in the middle between “Sillmatic” and “God’s Son”, assuming Nas’ 1st two albums were his best (in chronological order)…

    THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT!

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    Fear Not of Man
    (* – means in the name of god, the most merciful, the most compassionate)

    [mos def]
    Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem *

    If you can hear me ladies and gentlemen
    Then I’m very happy that you came here..

    Ooh-ooooooooooohhhh, ooh-ooooooooooooooohh-wheeeee!!!
    That was for brooklyn..
    Ha ha, we get it everytime
    You got me on? ohh
    Shout out to all of my crew, east-west, north-south
    All the continent, europe, all abroad international
    Bring it in, bring it in, bring it in, bring it in
    It’s a lot of things goin on y’all
    21st century is comin
    20th century almost done
    A lot of things have changed
    A lot of things have not, mainly us
    We gon’ get it together right? i believe that
    Listen.. people be askin me all the time,
    Yo mos, what’s gettin ready to happen with hip-hop?
    (where do you think hip-hop is goin? )
    I tell em, you know what’s gonna happen with hip-hop?
    Whatever’s happening with us
    If we smoked out, hip-hop is gonna be smoked out
    If we doin alright, hip-hop is gonna be doin alright
    People talk about hip-hop like it’s some giant livin in the hillside
    Comin down to visit the townspeople
    We +are+ hip-hop
    Me, you, everybody, we are hip-hop
    So hip-hop is goin where we goin
    So the next time you ask yourself where hip-hop is goin
    Ask yourself.. where am I goin? how am I doin?
    Til you get a clear idea
    So.. if hip-hop is about the people
    And the.. hip-hop won’t get better until the people get better
    Then how do people get better? (hmmmm…)
    Well, from my understanding people get better
    When they start to understand that, they are valuable
    And they not valuable because they got a whole lot of money
    Or cause somebody, think they sexy
    But they valuable caause they been created by god
    And god, makes you valuable
    And whether or not you, recognize that value is one thing
    You got a lot of socities and governments
    Tryin to be god, wishin that they were god
    They wanna create satellites and cameras everywhere
    And make you think they got the all-seein eye
    Eh.. I guess the last poets wasn’t, too far off
    When they said that certain people got a God complex
    I believe it’s true
    I don’t get phased out by none of that, none of that
    Helicopters, the tv screens, the newscasters, the..
    Satellite dishes.. they just, wishin
    They can’t really never do that
    When they tell me to fear they law
    When they tell me to try to
    Have some fear in my heart behind the things that they do
    This is what I think in my mind
    And this is what I say to them
    And this is what I’m sayin, to you check it

    All over the world hearts pound with the rhythm
    Fear not of men because men must die
    Mind over matter and soul before flesh
    Angels for the pain keep a record in time
    Which is passin and runnin like a caravan freighter
    The world is overrun with the wealthy and the wicked
    But God is sufficient in disposin of affairs
    Gunmen and stockholders try to merit my fear
    But God is sufficient over plans they prepared
    Mos def in the flesh, where you at, right here
    On this place called earth, holdin down my square
    Bout to do it for y’all, and y’all at the fair
    So just bounce, come on bounce
    B-b-bounce b-bounce b-bounce-bounce
    And just..
    .. just step two three
    Just step two three and
    Step two..
    Two three and..
    One two three and four
    One two three and four
    Once again
    All over the world hearts pound with the rhythm
    Fear not of men because men must die
    Mind over matter and soul before flesh
    Angels for the pain keep a record in time
    Which is passin and runnin like a caravan freighter
    The world is overrun with the wealthy and the wicked
    But God is sufficient in disposin of affairs
    Gunmen and stockholders try to merit your fear
    But God is sufficient over plans they prepared
    Mos def in the flesh, where you at, right here
    On this place called earth, holdin down my square
    Bout to represent in your whole atmosphere
    Bout to represent in your whole atmosphere
    To your atmosphere, to your atmosphere
    Oh-ooooooohhhhhhhhhh!
    That was for you – and brooklyn too!

  • Fernando

    old mobb deep

  • skip

    Lmao fucking Bow Wow trying look like a young Treach

  • Yo

    lmao

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    Thats because old school hip hop sounds extremely outdated and the rhymes are pretty basic. I give the old school props for everything they did but still. Whereas older rock bands still sound as relevant today. Albums like Nevermind, Darkside of the Moon, and Master of the Puppets could be released now and still sound dope.

