BLOG: Now & Then
It’s so amusing to me when I read some of the comments here and on other platforms where the fan is given the respectable right to participate and then abuse it.
I read a comment, “Isn’t Lyte like 45? She should stop”. LMAO…No really LOL…First off, I’m more than 7 years younger than that and stop for what? It’s what I love to do and most artists who debuted around the same time love it just as much, because that’s the only reason you did it back then. There was no money to be made like today. We had a love for hip-hop that superseded any type of dollars that could be made.
I’m sure we all had the same love for hip-hop that Aerosmith had for rock. The same love Bruce Springsteen had when he created “Born In The USA," which is why after all these years he can grace the cover of Rolling Stone and no hater bitches say a peep. Bruce made people feel him when he sang that song and all of the other hits in his catalogue, which is why he can tour and a gathering of 50,000 show to sing and support.
So if we as hip-hop artists all share the same love as a rocker does for his music; why do we not get the same amount of respect? Is it because hip-hop is still not looked upon as a true art form? Are we not counted as true artists? Is it because we are not musicians in the same way as a violinist or guitarist? Although we make music, no doubt, still maybe creating lyrics and having them flow over beats isn’t enough? Maybe moving millions of people across several continents and many countries is too small of a thing? Perhaps, leading generations into a style of dress or hairstyle is merely something to be forgotten?
Somehow other genres know how important hip-hop is. They’ve seen how the art form can swarm over the Billboard charts and swoop in and land on every spot where they used to cop a squat. It’s the reason Aerosmith rocked with Run DMC. It’s why Sinead O’Connor called for Lyte and Linkin Park mashed with Jay.
So if others give hip-hop its respect, others meaning those who exist outside the walls of this culture, why don’t we give it to ourselves?
My opinion is this, for starters there’s no one in the rock game coming up with terms like old school, new school and golden era. All these terms do is find an opportunity for hip-hop artists to be separated from one another and categorized. With radio, rock is rock. They play new releases intertwined with older releases. With hip-hop it’s all new and a 12 o’clock “old school mix”. That’s funny, LMAO!!!
The Planned Generation Separation
Not all, but many major labels like to keep their roster of artists young because they believe that’s all the young consumer wants. To take it deep---they believe the older consumer is too frugal (stingy) and has other financial responsibilities that don’t allow them to buy hip-hop music as freely as they once did as kids, so ultimately it makes no sense to market to them because they won’t buy. Deeper---they believe young consumers are fanatics (definition= a person with an obsessive enthusiasm for a past time or hobby). BTW---Fanatic spawned the word “fan." Major labels (some LOL) bank on young people being impulsive buyers and think they will make a purchase just to be down with the Jones’s.
The bottom line is this. If you love hip-hop, know it: the ins, the outs and the greats! If you are a part of hip-hop culture the history is at your fingertips. Don’t let someone else decide for you whether you should know your culture’s history. All contributors that exist in this art form are important enough to be known. And that’s real talk…with love.