Change For 2009

It’s 2009, finally! All this preparing and waiting and the shut down of the industry has killed me. It’s January 5, 2009, we are back in business. And with a new year there can be many changes. At the office we always talk about things we’d love to see in hip-hop, if they happened. And lately the talk isn’t that exciting. There’s something up with hip-hop. It’s not as fun as it used to be. I can’t really decide why. You can point at all sorts of different reasons—ringtone rappers, one hit wonders, rappers singing, fake thugs—of what’s fucked up about it but each one of those issues can be flipped into a reason why hip-hop has done well to a degree.

So because I don’t know what is actually wrong with hip-hop (besides the sales, which is really a reflection of technology and not actual content. Okay, maybe a little content…) here’s a list of 9 things that I think would be right for hip-hop in 2009. In no particular order. [Note: This list does not include anything about the end of auto-tunes because that is too obvious at this point.]-VS

A New Crew – There hasn’t been a new big, powerful rap crew in a long time. Not really since G-Unit. Yeah, sure, there was Trill Ent. but that really wasn’t a crew, it had the budding potential but was a few MCs short and then G.O.O.D. Music doesn’t really fit the definition. And Grand Hustle hasn’t really taken off like Cash Money or No Limit or N.W.A or Bad Boy or Death Row (check the March issue of XXL for more of this list and topic). It would be great to see a new movement come out and dominate and get all the other crews revved up going again.

A Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown Collabo – I am not going to say we need a new star female MC. I don’t know if we are really even checking for one. We didn’t want Shawnna and she could rhyme and looked good. We said no to Lil’ Mama even though she was the only female rapper in how long to not be the first lady of a crew and get her own record deal? We stay saying no to Jean Grae though she tries to give us something different. So forget a new female MC. What we need is for Foxy and Kim, to get over their notorious mysterious beef and get on a song together—a real one. One strong enough for a video. Then make a video! Do they understand how great this would be? For their (careers…) and for us! And for female rappers? They have the power. (Not to mention what a nice XXL cover it would make). Someone call Gavin.

Diplomats Back Together - Jimmy without Cam and Cam without Jimmy is fucked up. Enough said. But since I’m wordy, we need all four of the core back together. Then let the new crew (mentioned above) get their blood pumping mixed with Jim’s new stardom and everything will fall into place.

Shyne Comes Home - After what feels like a zillion years Shyne is gonna come home. Really it’s gonna be like seven years, and no one knows what to expect. Let’s not forget that at some point along the way Shyne Po, who was Jamal Barrow, changed his name to Moses Michael Leviy, in honor of his Jewish heritage. (?!) It would be amazing to see Shyne get out and go back to rap, and still be able to rap. Then blow us away with mixtapes and Internet tracks in preparation for 2010 when he drops one classic album then retires. (Of course one track on the LP would feature Matisyahu.)

Lil’ Boosie Steps It Up – I am a Lil’ Boosie fan. B-O-O-S-I-E B-A-D-A-Z-Z, that’s me! And most people I ask seem to like Boosie so where the fuck is he? He’s got the set up to go out there and make a spot for himself. He’s developed a fan base. Go look up some of his live performances on YouTube and the crowd is there. Boosie just needs to follow in the footsteps of his fellow New Orleans MC, Lil’ Wayne and collaborate, record and release shit like crazy. He needs to do like Crooked I and his Hip-Hop Weekly’s. He needs to help balance some of this out. And he needs to just go by Boosie.

A New All Star Hip-Hop Producer – We need a new producer with his (or her) sound to come out and take over. But it needs to be someone with the confidence to carry the character without getting carried away. You know what we need? Mannie Fresh 2009. Or something like that. A new star producer. Mannie doesn’t make beats often enough anymore and Kanye, Dr. Dre, Scott Storch, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell and Timbaland all have their own stories, drama and costs. Sure there are a lot of up and coming producers and bigger names out there but we need one of those to pop out as a leader, a fresh face and new sound with talent and personality to make him a star but the ego to keep him in check.