    With that being said classic songs by Wu Tang, Biggie, Pun, Dogg Pound, Ice Cube, and Cypress Hill > any form of music

  • Fernando

    Toni Tony Tone

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    man the cat that talk about the producers hit it on the head.. do yall know how much these cats are getting paid???

    shoot case in point scott storch.. is getting close to $250,000 PER track plus a % of the sales. jazza pha get $125,000 per track plus a % of the sales!!

    now timbaland.. who imo got no business being on a pussycats dolls track… got mad moolah coming out of the sky for that track and he getting pay out the yin and yang for the success he gave to nelly furato… $300,000 and that doesnt includes royalities fees…

    somebody need bring backs the drums and horns and claps to the music

    live band is the way to go now

    rolling stones be stone me up forever and still a cash cow.. u should see mick jagger’s crib.. it would put shaq’s crib to shame …and that words…

    too much focus on the bling…and not enough focus on uplifting one well being…

    look at prince… that mofo still getting pay but from what i understand when he walked away from warner brothers (is that label still in business???) he walk away from everything that was associated with it..shyt but he aint hungry last i check he got countless grammies and ama and hell a damn oscar for the best movie of all time purple rain!

    the point is if u dont evolve ya gonna turn to dust

  • Fernando

    facemob

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    UGGH

  • dameSTATii

    K-Dee

    Heiroglyphics

    415

  • Fernando

    Alvin Williams

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    AY!

  • john cochran

    I Dont think ol school beats sucked. I give yall the rhymes though. Classic rock if you ask me is better than today’s rock. Thats why they have stations. Hip hop is not old enough to have stations yet. And another point is, ol white folks still listen to they ol white bands. People that grew up listening to ol school rap though probably dont still listen to it. They got older and started listening to ol R&B.

  • armizzle

    >Hip-Hop is dead.

    This is probably the most infuriating, misguided sentence I’ve ever read…evar.

    I’m grabbing your shoulders, I’m looking you in the eye, and I’m shaking the shit out of you. HIP HOP WILL NEVER GO BACK ITS PARK-JAMMIN’, B-BOY BREAKIN’, ROOF-TOPPIN’, ESSENTIALLY NEW YORK WAYS 10-15 YEARS AGO. It’s a new day, and a new breed.

    The argument that contemporary rap artists are only concerned with making money, regardless of how “good” their product is, and that the artists of hip-hop’s “golden era” overlooked the business aspect of their craft and only focused on the quality of their record is completely absurd. I’m sorry to break it to you Nas dick-riders, but come on; do you really believe he knew his album would become revered as a classic?

    Also, I don’t see how the subject matter of Biggie’s rhymes are any different from those of our modern day dope-boi rappers; he just had incredible delivery, and is heralded by many as the greatest rapper evar.

    And how can you say hip-hop is dead when artists like Lil’ Wayne consistently drop verses that are literally jaw-dropping. His lyricism is next to none as of right now: his wordplay, metaphors, and punchlines are genius, straight up.

    So what about hip-hop is dead? Its lyricism? I’d argue that that aspect of hip-hop has been improved upon. Its production-values? Well, with beat monsters like Just Blaze and 9th Wonder around, and veterens like DJ Premier still delivering fire, I’d say that’s been improved on as well (let’s face it: beats from the 80s sucked). Hip-hop’s heart? IMO, hip-hop was bred out of competition, and that’s why hip-hop is ever evolving; it’s constantly raising the bar, constantly improving it’s many facets, and, consequently, trimming its shortcomings.

    You say hip-hop is dead…but most of you don’t even fucking know what hip-hop is.

  • NY FINEST

    WE ARE THE CHIPMUNKS

  • armizzle

    >Hip-Hop is dead.

    This is probably the most infuriating, misguided sentence I’ve ever read.

    I’m grabbing your shoulders, I’m looking you in the eye, and I’m shaking the shit out of you. HIP HOP WILL NEVER GO BACK ITS PARK-JAMMIN’, B-BOY BREAKIN’, ROOF-TOPPIN’, ESSENTIALLY NEW YORK WAYS 10-15 YEARS AGO. It’s a new day, and with that comes a new breed.

    The argument that contemporary rap artists are only concerned with making money, regardless of how “good” their product is, and that the artists of hip-hop’s “golden era” overlooked the business aspect of their craft and only focused on the quality of their records is completely absurd. I’m sorry to break it to you NaS dick-riders, but come on…do you really believe he knew his album would become revered as a classic?

    Also, I don’t see how the subject matter of Biggie’s rhymes is any different from that of our modern day dope-boi rappers; he just had incredible delivery, and is heralded by many as the greatest MC evar.

