BLOG: Internet Killed the Video Star

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

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Rob The Music Ed

    Dope post homie. yeah man the lack of windows in this joint make the XXL Boys go craaaaaazy/make the XXL boys go craaaaaazy. LOL

    I still feel like we will see new video stars like Busta and Missy once the art adapts to the technology. Just because we view shit at a lower quality doesnt mean it can’t be dope. I mean I remember buying Redman’s “Dare Iz A Darkside” on tape and at the time that was the most CREATIVE album I ever heard, but CDs were the new emerging technology. It didnt matter because dope is dope.

    The guys who are just getting over with lame ass videos will fall off, but the innovative ones will shine.

    BTW I say Kanye’s “Heartless” video on HD the other day- FUCKIN AMAZING!

    • paychexx

      well videos died when they didnt make sense anymore( puffy, busta, missy). you sitinng watching it like “what the fuck is point”. videos used to be the visual of the lyrics.
      now you got muthafucka doing the green screen shit( corny, how are you a gangsta rapper, but you cant do the vid in a real neighborhood? corny). and with the internet, it kills your attention span like quick. i hate the facts that some records actually block youtube from playing classic vids.

      p.s. wu tang clan had some of the best visual candies.

  • Brian “B.Dot” Miller

    good post…although i’ve said this years ago.

  • jackpot

    Stop trying to take credit, B. Dot. Here’s a question, though. Do videos whether online or on TV have an impact at all. Like, a dope video could help you get a couple of fans back in the day. Does it even matter now? Should artists not even spend anything on videos and put it somewhere else?

    • DJ Daddy Mack

      So the XXL office is on some jail shit. :-(

      Really tho, I like where things are going with the internet. Low-budget can bring a lot of creative shit. Don’t get it twisted. TV is dead anyway.

    • Incilin

      I think videos make a difference but only early on in your career. Like no matter how dope or how wack Jay-Z’s or Nas’s next video is, I’ll still fuck with dude.

      On the other hand, Joell Ortiz was a dude I put off listening to for a longest just because I aint feel like hearing his shit. But then one day my boy showed me the Brooklyn Bullshit video (Rik Cordero!) and it really got me into Ortiz. In fact, watching the video I was thinking “Dam why aint this song on The Brick: Bodega Chronicles?” Something I had downloaded but really listened to. Turns out, Brooklyn Bullshit is on the Brick. The video got me to pay closer attention.

  • Avenger XL

    The day of the video is long since dead. I think the only reason a artist may even want a video is to further brand a product on an enhanced cd or allow people to see more of his/her vision if they want to express some sort of meaning or drive a few singles home. But artist need to make more videos avaialable for down loads by the fans on their own site and keep the budget low. Video Vixens can go back to tricking for dollars and talking about there self esteem and movement based on there ass in dubious publication like ohhhh I don’t know XXL and King. So the Video Hoefessional will always eat sex sells even in a recession dog.

  • tony grand$

    Lmao @ Rob! I bought “Dare” on tape too (last tape I’ve evr bought), then I gave it to my cuz bcuz the buzz around cd’s was major. No doubt pushing the limits of hip hop to another level (long live Redman!!!).

    I was bumpin (no homo) “Video killed the radio star” couple days back. Evolution is a trip in this business, fast & furious. Even the vids that do make it to whatevr screen, to me, aren’t too impressive. For the most part its all been done. Realistically, @ some point in the near future, they’ll be some type of boomerang, throwback explosion, & all vids will just be niggas standin on the requisite street corner/alley/house party with every fuckin person they ever met heyin & hoin along to the song. No movie remakes, no crazy concepts, just hip hop @ its rawest. I can’t say I’ll miss the vids altogether, bcuz I troll the net to see them anyway. But its kinda nice to click a remote rather than typing on a keyboard &/or enter http’s up the wazoo.