An Album from Eminem or Dr. Dre – We need an Eminem album or we need Detox. Period. With Eminem, the guy has grown up, been through so much and so has the country that if anyone can come up with some great lyrics right now I am pretty sure it’s Eminem. I’m counting on him. And as far as Detox, Fall 2010 would be the 10th anniversary of 2001 so it makes sense to be this year. And we need to see what Dr. Dre is capable of anymore. Is he the hip-hop hero we’ve created him to be or not really anymore? All I know is we need one of those albums.

New Independent Record Label – A rich rapper needs to start his own independent record label and scoop up all these unsigned, disgruntled MCs. Not have a rapper get a gig at a major label and sign other rappers, no. Make their own label, maybe even make it completely digital, and run it without all the clueless label people. Who knows what a rapper needs better than an accomplished rapper? Let them run the business and be the first to find out how to control or work with the Internet. Be the pioneer.

One of the Freshmen To Blow Up
We need a new rap star. New blood! We haven’t had one since when? It depends on your definition of a star. Since 50 Cent there’s been Young Jeezy and Kanye, correct? Who have been the big stars in addition to them? Soulja Boy? T.I. had already been around and so had Lil Wayne. So it would be very important for hip-hop if a new rap star emerged in the next year. And it would be great for XXL if that star were one of XXL’s Top 10 Freshman of 2009. Who would you bet on?

Here are a few from XXL staff –
Datwon Thomas, Editor-In-Chief:
I’d say Detox needs to drop. Em can go another year without an album; this Dr. Mystery of an album needs to happen by 2nd quarter already…

Rob Markman, Music Editor:
My personal list is 1. Detox, 2. An Andre 3000 solo disc, 3. The emergence of a new superstar (so we don’t have to rely on the old ones.)

Carl Chery, Digital Content Director: We need a new superstar. Also, someone needs to drop an undeniable classic. There needs to be a significant release from a female MC.

Anslem Samuel, Senior Editor: With Barack in office (16 days) we need more positive music. Positive is wrong word, but tired of the same shuckin a jivin rhetoric. We need real music. Albums from Dre and Andre 3000 will be welcome. Lauryn Hill too. Most importantly, we need less egos. Kinda like how T.I. and Jay did “Swagger Like Us” together. Having stars on same track is big step. What happened to the real posse cuts?

Clover Hope, News Editor: Speaking of egos, how bout rappers stop turning down XXL covers and features! Judging from sales, they need us more than ever. Also, for Ron Browz to go away.

Jesse Gissen, Digital News Editor: We need a new cam album and that Juelz/ Lil Weezy collabo to drop.

Starrene Rhett, Editorial Associate: 1. Rappers being dumb enough to jump on Jim Jones’ calling people “Obama” trend. 2. An album will actually come out when scheduled. 3. The emergence of a significant female emcee. 4. T-Pain gives up autotune, while everyone else continues to rape it.

Dave Bry, Features Editor: 1) moratorium on autotune. 2) increased investment (on the part of artists, fans and media outlets) in indie-scale music. 3) the popularization of a radical new sound (a la wu-tang, 1994). 4) further optimization of the internet (a la lil wayne, 2007). 5) and yeah, “detox” would definitely be nice.

What do you guys think needs to happen in ’09?

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  • Mo Betta

    THE D.M.V. is coming to save the day THE FRESHMAN is WALE, that female mc is RA THE MC, and we got producers on deck..from ODDISEE TO OSINACHI (NIKE BOOTS..JUDAH.

  • Pierzy

    Two connected items that haven’tt been mentioned:

    It’s finally time for Jadakiss to really blow up with his new album ["The Last Kiss"] and a new LOX ‘reunion’ album ["Live, Suffer, Celebrate"].

