BLOG: Face It, All You MotherFuXXers Are Irrelevant

I know you read the title of this post and were like, oh no you’re not gonna tell me I’m not relevant. Fuck that! Yes you are.

I kid, I kid!

I had to get you in here somehow.

But seriously, in media there’s this whole question of relevancy which always comes up when it’s time to do a story on someone. It’s always a wonder to me when people pitch story ideas on different artists, producers, events… whatever…. and you’re just left sitting there like, is this relevant? Do people care?

We gotta be realistic here, there’s really nobody in hip-hop that is really relevant like that. The biggest stars can’t even grab the public’s attention for more than three seconds before people log back into their facebook page and send some stupid widget to someone they were trying to hump back in junior high.

The playlist concept, that’s what makes you and your music either irrelevant, or just as relevant as some schmuck making music in his basement on a Shure SM58 and FL Studio (see: Soulja Boy). The fact is that a person can download whatever the hell they want, throw it in iTunes and now everyone’s on an equal playing field. Used to be what separated the established acts from some underground/indie artist was placement in a retail store. Could you get on the shelf in Sam Goody? Now the question is, do any of you fuckers even remember Sam Goody? Google it.

Maybe the only rappers who are relevant right now are Lil Wayne and Kanye. Because they’re the only rappers who I can see that are unanimously supported everywhere. I mean, every genre of music respects them, from trendy hipster crap to rock to pop to new age to world music. You might even see Kanye collab with Herbie Hancock in a minute. It’s that real.

TI? Not so much. Sure he sold some records, and I’m not arguing the quality of his music (Paper Trail is dope, for real). But maybe Jim Jones is right. Does anyone really wanna have swagger like TI? Ummm… no. I don’t think anyone’s trying to be the next TI. But then, is anyone really trying to be the next Jim Jones either? Ummm… no.

You can talk that talk all you want, but the only thing makes you relevant is hits. Sure, TI has hits. But even with hits, again it’s like, what else are you bringing to the table? Are you also a trendsetter? Are you pushing the creative boundaries of music? Are you respected by your peers? How does the mainstream view you? Are you some larger than life Axl Rose-like rock star? Are people crying just to get a glimpse of you? (see: The Jonas Brothers)

Truth is, with rap music, I feel so out of place. I’m sure many others feel the same. I’m up on everything that drops, everything that is upcoming, and more… but when I walk in my barbershop (shout to Against Da Grain in Staten Island), we can’t even get into a real discussion about rap anymore. It’s just segmented, the things people like and all. You got people who don’t go online, so they don’t know who Charles Hamilton is, Mickey Factz, Kid Cudi. And then you got people who only listen to mixtapes, and all they like is Papoose, Maino, Grafh. And then there’s people who still like what’s on the radio, TI and Jeezy. And your forward thinkers, who like Kanye and Pharrell. And your oldschool heads, who like Nas and…. well, Nas.

It’s not the summer of 1997 anymore, when there were really only two choices– Wu-Tang Forever or Puff Daddy No Way Out. On one side of the coin was the real shit, the other side the fluff (aka the “industry”).

And so it goes, we’re all just into whatever it is we’re into. We’re on the train with earbuds in our ears, shut off from the rest of the world, not talking or hearing what anyone else is saying, isolated and vibing to whatever the hell it is that we have on our playlist.

May the best song win.

But does anyone really care on way or another?

  • OG Matt Herbz

    “Wu-Tang Forever” may be the pinnacle of the “Wu-Sound,” but “The W” was hardly falling off. The production on “The W” was stellar; bass heavy and funky. Too bad niggaz ain’t gonna figure it out until the year 2G. “Wu-Tang Forever” is the best Double-CD effort I know of, period. Although some might say Pac’s “All Eyes on Me” holds that crown–I won’t slap you for saying that shit, but I’m from the East and niggaz on the right are “wild for the night.”

    –OG Matt Herbz–

    • Moi

      the w was absolutely fucking horrible. they didn’t even try on that. the production? RZA phoned that shit in. that thing was a complete mess. and wu-tang forever was a mess too with the exception of triumph and impossible.

      best double CD ever? how about life after death?

      . . . sorry if this sounds personal–it’s not–i just hate that album.

  • parispolice clothing

    All Eyez on Me beat Forever by maybe a vote or two, very close call.
    2 of my fav. cds of all time tho but the overall feel and sound to all eyez on me, and how it connected, was what forever was lacking in……

    Its easy to know what a classic album is: when you listne to every song over and over and it never gets tired.

    I haven’t heard a classic album in 10 years…except for Game’s Documentary and Kanye’s first album.

    • Omar

      Pac was the greatest but Life After Death is better than All eyez and Forever.

