Apologies to Black man Noz for the co-opting of his previously used headline, but I remember when it was some big shit to see rappers at the Grammy awards. When Jay-Z brought out all of Marcy projects to sing the ‘Hard Knock Life’ hook that might have been the greatest moment ever in the history of the awards. That was the Grammy’s right? Anyhoo, Lauryn Hill also came off with like a thousand awards too that year making shit feel extra right in the Hip-Hop universe. So maybe my problem isn’t with the nominating committee, maybe my problem is the fact that no one in Hip-Hop is making classic albums anymore. I mean, what was the last album that you could bump all the way through without skipping? NaS last album was good for rap music and The Doctor’s Advocate was my favorite album from last year, but neither of these disks were classic material.
Is it our fault that the record industry doesn’t use A & R staffers for their rap artists anymore? We demand content almost instantly. Can you picture waiting for an album without hearing any leaked tracks or mixtape exclusives? The pressure that rap artists are under to keep putting out fresh content means that there are going to be a lot more mediocre tracks than bangers when their albums are finally released. This over saturation of production wears the artist out. He can’t go on tour and make his money if he has to stay in the studio making new tracks. Does Coldplay have to release mixtapes for their fans? What about James Blunt? Who by the way has the most hardbody name of anybody that isn’t involved in rap music.
I am going to try and go for six months without requiring The Game to release a mixtape or a music video. This way he can tour a little bit in support of his album and then he can get back into the studio with his special group of ‘Not Doctor Dre’ producers that manage to create a soundtrack that shows Dre’s fingerprints more than O.J. ‘s bloody Bronco. Even though he’s no longer retired, I will give Jay-Z some more time off to find his passion for rap music again. The Clipse can have the entire year off in order to make an album that is listenable past the first single. I’m such a good dude that I will even volunteer to A & R a project for the Roots Crew where they cover the greatest songs evar in rap history. This way we will definitely get a platinum Roots album. Not that it was ever all about sales, but damn, the Roots deserve a platinum plaque for saving Hip-Hop.
The Roots might be the only way real Hip-Hop makes it back to center stage on these awards shows since most of these voters can relate to someone holding an axe on the stage better than they can relate to someone just holding a microphone and their nuttsachs. Awards shows are a tricky enterprise for Hip-Hop artists since the people that give these honors aren’t connected to the music whatsoever. It’s only validation that you have found a popular audience and never a true recognition that you are part of the paradigm of artists within your genre. At the end of the day Wyclef will have more Grammy awards than NaS. I don’t think we have any question about which one of these dudes is the greater rapper. I guess in the end the question remains, “Who gives a fuck about a gotdamn Grammy?” – © Flavor Flav