Top 10 Hip-Hop Trends That Just MUST Cease To Exist In 2009

With 2 weeks left in ’08, figured it’s time to start breaking out the top 10 lists because… well… let’s be honest here, they’re easier to come up with than anything substantial.

Trends… I wish they’d die a very timely death (as in, right now). Here’s my top 10 list of trends and/or just general shit that must cease to exist in 2009.

10) “super” producers- These are the guys who become industry darlings after they make a hit record, and then every artist starts asking them for the same type of track, and well, it never amounts to much. I don’t want to dis anyone, but there’s some dudes that get mad work post-hit record and don’t ever duplicate that success. In ’09, that shit really needs to stop. You guys are the reason why album budgets get eaten up and artists gotta resort to making internet weekly freestyle series after their singles bomb.

9) DJ-helmed collaboration songs- the whole “mixtape on one song” schtick burned out when “I’m So Hood” and the remix dropped. That song was great, but “Out Here Grindin” sucked. How about just making a good song, not some star-studded collaboration with a bunch of dudes nobody really wanna hear rap anyway?

8) Rappers performing with live bands- To be fair, this whole “rapper with live band” thing works when the rapper actually has songs that require a band. But I do not want to hear the Ying Yang Twinz backed by a live band. Be honest, you just added the band because a rapper standing on stage holding a microphone is pretty fucking boring (see: Nas).

7) 808s- Ok, the South brought this crappy drum machine back when that region’s music got popular in the mainstream. That doesn’t mean we need to keep regurgitating the 808 kick, clap and hi-hats over and over and over again. Would it be too much to ask to hear like, an actual snare drum? Give it a rest already. 808s are a poor man’s (or shitty producer’s) excuse for a drum kit.

6) Clothing Lines- Kanye is actually the only mainstream rapper I can think of that I can actually see having a clothing line. Granted, he’s not entirely an original, but he is the reason why kids in middle america have traded their baggy jeans and oversized fitted hats for nuthuggers, shiny michael jackson jackets and sneakers that look like space boots. Everyone else talking about a clothing line… sit down. Jim Jones was right, nobody wants to look like you.

5) Producers/songwriters turned artists- I was all for this trend going from ’07 to ’08, but now it’s just a bunch of bad producers rapping or singing really bad and making really bad songs, no matter how many times the radio and media tries to program me into thinking otherwise. See: Sean Garrett, Ron Browz, Nu Jerzey Devil… and to an extent, Ryan Leslie… I mean, how great would “Diamond Girl” have been if say, Usher, sang it? Drumma Boy told me he raps now. Take my advice, stop!

4) Weekly freestyle series’- No other internet marketing/promotion effort could spell “Will Rap For Food” or “I Need To Get My Buzz Up Really Bad” more than the weekly freestyle series. When Crooked I did it, for that little moment in time, it helped. When Mickey Factz did it, I said ok I don’t know who the fuck this guy is, but after the 7th one I finally checked him out. Now we’re flooded with these shits. Walking blogs? Soon we’ll have an artist posting videos of himself on a toilet bowl rapping about taking a shit. Remy Ma walking into jail. Now that’s a walking blog worth watching.

3) Keeping the Hip-Hop and R&B Genres separate- if anyone follows me on Twitter, they know I feel like Chris Brown is the ’08 Canibus. That’s how far the line between Hip-Hop and R&B has been blurred. All these singers were on A-Milli. R Kelly dissed Neyo. Dream don’t like J. Holiday. Come on, these dudes are the same as rappers, beefing with each other. Akon and T-Pain are rappers who spit with melodies and harmonize, you can’t argue with me. And rappers who really call themselves rappers, they sing their records now anyway (see: TI, Kanye). Let’s just call everything hip-hop now. Leave R&B for people who really sing, like Maxwell.

2) Hating on Auto-Tune- Critics need to stop bitching. It’s like getting mad at a guitar player for using a wha-wha pedal. For a rappers, the voice is the instrument of choice. They should be able to alter their voice however they want. What else do you expect them to do, get on the piano and hammer out a solo? It’s rapping. This is not music theory 101.

1) Featuring Lil Wayne, Akon or T-Pain on your song- I have a love/hate relationship with the music of all three of these artists, but having either of them on your song couldn’t be any less interesting. They may yield you some attention for about 3 days, but they will not yield you a career. And how are you going to perform your song if Lil Wayne can’t make it to your show to do it with you? Come on. This is just stupid at this point. Be original. Find someone new, or shit, go back to using Nate Dogg on every hook. The only time I want to hear these dudes from now on is when a) they are on their own records and b) I am reaaaally drunk.