    And how can you say hip-hop is dead when artists like Lil’ Wayne consistently drop verses that are literally jaw-dropping. His lyricism is next to none as of right now: his wordplay, metaphors, and punchlines are genius, straight up. Lupe Fiasco is also sick.

    So what about hip-hop is dead? Its lyricism? I’d argue that that aspect of hip-hop has been improved upon. Its production-values? Well, with beat monsters like Just Blaze and 9th Wonder around, and veterens like DJ Premier still delivering fire, I’d say that’s been improved upon as well (let’s face it: both the shitty nursery rhymes and the stiched together beats of the 80s sucked). Hip-hop’s heart? IMO, hip-hop was bred out of competition, and that’s why hip-hop is ever evolving; it’s constantly raising the bar, constantly improving its many facets, and, consequently, trimming its shortcomings.

    You say hip-hop is dead…but most of you don’t even fucking know what hip-hop is.

  • INVISIBLE_HAND

    GOOD POST.
    1

  • Fernando

    Damn, John Cochran hit it on the head. I think im in the transition of moving to old R&B.

    Heres what I like…

    Teddy Pendergrass
    Barry
    Bill Withers
    Bobby Womack & Caldwell
    Lenny Williams
    EW&F
    Smokey Robinson
    LSG
    Jodeci (not old school, but satisfying none the less)
    Al, Marvin, & Curtis (if you dont know, you dont know)

  • eauhellzgnaw

    If you don’t understand why the Bomb Squad’s production and Rakim’s MCing, for instance, put the vast majority of today’s rap acts to shame, then I feel sorry for your mother.

  • skip

    old school ryhmes suck huh so rakim,krs,kool g rap,kane fucking sucked u fools bumped ya dam heads.shit pre-rakim maybe after hell no cats had 2 step it up that’s y ya got the nas’s,jay’s,big’s,and pac’s. but now cat’s are lacking so u get the jimmy jones’s, yung joc’s etc…

  • Adam_K

    I would hope You’re Living All Over Me still sells alright. It got reissued earlier this year too, I think. I’m thinking that it wouldn’t actually sell much though. Besides the fact that they’ve been playing shows lately, do new Dino Jr fans exist? If they do, I’m sure they’d be way more likely to just download instead of buying anyway.

  • 110street

    bol after reading your post for several months i comes to terms you are one oreo ass nigga, atleast post one classic artist every post if your gonna talk shit

  • Paychexx

    what do the fuck do u listen to? u aint even just a hater. u just dont like shit, i bet bitches dont fuck with unless it lil wayne and baby

  • >>>>>>>>>ROC

    yo bow wow is a fuckin fag….if i catch that nigga in the street ima fuk him up and rob his bitch ass…then ima piss all over him…hez a fukin disgrace………if any1 here happens 2 c bowwow in the streets fuk that nigga up please…….the same goes for young joc……….d4l dfb or jim jones……1

  • dre4life

    It definitely is 1 of if not the biggest issue 4 hip hop: is it gonna last? yeah the albums arent sellin the way we want them 2 b, but i think as long as we keep makin good music, hip hop will never die. i mean, modern times dont sell neither, by the way ggod 2 c u mentioned highway 61

  • J.O.S.E.(RAP IS LIKE WRESTLING)

    for the most part rappers are not evolving these years. the production is light years ahead of the artist themselves. i agree with “skip”, up until the late 90s and 00s rapper’s styles were changing getting better every time. but then something happened and shit just started moving in reverse in the way of lyrics…

    that being said the 90s era of hip hop was the best. i still have the original wu-tang single “protect ya neck” on one side and “M.E.T.H.O.D.” on the other. damn that was the shit!!!

  • 110street

    whut happen was these young dudes want to dance they dont want skills and lyrics and way is that we blame the souf but the matter is thats whut the kids want,25years and up are to busy tryin to support there self then to support an artist (cd) you dig its just the way of the world. times change.

  • skip

    yo bol them chinaman pics r funny as hell

  • Ali38

    Rap will survive .. whether u pencil-heads support it or not. The thing is, theres enough burbs to support the richer and more successful of us while the middle-to-low rot in hell. Which in part answers the question of ‘What happened to quality, lyrics, yadda yadda’.. The problem is that black people care bout puttin’ food in the fridge more than an art form, which is a dilemma, but is fair enough. Survival is the most important. Since that ‘true-school’ shit don’t sell (let alone circ. 89 classics), you gotta hear whatever sells. But i can guarantee, that if you look hard enough into hip hop at ANY time be it 2064 or 2137, there will ALWAYS be some underground cats that bring that raw heat and meaningful substance in their albums.

