I realized something the other day; it’s been hella long since I’ve actually seen a music video on TV. Stuck in the office during the day with no cable or windows (but that’s another story), I only get to see vids online. I’ll peep the link on one of my favorite blog sites or someone tells me MC So-And-So’s latest video came out and I go scouring the Net for it. But even if I had access to a boob tube during the day, it’s not like there are any real places to peep vids anyway.
Rap City? Cancelled. TRL? Cancelled. BET Uncut? Tear. [They actually did show regular videos along with Nelly’s six minute and 19 second classic “E.I. (Tip Drill Remix)”]. Video Music Box (for my NY heads)? It now comes on at some ungodly hour on some unwatched channel and airs more party shout outs than actual videos. 106 & Park? Ha! They only show 10 videos a day and the occasional New Joint of the Day, which you’ll never see again unless someone pays for it. MTV and VH1? Good ol’ “Music” Television and “Video” Hits One are more like reality show havens than music video playhouses. Both networks had to make whole other channels (MTV2 and VH1 Soul) to play videos, but who has time to track down their sporadic schedules?
So in essence, the only real place to catch new music clips is online. But with Netheads’ short attention spans and people’s propensity for shitty connections, what’s the point in artists making high quality vids anymore? I mean people are either gonna forget about it in a week or not be able to fully appreciate your artistic vision on their bullshit monitors and laptops. Given the music industry’s continual sales slump, I figure the days of the high budget video are gone. Like seriously, a million dollars for five minutes of camera time to promote an album that will barely sell 300,000 units? It just isn’t cost effective. Especially when you can get some college kid with a film degree to shoot your clip for a couple grand and post it online. So I figure there’ll be no more Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes epileptic seizure-causing vids or Hype William’s pulling upwards of six-figures a clip.
More than likely the labels (and artists) will continue cranking out lower quality vids specifically for the Web rather than spending unnecessary bread on clips that might look better but don’t get aired anywhere. At this rate, this won’t just spell doom for the video star, but we won’t even need mainstream award shows like the VMAs. After this year’s farce of a show that had some British dweeb that looked like a pirate as a host, that might not be such a bad thing. But even if MTV is forced to pull the plug on their Moon Man marathon, the only real casualty will be hip-hop and R&B artists. Because chances are labels will continue to put money into other genres that still generate sales, while rappers and R&B artists will continue to get the short end of the stick.
That doesn’t mean rap videos will be gone altogether, because all you need is a damn video camera or camera phone to make a somewhat-decent YouTube clip. So never fear aspiring
video vixens, someone somewhere will still need your services to make it clap at the click of a mouse. But as for Rocsi and what’s his face, y’all better enjoy your time in the spotlight now because the Internet killed the video star, the pricy director, the music channel, and it’s only a matter of time before you guys catch a digital bullet too. -NWSO