      • og bobby j

        cosign the life after death tip…that ish was official…

    • Moi

      jay-z the blueprint is a classic. nas “hip hop is dead” comes close. game would have come close if he hadn’t short circuited his career by going crazy.
      just my opinion. but i really do think that Blueprint is the only album that undeniably qualifies.

      • Moi

        that is, from 2000 till now.

        maybe the second chronic too–forgot that one.

  • Eman

    “Truth is, with rap music, I feel so out of place.”
    Ive been feelin that way a long time being 26 and having a vivid memory of that 97 summer. But with the wu they brought a whole sound of rawness even the weed carriers cds (KIllarmy,La the darkman) were hard as hell. I went to a house party this weekend and this kid put on ace hood like you hear this this is the hottest shit out and im like get the fuck outta here when i heard it. So pretty much you have to research like a mutha to find good music. Theres is some but barely. I have 3 cd books full of cds from like 96-04 (no negro please) but fuck that no more especially when u can get a 30 sec snippet on itunes and your prewarned of how shitty a lp is thanks itunes for saving me a ton of doe! And yeah I buy cds still cause some of those limewires files be sounding like shit.

  • http://www.prettypancakes.com amar

    the fact that ur even comparing t.i. to lil wayne and kanye means he’s about to be on their level. I think this album will really do it for him. A couple months ago, you would’ve been saying the same thing about lil wayne and how he’s not on kanye’s level yet.

    and fucking facebook widgets lol

    http://www.prettypancakes.com

  • DV8

    Real hiphop heads know the nicest emcees dont get video rotation or radio spins. The digital age has really fucked things up so that the lames get all the limelight and respect, but all the legends and real hiphop artist get clowned. I feel sorry for todays youth. If you havent been listening to hiphop since atleast 88, you have no idea what real hiphop is or what hiphop is about.

  • Bobo D

    Why dont my comments ever pop up in your blog, what have I been banned?

    • Bobo D

      If you are feeling out of place in hip-hop your not the only one.
      I’ve only bought 3 hip-hop albums this year, and it’s a shame because I love the the physical medium of actually opening the freshly packed disc, putting it in my cd-rom and listening to the album through and through while I read the credits and look at the
      artwork. But it’s a shame that the industry itself is now numb…from all this bullshit.

      Hopefully this post 4th time around.

  • niggaplease

    Pac is only the best rapper if you’re in junior high or you’re a chick.

    Pfft.

    And this drop is real. Because I blog myself and I’ve been hard pressed to make a drop on anything this year. Although I’m bored by shit all around right now. Its gotten to the point where I’m just bumping old shit, ’07 to ’27, and checking out pop radio since that’s where all the interesting shit is now.

    Deadass.

    • Omar

      Pac died 12 years ago. Your statement makes no sense.

  • Bobo D

    Excuse me for my this long comment but I was listening to Sway’s Downloads and it made me think.

    What ever happened to record companys trying to protect their artist.

    Remeber when Metallica took a stride and decided to sue Napstar.
    Most of the sheep-fans (fans that follow when someone becomes popular i.e. when Metallica released the Black album) went up in arms because they thought Metallica was out for money but it was about the principle. Around this time record companys noted the back-lash.

    Now a days record companys try to do nothing about peer-2-peer networks or download sites,
    but they notice that there pockets are getting slimmer. Shit you can even get tracks from youtube and turn it into a mp3, before the albums released.
    So relating to a blog you did a while ago stop streaming your music over the internet.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sirfrancis1 Sir Francis

    I feel what you’re sayin’ man….its real talk. Co-sign.

    Sam goodie was on bullshit though…chargin’ $20 for what circuit city or best buy had for $11

    Nothin’ is really relevent to the masses as it once was though…there’s such a vast variaty of choices within’ every genere of music that it allows listener’s to pick and choose more than they could 5-10 years ago.

    All I’m really concerned with is what’s relevent to me, and as long as Jigga is still spittin’ I’ll have music to fill my iPod for years! I’m talkin’ Jay and Nas droppin’ that senior citizens album in their 60s! yes Sir…

  • http://www.pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    wu tang forever is the greatest rap work of all time.

  • FLIP

    I’ll tell you one thing I don’t care about. This week ass post!

  • capcobra

    white people.technology and laziness.

  • capcobra

    i posted 3 times…i can’t say white people but homie can say niggaz…wow…that’s why hip hop is irrelevant

  • http://xxlmag.com Ben

    Stop posting queer rants fagget.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Didn’t other genres of music also suffer from this consumer/content malaise?

    Rock was in the shitter when everyone decided to form a band in their garage. There were millions of shitty garage bands.

