Hit Factory

Speaking of hits like “Jesus Walks”, the wife and I were having a good convo about the power of a hit record this morning. She always hates the way critics are quick to tear apart a hit and champion something obscure instead just to seem like the critic knows more than the general public. Just because something’s rare doesn’t make it great. And can that lil nigga Souljah Boy live!

Then I started to think the problem with some hip-hop hits is that they don’t really represent the artist. It’s not a diss cause I’m a homebody myself but as many of you know 50 Cent is never “In The Club.” If Kanye is always boo’d up is he really concerned with “Gold Diggers”? And if Cash really Ruled Everything Around them the Wu wouldn’t be recording with RZA for free and still haggling over loot 14 years later.

It’s pretty well known that Marshall Mathers despises the first singles from his albums that Jimmy Iovine makes him make. And I always remember those early De La Soul shows. Everytime they would do “Me, Myself and I” they would go “You sing this song we hate this song” or some shit like that.

The reason we loved mixtapes so much before Drama got knocked was cuz it was chance to connect with the MC in the purest form. When you’re making a mixtape you’re not worried about impressing a mountain climbing A&R with a catchy hook. You’re just going in and coming straight from the soul. And the results are usually better.

The reason why “I Get Money” worked even though it was a Cassidy jack was the content broke through 50’s hit making formula and truly reflected him. What’s Mr. Vitaminwater all about? Getting money. I get money. Money I got. Audio Two never made any scrilla (their daddy did) and they rarely got “Top Billin’.” Ha!

The reason why “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” worked even though it was a Young Jeezy jack was the content broke through Kanye’s hit making formula and truly reflected him. What’s Mr. Pink Polos all about? Being stubborn. You can’t tell me nothing. Excuse me did you say something? You can’t tell me nothing. The wait til I get money right part was a reach to the common man and y’all chomped it up like sweet potato pie (Word to Domino! Long Beach, are you with me?)

I guess in the end this is all just free advice for rap’s new generation (Heaven knows they need it!). Make sure your music truly reflects you and your POV. Even when you try to make a hit to impress the label prez make sure you’re not gonna hate kicking that third verse 10 years later. If it smells like shit. And it looks like shit. It’s shit.

  • NCB!

    WOW. You’re really doing it. KA-POW! Hats off, my dude! Good luck in the final stretch. Drinks on me over the holiday, Ell!

  • Danny

    For all the niggas not getting any tonight
    THIS IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!!!
    (Just Fuckin Wit Ya)

  • blacker cracker

    right on, mayn

  • BossGame

    Hang tough Yella!

  • http://XXLmag.com Brendan

    YUUUUUUUUGH!

    freeway really should have heeded this advice before he tried to put out “roc-a-fella billionaires” as a single.

  • DANJA29

    True talk… I don’t know if these label folk are really puttin’ the reigns on these niggas to make a “hit” these days or what, but one thing that’s never gone wrong is that song that reflects the artist. Even Biggie’s “Juicy” (even though he initially hated it) gave you the feeling that he had a lot more to give us and this was just one example of his capabiliies. A lot of these dudes now are just shootin’ for whatever makes people happy for a week before they move on to the next “hit”. “I Get Money” was a unique case, cause that shit ended up jumpin’ off and sticking longer than any of 50′s “obvious” singles did. Nobody’s gonna be rockin’ that Robin Thicke collab or that Technology shit next week at the NYE parties, and you can forget about “Amusement Park”.

    Things like that should be a sign to labels (and Jimmy Iovine, before he starts pressuring Em for that goofy lead single), but something tells me they still won’t get it.

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  • http://www.alumnah.com Reymundoooooo

    Altho’ I don’t appreciate the “Kanye swagger-jacked Jeezy” [||] line, the rest is pretty much on point.

    Props for the “Sweet Potato Pie” reference. That was a dope song.

    –Rey

  • http://xxlmag.com YN

    Thanks BossGame!

  • Smoove

    just a beautiful post…that’s how i make my music, as should everyone, true and from the heart.

  • http://xxlmag.com Kane Corleone

    YN SAID”The wait til I get money right part was a reach to the common man and y’all chomped it up like sweet potato pie (Word to Domino! Long Beach, are you with me?)-man keep this shit up i c u cuz what ever happened to that nicca?

  • Josh

    Yeah, but then radio suckas never play those true hip hop records anymore. Word to The Way I Are.

  • latino heat

    on a side note and i know knobody gives a fuck, but i heard nelly say domino is actually from st. louis. dude was straight frontin.