I'm probably not saying anything new for all you geniuses out there, but has anyone noticed how almost every year there is a new Hip Hop act that emerges that's supposed to "bring that real shit back" as they say.
Back when I was coming up, I can't remember how many times I opened a magazine with editorial (or advertorial) telling who that "next nigga" was. One year it would be Kwest The Mad Ladd, another year it would be another Planet Asia or then it would be some Wu-Tang offshoot.
Over the past few years, the same thing has been happening. Except now, its not just the media who up and decides who the next guy is, its the fans with "fanhood." Which could be worst for rappers. At least when you are a media darling you have room to fuck up. Because even in your fuck up, the media is gonna talk about you until you either make a comeback or die completely. In the midst of all of that media jock-riding, your name spreads to more people who will be more open-minded to what you are doing and just form their opinion from that point on.
But if you do something to jeapordize someones "fanhood" you're done. Its sad because alot of these "fans" don't even like the music they cheer for. They are people who are fans just for the sake of saying "Nigga You Ain't Up On This!" Not that there is anything completely wrong with that kind of "fanhood." Its just that I notice that these are the same fans that turn around and call their beloved, secret favorite group wack if they try to even think of stepping out whatever box they've stuffed them in. Alot of them start hating the group just for having the audacity to come out with a sophomore release or gain more fans, sad.
Back in 04-05, Little Brother was the "Nigga You Ain't Up On This" group. Almost of all of their fans reeked of "fanhood." They just had to let you know that they knew every worthless fact about them. They just had to let you know that they could scream louder than you at the shows. They just had to let you know that they were their favorite rap group, not yours.
Its fucked up because those dudes wound up losing "fans" when they signed to a major, lost more when they parted with 9th Wonder, and then folks started talking down when they decided to do a song with Lil Wayne. People with "fanhood" kinda deserted them. Hell, Phonte raps about it on "Can't Win For Losing" on Get Back. Wonder how they feel about Phonte singing hooks for Playaz Circle?
After them came Lupe Fiasco. Just like LB, he got tons of press and praise and was labeled a wunderkind who was "gonna bring Hip Hop back!" People flexed their "fanhood" by all of a sudden picking up skateboards and shit. Or buying whatever product he endorsed on his blog.
After doing some mixtapes, he dropped a pretty dope album that um, hardly anyone supported. Then he fucked around and got a -gate named after his ass. I'm not completely sure how his "fanhood" followers will treat him when The Cool drops.
That brings us up to today. It seems like the next "Nigga You Ain't Up On This" group is about to be Cool Kids out of Chicago. I like most of their music, but after seeing how people have treated LB and Lupe and other "Nigga You Ain't Up On This" groups before them, I can only hope that they can effectively deal with that tag that's waiting to be placed on them.
Not to wish anything on them, but it seems like they are magnets for people with "fanhood." Almost everyone I talk to about this group hits me with that "aw, you late, I've been listening to them longer than you" nonsense, instead of just saying "yeah, they dope, I like their shit too." Sad thing is that sometimes, I've been tempted to retort, telling them how long I've been up on their stuff. Damn, that "fanhood" shit is contagious.
I mean, I think I have it for Outkast [pause like a mahfugga], but not as bad. ("I know I'm guilty of it too, but, not like them"). The most "fanhood" I've ever shown is schooling suckers who actually thought that Stankonia was their first album and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below was their best album. I don't really consider that being lame, if anything, I'm doing a service to society by combating such ignorance.
I guess what I'm saying is, no one likes a bandwagon hopper. Like people who rooted for the Bulls and Cowboys in the 90's but now roll with the Spurs and Patriots. It seems like that same syndrome is spreading in Hip Hop. Like, albums are the new Jordans. You just buy the shit just to say you got it first, not because you actually like it. And it kills me seeing how every year a "Nigga You Ain't Up On This" group appears and we have to sit through months of people expressing their "fanhood." Its sickening.
Maybe that's why Hip Hop album sales are low. One time when I went into a record store, I saw two people debating over if they was gonna buy a certain album. One of them decided not to because "he didn't move units his first week." So in essence, he wants to buy albums he thinks everyone else is gonna buy, not albums that he actually thinks will like. Shit sad.