    I think rap’s problem is similar as well. There is too many mediocre rappers overall and not enough fans.

  • Moi

    there’s a lot of really strong independent 2008 material that gets little or no press in XXL. instead, we get “the Gunshine state.” sorry, i’ve commented on this post way too much. but you know, the rap press sucks now too.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ndotc N DOT C

    Fuck promoters, fronting bastards, fake ass connects/
    I’m thinking of shooting myself, to get my own press

    Lyrics from the song ‘Its Killing Me’
    By N DOT C

    Cuz when it comes to entertainment it doesn’t stop at the screen or the studio. Reality shows and non-stop advertisments make every artist presence drop lower, because it comes too common. Then if you’re not out there enough you lose your presence which sounds like a catch 22 only if you don’t bring anything to the table. Like being unique/yourself

    http://www.myspace.com/ndotc
    http://www.iamhiphop.com/ndotc

  • mark

    FUCK RAP. THE WORLD’S GONNA END IN 2012. GET READY, THE END IS NEAR.

  • mr.martin

    you’re speaking from the perspective of a journalist, which is why you measure relevance by exposure in the media. Since when do people cry for rappers? that’s always been a pop thing. and frankly that’s what’s wrong with hip hop, all these pop journalists have infiltrated and are measuring a rapper’s relevance by comparing him to the hype of his pop counterparts, when hip hop has always been the counterculture. even if there is no sam goody, and its now itunes, the question is who do you listen to, and that makes he or she relevant. Is Marvin Gaye relevant, we’ll if he’s playing on the quiet storm somewhere then yes. These rappers are relevant, because, although they don’t sell as much, they shape the culture around them in movies, fashion, etc…

  • http://myspace.com/marko4aoc Marko-V

    You know back in the days college radio used to keep the underground Hip-Hop fed and even now the college radio is askin if you’ve been played on mainstream radio. Talk about crazy. So you got d.j.s just fuckin it up for Hip-Hop.
    myspace.com/marko4aoc

  • Gooch

    “all these pop journalists have infiltrated and are measuring a rapper’s relevance by comparing him to the hype of his pop counterparts, when hip hop has always been the counterculture.”

    I disagree. Hip-Hop is the furthest thing from the counterculture at this point in time. Hasn’t been the counter culture for years. Pop journalists haven’t infiltrated anything. Pop journalists write about pop music. Hip-Hop is pop music, so therefore, pop journalists are free to write about it and judge it by pop standards.

    I also don’t agree that rappers are relevant because although they aren’t selling much, they still shape culture in movies and fashion. Rappers are so behind the curve right now when it comes to pretty much, well, everything, that they’ve become trend followers rather than trend setters, which was the point of the original post itself. Sure, you have a few folks setting trends (Kanye, Lupe, Wayne), but for the most part it’s a culture of followers at this point. Which is why hip-hop has become pretty much irrelevant.

    • Dub Sac

      I agree with that. Turn on the radio and tell me you’re hearing hip-hop and not pop music. Singing, choruses, and maybe a little bit of rapping. Similar production. There’s definitely a mold that’s being followed by most everyone coming out right now, including veterans.

      This is one of the things that I miss about the in-house production that crews used to do in the 90′s. Groups like Gangstarr, Peter & CL, Wu-Tang, etc. all had a distinctive sound that set them apart from everything else that was going on.

      Gimmie them feel-good oldies.

  • http://www.pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    wu tang is the greatest group of all time! i forgot what this post was about. but, wu tang wu tang wu tang wu tang!!

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Yeah, most of today’s artist are irrelevant. They’re relevant to the mainstream brainwash bullshit. Other than that, most of their music has no real substance. Catchy hooks, but nothing to elevate a motherfucker or get him through some mentally tough times. Shit, do you motherfuckers know shit is fucked up out here! Has been fucked up!! Motherfuckers still out here dancin and shit. Hey I was young once too…..but shit, we did more than just dance. We could sit in a room full of blunt smoke and brew and actually listen to a complete album from beginning to end. These fucks can’t do that today unless they’re BRAIN DEAD…………..Bastards!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    Three Six Mafia from 1990-2004 was also the best group of all time, and so was Insane Clown Posse, from 92-01

    and so were some other people that I can’t name right now I’m watching Caddyshack.
    fuck you
    im out!

    oh yeah, and a preemptive “eat dick” goes out to all the fags, homos, geese, and lames who hate on me for my unabashed preaching.