  • Pierzy

    Anybody with cable knows that MTV has 3-4 channels that are ONLY videos, including the MTV JAMS channel. If you watch that, you’ll see more videos than they ever had on Rap City, from new shit to classics.

    • NWSO

      I just cut most of my cable off, homie. Times is hard… Wanna go half on a Cablevison Silver Package upgrade? LOL

    • venemez

      MTV jams does play some new and some classic shit… I have it on in the morning to start off my day.

      • Pierzy

        Exactly. Where else will you see “I Wish” by Skee-Lo?

    • tont grand$

      @ pierzy,
      Not many ppl kno but mtv even has a ch on regular tv, mtv tr3s. Most the vids r latin flavored, but the urban soundscape gets a fair share of rotation. & its not a cheesy spin-off station, its actual MTV, tv shows & all.

  • john

    The best hip-hop videos were during the 90′s when hip hop was still good. Hype Williams use to make the most artistic videos ever.

  • amar

    whatever man, i’m glad…for every good missy video there were always 100 shitty annoying same old same old douchebag rapper videos

    the only good thing it ever did was introduce me somewhat to the personality of rappers or show me what they look like or occasionally introduce me to new music altogether. But the internet wins at that now anyway, so that’s not even an issue.

    most importantly though, if what ur saying is true, WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN TO THE VMAS?!?! replaced with the internet music awards??

  • Worley

    Internet videos are the way to go. There are no commercials, censors or silly ass VJ’s having silly conversations and playing those childish games. Think about it. Why does it take an hour to show ten 4 minute videos on 106 & Park? You don’t even get 10 full videos. It’s mostly chattering and corny sweepstakes.

    The internet is the way to go.

  • DeadBroke_BLVD

    ^ yeha hype joints use to give you a certain picture into a rapper’s world, the whole lifestyle and shit, i could remember just yesterday watching Jay,Nas, Rule, and X videos sitting back bumping it

  • Curtis75Black

    Good post and very good points. It’s fucked up that Hip Hop in itself doesn’t have that outlet anymore. Videos online isn’t really a good thing because you have to interested in the artist to check for it. You might miss out on some hot shit because you was still stuck in the year before of his “not so hot” music. If it had a show and was played, you have no choice to check it.

  • Nameless

    The Box was the best video channel in the history of music television. (Video Music Box came on in LA too buddy) Bone Thugs practically owned that shit.

    • NWSO

      You must be talking about The Box (Music you control), not to be confused with Video Music Box (Ralph McDaniels)

  • Nameless

    GOAT video during this new online vid era is Cant Tell Me Nothin. That video works on television or online and is just as potent.

    As for an internet ONLY video I would have to give the GOAT to Funeral Music.

  • Gooch

    Internet did not kill the video star. The video star killed the video star. Dudes kept doing the same video over and over. As a music channel, MTV for example, they have to diversify their programming. Even great shows get cancelled. Same with videos. Can’t keep the same content airing over and over and over again. Viewers don’t want to see that. There’s a ratings decline because the content is not fresh and new, so the shows get cancelled and something replaces them. Make great videos, show that the format actually has some life, some energy, some pizzaz and buzz to it, and the networks will pay attention again. Just like they did when videos first dropped 25 years ago.

    Do I see that happening? No. It’ll be something new that makes it to the airwaves, something more virtual and more exciting than a video.

  • B

    To BET, MTV, and whomever else it may concern, “Play more videos!” Viewers are tired of seeing “Smart Guy” and “Different Strokes” re-runs on BET! Stop with all these reality shows cause most of them lack the one thing viewers are looking for, “REALITY!” There are only a few real reality shows and they are “KEYSHIA COLE”, “THE REAL WORLD”, and “BEING BOBBY BROWN.” The rest is staged and bad acting!

  • Barry O. Dunham

    Videos aint goin nowhere just cuz you have shitty cable. You obviously dont have MTV Jams. Its all videos (dope ones too)….