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  • Billy X. Sunday

    Stop hating. What if a blogger was to make a video of himself watching the NBA on ESPN (Spurs vs. Hawks) while sitting on the toilet in ESPN Zone leaving a shit, eating a chicken cutlet sandwich and drinking a Pepsi?

    Huh? What about that? Would that be fresh?

    • Stuey

      I agree with you 90%, Gooch. The only thing i dont like is how you think people should stop hating on auto tune. Yes it is rapping that is why RAPPERS should not be attempting to be SINGERS by cheating with their gay auto tune effect. They should be droppin some crazy word play not “hammering out piano solos”. AUTO TUNE SHOULD CEASE TO EXIST

  • capcobra

    “first”….i hate that trend!!

  • reemycks!

    7) 808s

    3) Keeping the Hip-Hop and R&B Genres separate

    2) Hating on Auto-Tune

    You must not be a real b-boy type nigga. suggesting that any of these should stop is just blasphemy.

    No 808′s!?!? Nigga is you crazy?! No 808 means less knock. And I will never condone hip hop music not knocking. WTF is wrong with you?

    And then trying to make HipHop and R&B the same genre? Nigga you are smoking crack? HipHop is HipHop and R&B is R&B. Just cause niggas sing over 808′s or some hiphop sounding beats dont make it hiphop homey. You must let broads influence what you listen to and how you listen to it, cause no real nigga is ever gonna go for that. Or maybe im just getting old. nah, fuck that I’m way too right.

    • LEO


    • Cinsere

      LOL @ 808′s being synonymous with “knock”.

      You fail!

  • Chez Double

    I agree with all ExcEPT AUTO-TUNE. That was a pretentious thing to say “the voice is the instrument”. Auto-tune is corny. Deal with that shit. It’s lame and played. Try focusing on writing lyrics in ’09 and… also fuck the word “Swagga”. Thank you!

  • og bobby j

    I agree…plus…please stop trying to tell the public about SWAG…its gayer than aids at this point.

  • CanelaNYC

    Ouch @ Nas (but very true).

    If rappers stop using 808s and take your advice re: snare, then theoretically they could use a live band and thus be in direct contention with ending trend #8.

    As for autotune, I’m just over it. If you want to proclaim to do something new, then don’t do something that has you coming out sounding like the rest of everyone else on the radio. BTW, that brings me to…

    Trend #1 should be radio. End it. NOW. Thanks.


      It takes a special kind of rapper to do the live band thing and I have yet to see that in the current state of affairs besides the roots and game theory. Because live bands translates to a better stage show but it often hurts the album sound. If you think the 808 snare is weak peep that flimsy jazz snare and kick a lot of these dude use. I am a fan of the 808 and obnoxious bass. So I will not let you NY by way of some bumfuck state shit on it that easy.

  • Gooch

    “And then trying to make HipHop and R&B the same genre? Nigga you are smoking crack? HipHop is HipHop and R&B is R&B. Just cause niggas sing over 808’s or some hiphop sounding beats dont make it hiphop homey. You must let broads influence what you listen to and how you listen to it, cause no real nigga is ever gonna go for that. Or maybe im just getting old. nah, fuck that I’m way too right.”

    Fight it all you want, it is what it is and that’s all that it is.

  • Rob The Music Ed

    I dunno if I can whole-heartedly agree with #6
    The Clipse’s Play Cloths are FRESH!

    • Riles

      No they’re not. It’s the same shit with a new logo

  • Hate Hate and more Hate

    I got a trend that the bitch ass blogger forgot to mention and thats . . .

    Wack ass Rappers – how about we get rid of them?

    You had a good list but I could sum up your whole list with one line and thats . . .

    Niggas need to stop dick riding!!! If niggas stop dick riding other rappers we would have less wack ass colabos, less auto tune, less niggas trying to use the same producer, less cothing lines, less songs featuring lil whoopi, etc.

    can niggas stop making a remix to every fucking song. that shit is corny and your remixes are worse than the original

    and can we also get rid of the words “swag” and “grown and sexy”

  • Victor

    Man i can see where your coming from wiv the auto tune ting but on the real, is it not a gimmick? It adds nothing and as a hip hop fan i dunt wanna hear Kanye, TI or whoever singing.

    And LOL @ R and B stars beefing, dunno why it seems preposterous that singers beef but it does seem real wack.