  • Cuban Link

    ^^^^^Co-sign.

    its mainly because no one wants hip hop to be old.Who would want to here 2Pac or Biggie on classic rap stations?That would make it harder for them to still exist as much as they do now.Also, these cats dont give a fuck about classic.Why would Miss Jones go and make a radio station about classics, when she could make more putting out the shit of today?As long as theres a dollar to be made, noone gives two shits.

    Also, I got a question.Since most of these cats in mainstream that suck ass have ghost writers anyway, why not just tell them to write something a little lyrical to please us haters and rap to it under a mainstream beat so itll still sell?

    On another note, hip hop will (most likely) one day return better than ever.Since so many whack dance rappers are coming out, eventually there will be no more money in it so they will turn to other means of making dough something that requires talent despite the fact they suck ass.Then, only the cats with love for Hip Hop will be left.The only problem will be getting mainstream into it so itll sell.SInce hip hop really is black cultures only music to represent them, theres a good chance mainstream will back it up.*knock on wood (no Weezy)*

  • J.R.O.

    Yeah… Ya’ll see the Nuggets & the Knicks?

  • Malik

    Why didn’t anyone mention the Stairway to Heaven reference? I’d have to agree though. People get pissed off when they here an “old” song. Old meaning the same shit you were singing all day long 2 weeks ago.

  • KMay

    >”One thing about super old school rap is that while everybody respects it, the beats & rhymes actually kind of suck.
    I respect the hell out of Run DMC, but I cant listen to it in my car. They basically spit nursery rhymes over some irritating beats.”

    Wow hmmm, i was born in 1988 when i started listenening to rap is was in the late 90′s early 2000′s. I was a typical white boy who listened to mainly Eminem, Nelly, Ludacris,
    G-Unit pretty much all that main stream bullshit called hip-pop. But after listenening for a while and growning closer to the genre i started listening to older artists and albums that were made in late 80′s, early and mid 90′s. There is no comparison. Old school is better in every way (my opinion). It bothers me to see and hear people today talk about how these Old School rappers spittin nursery rhymes and all that when we have rappers like Dem Franchize Boyz (however you spell there faggot ass name), D4L, etc comin out with all that.

    I dont know, i guess I just feel as if Old school rap/hip-hop is much more about the music where as a lot of these new school rappers trying to pimp the rap game for few bucks. We need to start supporting the “real” rappers,ones who can make a positive future for the rap game and get back in touch with its roots because i dont like the way its headin’ now.
    (just my opinion)

  • skip

    IT’S LATE but ATL’S OWN is a fucking IDIOT. Who is BIG L? ASSHOLE

  • skip

    THIS GUY/FEMALE(ATL’S OWN) POSTED WHO IS BIG L ?

  • http://theartistwithwords.blogspot.com/ Davinche

    Big post bol.
    I agree mainly with everyone, new cats in Hip Hop lack the respect for the people who paved the way for them to become mainstream and big sellers. They think/act like Hip hop was always accepted. Furthermore most of them act like Hip Hop never existed before Pac and BIG.
    However the biggest problem if you ask me is the internet. If your someone experimenting and looking for old skool rap your not gonna go into your local music store/best buy and find it sitting their on the shelf. Then their are all these “specialist” stores who wanna charge you extra to hear music from 15/20 years ago. Most are hard too track down and usually the beats are so redundant you would rather wish they had just done accapellas. So your left to get a free, easy to access, and of course illegal version. Thats the deal. Rock fans, and other genre fans respect where the music has come from. Even if they like the most wack rock shit they still know the life story of Nirvana and bands before them and respect what they done. The only time hop hop fans respect em is if they got shot and killed. I can bet you a million bucks that if you asked people who buy 50 cent shit who is public enemy they will have no idea.

    Also truth be told, but hip hop music ages quick. The genre builds so fast on what it learns and is so fast moving that when you hear the original shit you can not stand it. Plus its moved so quickly into mainstream shit, that its now the replacement of pop music for rebellious white fools. Hip hop now lacks the substance and reality it once did and is now nothing more than s tool for these record industries to take middle Americas money. Thats why.

    http://theartistwithwords.blogspot.com/

  • Stiz

    Bol you a cracka i’m white but you more of a cracka than me. 80% of my cd collection is is hiphop 70% is from 1982 -1999. So it was a little schoking to read your post. But on site like http://www.rateyourmusic.com there are still a lot of old skoolers. And a hip-hop history documentery (24 for parts) got over 4.000 hits. And highway 61 revisted is fucking great indeed.