    • Pierzy

      Also: Hopefully everyone will realize how terrible Asher Roth is…

  • Hate Hate and more Hate

    Hip Hop needs to die! You dumb fucks that keep thinking that this one “magical rapper” is going to bring hip hop back to it’s “glory days” are out of your fucking minds!!!

    Let’s just say said rappers comes riding in like Prince Charming . . .then what? I know what’s going to happen. The same shit that’s been happening all along. BITING! Biting used to end your career now it’s what you have to do to survive in this rap game.

    All of you are a bunch of brainless sheep. Just look at yall waiting to hop on the dick of the next big rapper to blow up. Get the fuck outta here!

    Fuck you, Fuck your Favorite rapper and Fuck your future favorite rapper. Eat a dick & die slow!!!

  • Crocker

    More of that Charles Hamilton kid. Dig the single. That bitin’ ass Asher Roth to fuck off already. Cosign the first post above me bout Jada and L.O.X. Oh and for the majors to die. Yeah. Death to the Majors. Shout-out Rhymesayers and other self sufficient labels of their ilk. And for the love of God, more originality. And co-sign what was said about Ron Brownz. Big L is turning in his grave.

  • amar

    boosie, shyne, dre and em are def. exciting

    i’d also like:
    -an OUTKAST ALBUM (just a wish)
    -the demise of soulja boy
    -michael vick getting parole and recording a rap album with xxl blogger Ron Mexico under “Negro Please” records

  • ncprecise

    **********************9TH AND LITTLE BROTHER REUNITING FOR A FULL ALBUM****************

    Blu and Exile reuniting for another one

    Jay over Nas hooking up w/ Primo again…

  • Pingback: - » 2009 Will Be The Year More Rappers Walk Away From Rap

  • louie mo

    i would like hiphop writers to either know or reserch what the fuck they are talkin about……. case in point ………………..
    “And as far as Detox, Fall 2010 would be the 10th anniversary of 2001 so it makes sense to be this year. And we need to see what Dr. Dre is capable of anymore.” ……… now if this statement was true then we would have been had detox…….. muthafucka, it came on in 1999….. i want to said nov ( but it could have been oct)…..the whole thing is this ……. stop dick ridin interscope records……… that what i would like to see change in hiphop……. for xxl to stop dick rdin’ interscope records and do interview and articles with other artist (underground or not) that are not on your pimp’s record label…… shit as much as you talk about find a new superstar or supercrew etc…. do ya’ll dumb muthafucka realize that ya’ll help control that…….shit ……. and give g-unot his own blog……..

    • westcoastaggie

      how much do u want to bet if g-unot is a white guy from Orange County?

    • clovito

      actually besides the 50 Cent issue (which is Jan/Feb 2009 so it counts as this year) the only other interscope artists on our cover last year were Game (which was a split with Cube) and Snoop, who’s on Geffen/Interscope. thats like 1.5/11 covers and there’s plenty of non-interscope coverage within the magazine. the interscope argument is getting old guys! what do you really want

  • Arice

    We Want Wale !!! for 2009

  • FlapJack

    I want to see a new crew too.. Good music might be it.. They have a lot of talent.

    Slaughterhouse might do well, but how did all these guys i don’t bother checking out meet up and start a group?
    And I check out most shit that seems a bit interresting…
    Well I guess it makes them easier to ignore, so I’m good

  • Incilin

    Wow, pretty comprehensive. Covers just about everything I woulda suggested. Good post.

  • skruwz

    Im just going to give up and not expect any new rapper to bring hip-hop back. Im just going to chill and try new music. Lupe Fiasco, Gym Class Heroes, Kanye West…ect. Music that possitive.. Cookie Jar is actually a good song.


    Hip-Hop NEEDS G-unot killa.

    Besides that, we need Fashawn. Higher Learning made me a believer.

    And rappers need to stop doing the “driving simulation” hand gesture in videos to signify the exotic car they can’t afford but hope to one day drive.

    And Atlanta needs to get over itself and stop acting like it can financially support a new artist without NY or LA.