  • El Tico Loco

    DJ helmed collabos are ok, after all that’s what ‘The Symphony’ was. But getting a bunch of rappers on a track and calling it a remix has to stop, is lazy(in the producer’s part), a waste of money, and a overkill. It wouldn’t be so bad if the beat was switched up a little or completely example ‘Me and my bitch’, ‘Ghost Deini’,'The World is Yours’

  • amar

    Soulja Boy

    but in terms of kanye’s line, it actualy looks original and promising, unlike a lotta others. I’m not surprised.

    I’m guessing it’s gonna be overpriced though, so fuck all that

  • b-ease

    SMH at you being too shook to name names in item #10. Are you really that scared someone’s gonna come at you? LOL

    That item doesnt even make sense anyway, would have been better on the ’06 or maybe the 07 list. This year was definetly the death of the super producer. With that said, you may have a point, but how could I know since you won’t specify?

  • b-ease

    DJ helmed collabos are ok, after all that’s what ‘The Symphony’ was

    Not to nitpick, but wasnt that a “producer helmed collabo”?

    • El Tico Loco

      But since you are Marley Marl is DJ that happens to produce. He’s what DJ Khaled’s trying to be, radio show and all.

  • Avenger XL

    How can you down the 808 and Big up AutoTUNE? Dude you must be one of those characters sipping on expensive coffee at a some shop with your pinky up or something. The 808 is raw and still has life the producers using it are just dick riders and un-original to say the least. AND MIXING R&B WITH HIP-HOP IS THE MOST BULLSHIT IDEA I HAVE HEARD ALL YEAR.


    This my friend is why Scratch magazine is no more even the blog sucks.

  • dj ashy fingerz

    #4 is real talk. I can’t believe FREEWAY is now trying to do this. It’s such a BAD LOOK that an established artist like Free needs a buzz so bad that he’s following Mickey Facts/Charles Hamilton. His stock fell


    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but co-sign Hate, Hate & More Hate….

  • Queens Boy

    mr. paul cantor i have to address something, you listed number 2 (hating on autotune) on your list of trends that you want to see stop in 09 but the irony is that you also said you have a love hate relationship with wayne, akon, and t-pain’s music. their music is auto tune saturated, so your logic confines your intellect…

  • EReal

    How about “Rappers with Reality Shows”

    ?? Eh?? EHHHHH???

  • Ali

    lol good post, here’s a few others

    *The words “swagger” & “swag”

    ppl concentrate on that too much lol u still gotta have lyrics dammit

    *Video blogs dissin’ ppl

    nuff said

    *3 verses, 16 bars each, hook AKA tired formula

    I mean I like it, it works, but at least switch it up on just 1 or 2 tracks on your album

  • jackpot

    Chuch on the weeklies. I’m sick of them. Some of these dudes need to put out less songs that are better quality.

  • prophecy_projectz

    Nas live preformances have improved dramatically the last few years. He got some good reviews for Rock the Bells. Unneccessary dart.

    • ty from linden blvd

      nas was amazing at rock the bells….

  • ty from linden blvd

    the word “swag”needs to be blown up,ran over and shot,then thrown in the same grave as jon bonet and hoffa.

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    Fu6k Auto-Tune shit, just rap!!!

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    Paul Cantor:
    For a rappers, the voice is “not” the instrument of choice, is the “flow”. With “flow” you can make different rapping. Rappers don’t need to use auto-tune shit to rap, that’s for the singers. Rapper changes there flow and there style of rapping

  • Gooch

    Dude, if Jay-Z had Ace Hood’s voice, it wouldn’t matter what kind of flow he had. Ol Dirty Bastard was one of the best rappers ever and he was hardly an accomplished lyricist.

    • Simple like ABC, 123

      That’s right, you said it. You can have whatever “voice” but if you don’t have flow or style or how to rap, you’re wack.

      Look this, if Ace Hood had the “voice” of Jay-Z, Ace Hood gonna still wack, because he can’t rap, he not have flow, he not have style.

      Better example, Shawty Lo, Rocko, Gucci Mane, ect. sound like Young Jeezy but Young Jeezy had more flow and more style. He’s not a great lyricist but he knows how to rap.

      In the case of ODB, he had all in one: flow, style, lyrics, how to rap, how to be a MC, ect.

      ODB RIP

  • Lester Diamond

    This shit coming out right now ain’t hip-hop. I don’t know what the fuck it is. I think it needs to be categorized as something else. Back in the day hip-hop was considered a culture not a trend. R&B was called rap and bullshit for a reason. Fucking bunch of shameless sellouts.


    I don’t know about some of these, but you’re dead on with #4.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    In the words of DJ Premier……..”Be Original you fuckin robots!!!”