  • Stiz

    For all those people who do love old school rap ket’s create a site/forum of blog.

  • Atl’s own

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Bitch why da fuck U couldn’t simply anwer my question?

    Cuz i still don’t kno who da fuck dude iz!

  • Atl’s own

    skip U can suck a dick!

    apparently U da stupid 1!

    the question wasn’t rhetorical U kno?

    i expected an answer u dumb fuck!

    But from yo reaction i guess he sum NY local guy who yo luv 4 & ignorance made U assume that somehow, sum local guy was reachin the masses way down here!

    Well guess what dumb fuck Hip-Hop don’t revolve around NY!

  • Avenger

    classic hiphop doesn’t sell for several reasons here is the short list:

    1. you got it right BOL no promotion or radio stations saying this was relevant
    2. Black folks will probably bootleg and since rap was largely topic based music or party music if that topic isn’t relevant to you any more you won’t go back to it. Rock is made like sound track it is open for interpertation and people can revist it.
    3. Hiphop has a lot of youthful angst that doesn’t always apply to you later in life. Hiphop involves spoken word so it is more direct where as even if you are direct and you are singing for some reason the impression last longer.
    4. Rap is covered with dated refernces and slang and it can sometimes be hard to get up to speed on the old stuff if you are a causal listener.
    5. Most white kids who grew up listening to rap have since reverted back to rock in there settled years. There black counter parts found GOD or listen to corney as NEO SOUL and act all sophisticated now

    alas hiphop the disposable art the whore of the music world

  • The DJ Formerly Known as N-CREDIBLE

    yall tlak that ish about D4L and what not but thise dudes are doing some CREATIVE SHIT…and most of all they are doing them…dont hate on the next mans success…just ask yourself why am i not succeeding…hiphop can not be put in a box…we need all types of personalities involved otherwise it would be boring…honestly…think about it…if hip hop only consisted of artist like Nas it would be boring…the only reason why the northern cats are hating is because the south is making the money…we need the north south east west and mid west for hip hop to be complete…

    i started off with the south then west then north then mid west back to south…looking for the west to stand up…

  • EReal

    Big L was a badass new york rapper who ripped it and was taken from us early like our other “fallen heros” he just didnt eat his fatass to death thats all.(sorry but thats bullshit)

  • real2death

    When your talking clasic rap its all based on individual opinion. For example I was born in ’80 so my fav classics were when I was in high school from ’94-’98. Greats like Ready to Die, All eyez on me, Doggystyle, Aquemeni just to name a few. Just by poppin in one of those albums brings back memories and that’s what a classic should do. Meanwhie someone that graduated in ’91 may say Rakim, De la, Slick Rick are clasics to them.

  • EReal

    the reason I dont buy old hip-hop is because i already have all those albums. My cds I keep in the jewel cases off in the stash and burn copies for the car, so I have albums all the way back to 88 – 89 that are still mint.
    Oh and Cosign avenger. He made all my points before i could.
    Good looks, and good comments all. Its been alot more meaningfull on the posts lately, looks like the kids are out of school or something, lol.

  • KMay

    ATL’s Own you really shouldnt be posting nything if you never heard of the undergrond legend Big L. You dont need to be from New York(shit im whiteboy from Minnesota) to know who he is, all you need is a little history of rap game.

  • Atl’s own

    thanx!

    EREAL

  • Atl’s own

    to kmay:

    white boy go play!

    I been listenin’ to rap since b4 u ran away from home in a rebellion to be like da kool black kids listenin to rap!

    back when yo parents were force feeding u Johhny Cash and Elvis Presly! I was listenin’ to Kurtis blow and whodini, in between marvin gaye and Al green cuts!

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    ATL’s OWN why are ya attacking kmay’s love for hip hop? Did he attack you first? no.

    So what if he is white/purple/green or blue.

    He likes hip hop and last I check liking music isnt a sin.

    World peace is possible if you think before your open your mouth and act on the facts and not on emotions.

    dont rep our city in a bad way cuz that’s not what southern hospitality is about!

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    ATL’s OWN why are ya attacking kmay’s love for hip hop? Did he attack you first? no.

    So what if he is white/purple/green or blue.

    He likes hip hop and last I check liking music isnt a sin.

    World peace is possible if you think before your open your mouth and act on the facts and not on emotions.

    dont rep our city in a bad way cuz that’s not what southern hospitality is about!