  • Q! tha Great!

    great post! and I agree with “Gooch” bullsh!t videos is what killed the video. now a video isn’t as big of a product mover as it use to be. Some artist could get a good second or third push for sales with a video. now you drop one half-ass video to our lead single, have it in rotation for two weeks, drop your album and hope ou get monster first week sales. After that, its all down hill.

    videos aren’t the same, video channels are realit show pimps, creativity isn’t the same, the artist or the labels don’t put as much effort and the consumer is either someone who’s fed up with the bullsh!t or someone who can’t tell it’s bullsh!t

    a damn shame how almost all forms of our music, dance, video and movies are going down the toilet

  • t.c.

    i must agree that videos play an important role i remember when i saw kidz in the hall drivin’ down the block for the first time it was dope because A the song is on point and B the video was just super cool it was corny with the cheap camera and grubby used car salesman theme but it was so dope the way they did it and i remember listening to the song by it’s self with no video and i just wasn’t as into it as i was and am when im watching the video i mean it just pulls it all together for me


    Hell Yeah.
    I would sit there on my day off and watch MTV and BET waiting for a video and nothing.
    When u watch 106 and Park, they talk more then play videos and when they do play videos, they only play a minute of the video and cut back to them yapping again.
    TRL did the same shit, Q45 got on my muthafuckin nerves talking all the time when a video could be playing.
    And when they did play videos, it was soulja boy, bow wow and all that other stuff.
    Never playing real videos.
    They got a new show on BET that I just so happen to catch because I had to go to work for Black Friday, at 2 in the morning!
    It’s called The Deal.
    I miss when you would go crazy waiting to see the new videos.

  • balaramesh

    “MC’s get a little bit of love and think they hot
    Talkin’ ’bout how much money they got
    Nigga all y’all records sound the same
    I sick of that fake thug, R & B
    Rap scenario all day on the radio
    Same scenes in the video, monotonous material”

    dead prez “hip hop”

  • latino heat

    you are dead on with this post. i started noticing this around mid to late 2006. i kept hearing about new videos coming out but could never find them on any channels. i also wondered before the 2007 vma’s what they were gonna give awards for since the channel no longer showed videos. me and my patnas were just talking earlier about how bet only shows old ass tv shows and mtv wack ass reality shows. it is a sad time in hip hop. i remember when everybody used to talk about the new so and so video and u had to watch it. slowly but surely hip hop is dying. if u have On Demand on your cable there is always a okay selection of new and older videos though.

  • Curtis75Black

    ” And you really Don’t know shit/if you think the fans pick the videos on 106″ – Joe Budden from Who killed it. Those request shows fucked the game up and put a biased hold on to what we see and hear. It’s all programmed, there is no other way that a video show plays the same songs Pop radio play. Video Soul with Donnie Simpson, you saw any and everybody. Now it’s a min for a video and you seeing the same Kanye for two weeks now. LL dropped a crazy video for His “Rocking with the G.O.A.T” produced by DJ Scratch 2 months ago !! Something alot hotter and aggresive than that “Baby” BS but you’ll never see it on BET, if it has to be requested. The videos are stilll out there but the oulet is gone for them.


    I used to be a video fanatic in every sense of the word, but the market just isn’t the same anymore… The 90′s were the heyday for the artform (yes — ARTFORM — not a vehicle to stand around looking rich while lip-syncing your song to promote your new album), but the big-budget video is a dinosaur now.

  • Ali

    Makes alot of sense….guess that’s why Rik Cordero is like the new video king….I’m not knocking the guy, I like his style, but u gotta admit it prolly ain’t a milli to get em lol…..i’d hate to be an artist at this time tho cuz videos are sick, but yeah ur riht if ur only sellin 300K (& thats for some guys only……some legends dont even top 100K (Ghostface) it sucks but its true) theres no pt. in spendin 7 figures on a vid

  • Pingback: Corporate crime and private investigator requirements in New Jersey | bmrinvestigations

  • http://sexxxl mohamed

    love to sex