Interview With Lyor Cohen

There was an interview with Lyor Cohen in Sunday’s New York Post. An excerpt:

Q: Hip-hop experienced a tough year. Sales in the genre were down 30 percent industry-wide. What’s wrong?

A: Hip-hop has lost that generational thing. This used to be my generation’s little secret. Now you’ve got fathers getting jiggy with it. Who wants that? My son does not think it is sexy when he’s looking for his Jay-Z album and he finds it in my CD player. Where it goes, who knows? When something goes from nothing to the most popular you usually know where it goes from there.

I think it’s a telling sign that the CEO of a major music company like Warner Music Group, particularly one who made his bones with hip-hop music, is subversively spelling doom and gloom for the genre. I also think he’s off base a bit.

Sure, a guy like Jay-Z, no matter how great his music may still be (that’s debatable), has assimilated himself into the mainstream. And the mainstream is corny, no doubt about it. Any time shit gets too popular it becomes a wrap. So rap music is in its hair band phase. But there’s also a lot of great hip-hop out there, forward thinking type of stuff, that is not necessarily some straight down the middle cookie cutter rap made for a ringtone (not saying it wouldn’t sound good as a ringtone, just saying it’s not created specifically for the purpose of being sold as one). New York, for example, which people say is completely dead from a hip-hop standpoint, has a lot of good acts, good producers, and good songwriters who are just floating way below the radar. I mean, there’s a scene of some sort. It’s just that it’s in transition and moving away from the sounds that we’ve been hearing for the past five years or so. You might not even call it hip-hop, but it is hip-hop-influenced, and that’s to be expected. Hip-hop itself was influenced by soul, funk, jazz, disco… etc. That’s what culture is about, progression.

The suits are always the last to know. Look at how long it took them to get in bed with hip-hop in the first place. Something like 15 years. So expect them to keep sleeping for some time.

Or hire someone who knows. Just saying.

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  • BIG O

    until hip hop is looked at as an art and not a novelty act it will be lokked at as”hair band rock”we need more artist for it to be taken seriously.less fake gangster lil wayne shit

    • sonic

      Fake gangster lil wayne shit? you prolly like soulja boys old wack ass. ” Stop hatin, he’s only 17.” WACK

      • Cassius

        Fuck Lil Wayne part 2!

  • Tito Santana

    Da Backwudz(U gonna luv me)and (I dont like the look of it) are now Labratz. They’ve departed Dallas Austin’s label Rowdy Records to start there own(Royal Family Music) along with producer Sol Messiah(chamillionaire sound of revenge),(David Banner),(Goodie Mobb),(Dead Prez),(Nappy Roots).. Check da new video called (Creation) on YOUTUBE or they just released an album Independenly Via the internet called (Atlantis Rising) available on,,, ect..
    To all up and coming artist much success and dont be afraid to put that extra grind in and go Independent!! It’s a new era… Everything resides on the Internet even Hiphop! Dont sleep on The Move ment!!Wake up

  • ri067953

    Yo, I think hip-hip is going through a great phase right now. The lack of sales is going to purge all of the artist that are only in it for the money and all of these wack artist will stop making music. Now, an artist will be judged strictly on content and musical ability instead of album sales. I think hip-hop will return to it’s roots and become stronger then it ever was.

  • Fire

    Q: Hip-hop experienced a tough year. Sales in the genre were down 30 percent industry-wide. What’s wrong?

    A: The mainstream music is absolute garbage, and people steal the good music that is being made. There’s plenty of people of all ages that like hip hop, just not everybody likes talentless music. That’s all that needs to be said.

  • chun

    Should post a CV!

    But seriously, props for reviewing the interview. I think Cohen was just chattin bout the charts though, that’s what he is paid for. Hip-hop will always be there for the real heads.

  • here
    lyor is jew right
    cause a lots jews run money here witch i have no problem we should help other too u think he a billionaire?some comment