  • Atl’s own

    to Deaf Blaze,

    Actually, yes it did get at me 1st!

    wat else reason would i have to respond to sumone other than being a capt. sav ‘em like yoself!

    apparently U’re as blind as u R deaf!

  • skip

    ATL’S OWN U DIDN’T ASK A ? ABOUT BIG L . U HAD A FUCKING EXCLAMATION POINT ON THE END THAT’S NOT A ? MAYBE U NEED 2 NOT ONLY GO 2 HIP-HOP SCHOOL BUT SCHOOL ITSELF DUMB FUCK

  • skip

    AND DON’T INVITE ME 2 YA PRIVATES I DON’T GET DOWN LIKE THAT . I NEVER SAID HIP-HOP REVOLES AROUND NYC THAT WOULD BE LIKE SAYING THE BEST BASKETBALL IS PLAYED IN MASS.

  • skip

    AND 4 ANYBODY READING THESE POSTS CHECK OUT THE MOST RECENT VIDEO WATCHER 2 UNDERSTAND Y I’M PISSED. EVEN THOUGH I SHOULDN’T BE CAUSE I GUESS EVERYBODY IS THE TOUGHEST IN THE WORLD BEHIND A COMPUTER SCREEN. TYPING B.S. 2 OFFEND PPL .

  • MC Spectakular

    Classic Top Five Hip Hop Playlist
    NWA
    Tribe Called Quest
    De La Soul
    Public Enemy
    Big Daddy Kane

  • Fernando

    Ha ha……

    Skip,

    You were born in 88?? God Damn, I feel old, and Im only 25!

    To my point. As a whole, old school rap had simplistic beats & rhymes. I respect it, but that sh*t would be terrible by todays standards of skill. There is a ton of whack sh*t out today too, so Im not defending D4L or DFB. But there is also about 200x more options of what to listen to. But since your a Youngin who grew up on Eminem, I dont know if the old school you are talking about is the same that I am. When I talk “old-school”, Im talkin bout early-mid 80′s. 1990′s was the golden age.

    And I am a little shocked that somebody didnt know about Big L.

  • Fernando

    But dont get it twisted….

    The old school cats had some super cuts, and laid the foundation for everything there is today. You just wont catch me bumpin Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, Sugar Hill Gang, GrandMaster Flash, Marley Marl, Afrika Bombata etc. in my car….it just wont happen. Lyrics, Concepts, production, and overall skill has progressed. Maybe not in the Mainsteam, but there is a ton of ill sh*t out there. YOU JUST GOTTA FIND IT.

    Artists way ahead of their time…

    Rakim
    EPMD
    Big Daddy Kane
    Ice Cube

    Case & Point……Did you see the song that Rev. Run tried to put out with the video?? It was sad & pathetic. Rick Rueben can still produce though.

  • Fernando

    Outro……

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    damn capt save them hoes? lol u obivously mad.. did ya get bullied as a kid?

    listen i aint gotta defend myself or kmay.. he can stand on his own..

    but it getting old as the air has been around…

    as for the comment.. you must learn!

    take your sorry behind to the Kings center on sweet auburn and look up the true meaning of lynching.

    you play yourself ~ and as for the internet thuggery. that is so 20th century.

    i aint gonna sink to your level of name calling because I got better things to do ~ like make my money with people who wants to make money and not play silly race wars.

    oh one more thang.. GET THE GAS FACE son!

  • Atl’s own

    Skip u still on here rantin’ i guess U grown and stupid!

    U may have knew him; but english not so much huh!?

    If a phrase start with the word “who” it is in fact a question!

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    1970 hip hop in it infancy
    1980 old school rap
    1990 the golden age of hip hop
    2000 ????

    2000 is it the digital age or the mainstream age??

    I aint gonna lie.. i aint ashame to play biggie’s in my ride or tupac… or anything by dr dre…or anything that from the 1990s…the twenties were good to me but now I am in my mid 30′s… progression is a bytch! but u gotta evolve with the time cuz mobb deep said it best in survial of the fittest..

    damn i almost forgot about Nas’ I GAVE YOU POWER track.. damn that shyt is a classic!!!!

    but if i have to pick only 3 producers who will lace my album into a XXXXL classic it would be the following….

    1) RICK RUBIN
    2) DJ PREMIER
    3) Dr. Dre

    but it would be overseen by Easy Mo Bee…. that man is the reason why biggie blew up and took bad boyz to the next level…

  • skip

    I HOPE YOU ARE NOT(ATL’S OWN) A TEACHER

  • http://www.myspace.com/poisonousdarthfc Poisonous Dart

    First of all, Bol, your blog is a moot point. You rehashed someone elses article and added no new insight to it. Seeing that you don’t know shit about hip hop anyways (or even seem to CARE about it) why do you write about it? Because someone lets you? Whatever, man.