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Oh yeah, by the way youngstas. A remix used to consist of an original track that was “REMIXED” hence having a totally new instrumentation package. Not the same fuckin beat with a bunch of different niggas on the track. You could have a Marley Marl track remixed by Diamon D. Do you fuckheads understand now…….Dummies!

    • Simple like ABC, 123

      Yo, in Hip-Hop they are 2 types of remix.

      Different beat, same artist:
      2Pac ft. Dr. Dre – California Love
      Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – Crossroads
      Method Man – M.E.T.H.O.D. MAN

      Different artist, same beat:
      Craig Mack ft Big,Rampage, LLCoolJ & Busta – Flava In Ya Ear
      M.O.P. ft Busta, Remy Ma & Teflon – Ante Up
      Nas ft Jadakiss & Luda – Made Ya Look

      Now, every single had a remix, that wrong!!!

  • D

    Rappers without live bands? Pretty bad… i’d rather just stay home and listen to the record.

    What’s so compelling about seeing ANY rap artist live with a DJ? Wow… great… spin that record.

    Live bands make live rap exciting.

    Keep it moving

  • D

    …and furthermore, who would want to see the Ying Yang twins with OR without band?


  • 2Gutta


  • 2Gutta

    yo fuck this shit man u dont know shit bout hip hop retire this corny shit.

  • 615banga

    keep 808s just get creative,,and keep super producers…key word super producer they make good beats…

    throw out “swag” it got overused..and throwout rappers using auto-tune leave it to tpain

  • Shawty J

    I agree with all of those except number two. It’s not that I don’t like auto-tune per say, but the amount of people who’ve been using it this year. I’m burnt out on auto-tune. Besides half of these people sound better with out em anyway and the ones that don’t have no business singing in the first place.

  • balaramesh

    10. autotune. i thought by name the autotune gimmick would be an afterthough even before t-pain came back out and started it again. truthfully, i was done with back when teddy riley and dj quick were using it.

    9. swag- that is the most overused and rather most homosexual thing i ever heard in my life. you can always here folks say stuff like ” i dont like his music but i like his swag”. they might as well say rappers are attractive to them. whats worse is when they argue over who and who does not have swag.

    8. wayne/akon/tpain collabs- i can say i liked about maybe ehhhh 8 of 17565 collabs that wayne has done the past few years. however, it does absolutely nothing for the main artist because it will NOT gain you any new fans. wayne fans will completely zone out your verses only to hear wayne spit. in addition, any songs with t-pain or akon will sound exactly alike the other 19 songs with them on the radio.

    7. super producer/rappers- it’s bad enough that every producer that put of 3 radio songs think they are quincy jones or something. i been tired of the producer/ rapper thing since maybe timberland dropped an album several years ago. with the exception of maybe kanye west, daz, pete rock and maybe hi tech the producers are often horrible on the mic.

    6. the internet beefing- it can be entertaining at times but it so ignorant because most of these folks live in areas which are so small they have absolutely have to run into each other at times. for example, max b and dipset. harlem is only so big. they been internet beefing for like 2 years. amoungst countless other folks. the worst would have to be the rappers responding with their “goons” to “other” internet videos.

    5. weekly/monthly freestyles – crooked i set the bar so high for that it’s almost comical to hear these other freestyles.

    4. rappers saving they are rock stars – it’s horrible. i rememeber thinking it was conry when ice t did it in the 80′s and then mos def and kool keith did in the late 90′s. now, everybody and their momma is wearing rock attire and ….. you get the point.

    3. hating- every rappers thinks that anyone that does not like they music are haters and jealous of their success. granted, most folks are haters but oftentimes, there is just a bunch of folks that think their “art” sucks. hip hop and rap is to the point that it condones any critics. what’s next, the latest blockbuster flop is going to say that ebert and roper were hating on the movie?!? please.
    imo, you should not go out of your way to say something negative about anyone or anything unless you have done your research or at least given it the opportunity first.

    2. remixes- i can care less if it has a dj or not. the problem is that they are making remixes to every single that is out. i mean for Christ sakes, there was a remix to ace hood and maino’s latest records. not to diss them but i can easily remember when remixes were remixes that were arguably better than the original.

    1. it’s a movement- not a fan or either wayne or 50 but their hype was from the streets that become a huge movement that began their commercial success. now, everyone with a record deal or a video camera has a movement. its getting waaaaay outta hand.

  • pecachon

    Numbers 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 are just hater remarks. You’re retarded for saying those things. Try this at #1.

    #1 Hip-Hop Trend That Just MUST have Ceased To Exist after 2000…

    #1. Baggy jeans and over sized fitted hats!

    Get a clue guy!

  • truth 101