    Still Pimpin Pens Boss Hog Enzoleone

  • balaramesh

    “most of their music has no real substance. Catchy hooks”

    as joe budden says “fuck your bars if your hooks are fly/ now we looked at crooked i with a crooked eye”

    to the mainstream, everyone is irrelevant aside from wayne, kayne, jeezy and ti. i would by no means say that any of them are the best rappers out. but they are by far the most popular to the young misguided generation. oh, you can add in a few media whores including fiddy and diddy. that pretty much do anything to keep themselves in the public eye.

    with that said, if anyone does any searching on their own, they can find a tons of cats out doing thier thing including lupe, crooked i, killer mike, bun b, royce, budden ect.

    in regards to the 97′, just about everyone had to be NICE to be out. now, you can be completely garbage and get mainstream video and radio rotation

  • mr.martin

    true hip hop has not been the counterculture for years, but what i meant is that it was designed to be, and perhaps, could only thrive if it is. the fact the jonas brothers are being mentionned in this post is proof that similar to that aerosmith/run dmc video, the wall has been brought down, and everyone is compared by the same measuring stick. you said it yourself since when has someone cried for a rapper like the jones brothers (were we ever supposed to). Also, although rappers are not reinventing the wheel (nas said no idea’s original) and are pretty manufactured and lackluster, they are still relevant and influential. They are not bringing anything new at street level, but when you are mentionned by late pass holders like bill oreilly, by jon stewart and are in movies with deniro and pacino, you have proven that it influences middle america, and that makes you relevant (though not dope). Pop reporters are free to report on rap but when they try to view rappers lives through the same scope as a paris hilton, it goes haywire from there

  • Gooch

    good points Mr. Martin.

  • Curtis75Black

    It’s too easy to look at Mainstream Hip Hop 10 years ago and say it was Hot !! There was alot music and radio was a little more diverse but we was living in the so called “shiny suit/Bling era of the game at that moment. Relevancy depends on poppin’ in your mind not radio or video. Hip Hop talks today as far as it goes is gonna be hard if your not diverse with your listening. If your just checking for Mix Cd’s, you’re only getting a small percentage of our music. Radio doesn’t give you anything because record companies aren’t pushing anymore and if your not computer saavy, so much for the Net and d/loading.

    • Moi

      there’s some truth to that. people thought puffy was killing hip-hop, as well as will smith gettin jiggy, not to mention the pen and pixel no limit era.

      also, RUN DMC are the greatest group of all time. period. not wu-tang and definitely not 3-6 mafia or ICP. this isn’t an opinion, it is a fact.

  • Penelope Rodriguez

    Ever since 2008 started, I’ve been having vague feelings about hip hop music. I don’t know where I fit in. I can’t get with the “hipster rap” shit. I don’t feel as enthusiastic about the genre like I was back in high school. When I was 14, 15 I used to listen to hip hop all the time, but now I want to branch out, partly because of my alienation from the genre. I’m a college sophomore now. I don’t know what songs are hot anymore. I don’t know what videos are released anymore, even though we have the internet. I can’t discuss hip hop with passion like I used to with my friends and my sister. My friends attend different schools. And as for my sister, she likes the bullshit that’s out now, so there’s a musical disconnection. And we’re only three years apart, mind you. She was going through my Ipod one day and saw some Cube, Nas, Em, Pun, etc and said to me, “Damn, you listen to old music. I can’t listen to none of the songs on your ipod.” That shit hurt, ya know. I can’t enjoy soulja boy and them, despite the fact that soulja boy is only a year younger than me. And to be honest, many of my favorite MCs are aging in my eyes. I don’t mean to diss them, but they are getting old, and the game needs new blood. Where are the new people? So I have to find new music for myself, which is something I’ve been doing anyway for a while now.

  • http://xxlmag.com JMill1224

    Even tho 97 was the bling/shiny suit era, u still had a rack of muffuckas underground and mainstream that had to bring lyrics and diversity. even tho other regions were coming into play, they had a bar they had to try to meet to get play. it might not’ve been as individualized as before but each group,rapper,producer brought their shit to the table. its not like that no more. everybody got the same shit, ie fruity loops, protools, garageband,etc but niggas leaving out the creativity. thats the problem with living in a microwave society. how many new jacks out here actually tryin to be different? myspace, youtube,worldstarhiphop,etc. everybody sounds the fuckin same except for the few. i dont fit in with today’s hiphop, i aint gonna try cuz until we wake up as a culture, we will keep spinning our wheels and being the butt of everyones jokes and not gonna be taken serious by anybody. myspace.com/jmill1224

  • oskamadison

    I’ve bought 4 albums this year: Pete Rock, The Roots, AZ and Nas (and Chill Rob G’s “Ride The Rhythm. I was actually looking for (th Wonder and Buckshot’s joint but I saw Rob and just copped it. 14B stand up!!) What do they all have in common? They’re all ’90′s cats.