    The REASON old school hip hop albums don’t sell is that there is no sense of history with the youth and every 3-5 years hip hop becomes damn near disposable. If you rocked from 1986-1991 no one wanted to hear you in 1993. If you were hot from 1991-1994, by 1996 you were on the way out and you were DONE in 1997 after the Telecommunication Act passed.

    Now we got ignorant ass cats like Jim Jones calling himself the “kufi smacker”…I’d dare the “Dirt Angel” to smack a kufi off of cats like King Sun, Sir Ibu, Lakim Shabazz, Brother J, Paris, Professor Griff, Intelligent Hoodlum (Tragedy Khadafi), or KRS One back in the days.

    Hip Hop’s youth doesn’t revere it’s forefathers or have a sense of “classic hip hop” the way Rock fans do…Plus 80% of “classic” or seminal hip hop album are OUT OF PRINT! Bottom line.

    Bol….you stupid.

    One

  • cheeks

    People still copping all those old classic Jay-z Albums. Whats better than Reasonable Doubt.
    Too bad they took Ready to Die of shelves

  • http://www.deafceo.com deaf blaze

    whut?? they took ready to die off the shelves?? lol u can get that mofo on ebay for premium dollars.. hell i still got the original and the remasters of ready to die.. i will lose my mind if something were to happen to them..

  • Ali38

    Ereal you disrespectful little shit.

  • let the game begin

    now iam cobvinced that bol is actually white…..beastie boys?

  • let the game begin

    ^^^ convinced my bad

  • Malik B

    I love when Bol uses so many rock references.

    Pardon my whiteness, but I hardly listen to any hip-hop anymore; I copped the most recent Jeezy and Nas albums, granted, but Squeeze, Fleetwood Mac, Carole King and The Smiths are the only musicians I listen to with any regularity.

    And The Killers too. Hot Fuss rocks.

  • Malik B

    ^Wait, I copped Doctor’s Advocate too. Great album.

  • Quan

    old school rhymes do not suck. it is just an evolution of speech that has taken place (in some cases, a deevolution). it’s like watching the old NBA games. They were great, and still are great. Period. Old school MCs are still great, no matter the time period. One thing they went for complete albums, not one hot single, which is what most of industry seems to be doing. I just say if your influences begin in the 90s, then you are not Hip Hop, you are just trying to be a part of the trend. if you are real Hip Hop to the fuckin’ heart and soul, start at Planet Rock and Rapper’s Delight and then work your way down. If you can’t do that, then get the fuck out. Hip Hop doesn’t need you, bitches.

  • RJ

    And another point is, ol white folks still listen to they ol white bands.

    ^^ co-sign

  • MOP

    game is gay.cop the new clipse album,hot

  • PITPAT

    1990′s is the golden age for HIP HOP HEADS-Nas,talib kwhali,common, & all those other back pack niggaz

    but 2000′s is really when rap was at its peak because thats when it reached the masses 50cent,eminem,g-unit,ja rule,t.i,ludacris & so on.

    people now days just wanna have a good time they dont wanna bore themselves with useless street bullshit that they cant relate too.

  • Halfcut

    Artists lose their edge when they’re no longer hungry. Classic tale. There’s only a few rappers I can think of from back then that have still got it and that’s because they’re either still hungry or just really dedicated to maintaining their artistic integrity.

    As for most fresh-out-the-box-rappers, they’re rarely half decent and even if they are they still can’t touch most of the artists that heads have been reeling off on here.

    That’s why I don’t buy any new hip hop – I’m too busy paying over the odds for classic LPs and 12″s from way back because I’ve only got so much money and I know for a fact that everything I’m buying is raw.

  • DRAMATIC

    i know im gonna get flammed for this but old rap truly sucks either they trying to act to gangster or its just point dexter rap like now dayz people have gotten smarter & dont listen to pointless bullshit they wanna here about bitches parting cash cars drinkin & smoking thing most people can relate too not things they cant.