    And bloggers need to shut the fuck up when they have nothing relevant to say.

    And rappers that insist on carrying guns to clubs need to shoot themselves like Plax.

    And every radio PD and label A&R that hasn’t helped push the culture forward needs to be fired so that this whole market correction/recession can do what it do.

    And female rappers need to stop trying to collaborate and just go for dolo on the strength of determination.

    And DJs need to stop telling wack MCs that their records are good just because they’re getting an extra $100 every other week from extortion agents.

    And haters need to find new hobbies.


    Nicki Minaj is da best female rapper outhere right now. she will blow in ’09.

    • BGZ

      … all the popular rappers, and hopefully me too.

  • Phil

    FINALLY, a positive outlook! Thanks XXL! THAT’s journalism.

  • Josepth Regular

    In no particular order I would be ecsttatic if any of the following happened in hip-hop in 2009-

    -Hip-Hop needs Eminem, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent to release substantial albums. They don’t have to be “classics”, but they Need to be Great Albums. A cohesive aftermath/shady/g-unit rain in 09′ will show that first, the legends haven’t lost it, and second, that the last real rap Superstars can show that they can still make great albums. Above all it will show that there is still a place for successful crews in hip-hop.

    -I can’t say this one loud enough:

    Note TO JadaKiss:- stop the shit already! Stop fucking around and half-assing it like you have since B.I.G passed away. Make that damn Classic already! We all know you have it in you! In 09′ Jadakiss needs to drop a certified banger! Shit,Jada, the truth is you need to man up and lead your team in 09′! First Kiss My Ass needs to be a classic and then you need to lead the charge on a classic LOX album with styles p & sheek louch to close the year. Jada, you claim to be legendary? Well 09′ is the year to put out hall-of-fame material.

    -Hip-hop needs a brand new out-of-nowhere superstar who actually raps. Someone who is lyrically lethal yet can reach the masses.

    Hip Hop needs a Rap Messiah. A rapper whose sheer skill bridges the gap between the technology-based, social network, mp3, ipod, stars of today and tommorow, and the fans of the boom-bap & sample based lyrically dense rap music which was released roughly from 91′-99′. We need a rapper who is as lyrical as Nas and Jay-Z but in no way, shape or form sounds like them. The reason I say hip-hop needs a “Rap Messiah” is because if we ever truly see this person emerge he will have a sound so unique, we have never heard anything, anywhere, even close to that sound. In other words, he will create a lane for himself that didn’t exist before.

    - last but not least: Hip-Hop needs acceptance. It’s time we accept the truth, the days of Jay-Z, Biggie, Nas, Wu-tang Clan, Ruff Ryders, being Hip-Hops biggest Stars have ended. Times have changed, the emphasis just isn’t on lyricism anymore and as rap fans in our 30′s and 40′s we have to accept that. DMX is strung out on crack drunk driving somewhere in arizona, Ja-Rule got ethered by 50 and then ethered himself by trying to make a comeback single with Lil’ Wayne, P-Diddy is not a rapper, no matter how many rappers wrote his verses on Press play, Cam’ron is the worst rap crew leader evar, Jim Jones is suppose to be taken seriously as a rapper?, Lil’ wayne is talented as fuck, but seriously, he’s the best rapper alive? We all would have loved if Kanye never became an artist and just became Roc-a-Fella’s in-house superstar producer. He could have been the Roc’s Dr. Dre. Trust me it could have been magical.

    But these are just some of my thoughts, and one more thing,in 2009 rappers should stop acting like they don’t read blogs…..


    I think Drake will be the new artist to emerge….But i really want Wale and Kid Cudi to da dam thing too.

    The Rap Group that needs to do Somethin for real is the Clipse and the Re-Up gang. Them boys trill. They just need to pick up more CERTIFIED Talent…..09 should be the year if you FUCK NIGGAS ACTUALLY START BUYIN ALBUMS—AND I MEAN THAT WHOLEHEARTEDLY…