  • http://www.myspace.com/rawdubb Rainis
  • real city, canada

    Mos def “…21st century is comin
    20th century almost done
    A lot of things have changed
    A lot of things have not, mainly us
    We gon’ get it together right? i believe that
    Listen.. people be askin me all the time,
    Yo mos, what’s gettin ready to happen with hip-hop?
    (where do you think hip-hop is goin? )
    I tell em, you know what’s gonna happen with hip-hop?
    Whatever’s happening with us
    If we smoked out, hip-hop is gonna be smoked out
    If we doin alright, hip-hop is gonna be doin alright
    People talk about hip-hop like it’s some giant livin in the hillside
    Comin down to visit the townspeople
    We +are+ hip-hop
    Me, you, everybody, we are hip-hop
    So hip-hop is goin where we goin
    So the next time you ask yourself where hip-hop is goin
    Ask yourself.. where am I goin? how am I doin?
    Til you get a clear idea
    So.. if hip-hop is about the people
    And the.. hip-hop won’t get better until the people get better
    Then how do people get better?”

    that was said in ’99, way b4 all that NY vs. The South talk was goin on, so there was somthin fucked already & it’s not the south! or the west like in ’96!! i feel the thing that’s killing Hip-hop is the industry. nowadays it’s all bout how many 1st week sales u got, fuck talent! these Lyor Cohen, Barry Weiss, Kevin Liles, Steve Stoute, Jimmy Iovine types who don’t care about the youth, which are influenced by hip-hop (all eras -’73,’74 up to 2007 – included; think about it!) i opened my ears to hip-hop in ’94 but i had older siblings who were playin daddy kane shit, nwa, kool moe dee, ice t shit back when it was a month old so was always hearing that stuff & then my love for hip-hop made me go back, do my homework, document myself like
    that KMAY kid (no I ain’t white, not that it matters) & this what WE as hip-hop should do, make the young kids listen to that stuff, they already hearing anyways cuz those deep 808 beats are from that Africa Bam era. all those throw your hand in the air, wave ‘em … that’s old school there’s million of exemples out there!!! fuck the industry…

    “Well, from my understanding people get better
    When they start to understand that, they are valuable
    And they not valuable because they got a whole lot of money
    Or cause somebody, think they sexy
    But they valuable caause they been created by god
    And god, makes you valuable”

  • POINTGOD KG14

    hip hop is too young a genre, for old skool,
    probably like 50 years deep then it’ll become old skool. come on hiphop really only hit like in the 80′s, which would put most 80′s listeners at 40-45 yrs old that aint ready for an old skool movement. also there wasnt alot of hits back then either, picture there’s a old skool radio station, a week or two you’d be listenin to the same stuff again, let’s build up our music catalogs and probably then we can hit the airwaves, until then we gotta burn our own shit.
    1

  • http://none killa black

    I think that there are so many new rapp act coming out every year, that it takes away from the good album that are classics in hiphop,how many rock bands come out sounding like pink floyd, or kiss, or U2, ROCK IS NOT LIKE HIPHOP, were bigger, so its more likely we would gey watered down, cause rock is not what alot of people want to mimick, hiphop is and we dont have classic hiphop radio, like rock does. bu the FUTURE OF HIPHOP IS HERE (myspace.com/blu-black)

  • http://www.myspace.com/angelsometimes Cthulhu

    Well here in Tampa they have classic hip hop lunch hour on two stations and it sucks on both. I like the old stuff but I don’t think there is enough of it that is both really good and really catchy. As it was the beginning of the style, the majority of rappers had really primitive flow and it’s hard to listen to. I mean, there were a few who really killed it back in the day but most of it was lame as fuck. That’s not to say that at present most rappers are worth a shit, but they at least usually bite the flow of rappers who are [Bow Wow rips off 50 Cent like a motherfucker, so does Fat Joe]. Also, it seems that most of the people who are “with it” enough to want a classic hip hop album are “with it” enough to steal it off the internets.

  • pop a poppa

    how the fuck did Bol get a blog on http://www.xxlmag.com ?!?!?

  • Washington

    Ice Cube never made a better album than his first two.

  • http://www.myspace.com/flamilia MR. FATSO

    ten years ago this week “Life After Death” debuted number 1 on billboard

    I think I’m going to retire and listen to some jazz.

  • theblastocyst

    the reason why darkside is still selling 10,000 a week compared to Bigger and Deffer, Raising Hell, and Nation of Millions is because its better then all of those records combined. I know they were highly influencial records individually and don’t get me wrong… Nation of Millions is in my top 5 hip-hop albums ever. But none of those records even come close to the monumental creation of Darkside. It’s some of the greatest 40+ min ever put on vinyl. So if someone can put out a Darkside of hip-hop (which is very improbable nowadays) then I wouldn’t be suprised if it sold 10,000 weekly in the next 35 years