Leaders Of The Now School

You know what’s more annoying to me than when women try to have a “sultry” look in their pictures and it instead comes out looking like they have a health issue? The talk about the “hottest in the game,” or that endless conversation about who’s going to be “the next *insert legendary artist name here*.” Pardon my language, but who really gives a flying shit about these in the first place?

I say this because I attended this Hennessey Artistry event last night, “curated” by (of course) The Roots and Q-Tip. That show marked plenty of firsts for me: it was the first time I’d seen “You Got Me’ performed with both Eve and Erykah Badu, the first time I’d seen Ronald Isley since being sprung from the pokey (who, ironically, switched places with T.I), and the first time seeing Bobby Brown sober. Standing amongst the crowd of excited attendees, some had engaged in conversations about which current artist was “the next,” as if Erykah Badu or Bobby Brown were past-their-prime shells of their former selves.

Well, maybe one of them was.

This unnecessary challenge is why I feel some new artists struggle to find some kind of identity in music today. Rather than try to attract the crowd by carving their own creative niche many end up listening to the masses and try to emulate an existing, if not entirely successful, formula, which is why you’ll always see a bio from a new artist alluding to Biggie, 2Pac, Rakim or even Lil Wayne as “inspirations.”

Most of this “next Jordan” talk ends up about as misguided as getting directions from Helen Keller. Think of the countless “next Jay-Z’ artists that never lived up to those lofty proclamations (Angelous, Bathgate and Sacario are the only three I can think of right now; who knows exactly how many artists were compared); did any of them even at least reach the level of success Shawn had in, say, 1994, when he was rolling doobies for Original Flavor and Jaz-O? It’s okay; I’ll wait for your answer.

*Waits*

Thought not.

Instead of being the “next” artist, I wish more would focus on being the “first” artist. Rather than trying to be the next Kanye, J. Cole or Drake, artists should attempt to follow their lead (proverbially, not literally mind you) and forge their own lanes. Hell, even a Waka Flocka Flame-style, minstrel-esque character managed to garner an audience, albeit the lowest common denominator crowd. I’m not saying that all rapsters should immediately hop on the next train to coonery, but I’m sure if there were more artists that tried not being like existing talents than maybe hip hop would be better as a whole.

  • T.I.

    When I get out of jail again all this shit gonna be mine nigga. Y’all don’t even know shawty. I’ma talk all yo asses off the roof then stack money. You know how a king do. Pimp Squad Click nigga. Atlanta Georgia nigga. Bankhead nigga. King of the South. Prince of the United States prison system. Ay, ay, ay, ay! Check me out nigga got this Louie rag wrapped tight round my neck. Bout to hit up some bitches and then guess what? Stack some more money. PCS nigga. What.

    • mikefree

      Bro lets work together i got some beats and some rap skils you definitely will like man im only 18 in my freshman year of college im tryna make it for my momma my nig. get at me mikeyfreeprod@gmail.com

      • T.I.

        It’s Grand Hustle nigga. Send the kang some beats & if they ain’t shit then you on ya way. Ay, ay, ay, ay! PCS.

    • tega paul

      feeling dis dude!

      • rits

        nice

  • genius

    fuck u nigga flocka got the rap game on lock bitch!

    • Goon

      Yo Nigga “genius” u gotta be some crazy azz motherfucker wu tha fuck is waka flocka that nigga aint got nothing on this bitch feel me

      there are some real nigga on the game, and am talking about real MC´s

  • wsrfwr

    lol @ bitching about lack of originality while refusing to post any odd future shit, by far the most interesting and original artists to come out of hip hop in a long ass time. feel free to keep us updated on all those nobody ‘conscious’ white boys tho

  • I Got Hoes

    fuck you meka.

    • Meka

      No bitch fuck you.

  • John Cochran

    Well, for starters you can’t re-invent the wheel. Hip hop is what it is and everything somebody new does you can point to a record a few years before where someone tried the same thing. Why you think Trey Songz gets compared to Kells. Even Biggie and Pac had rappers they immulated and learned from. Second, Id hate to put east coast bias in it, but its the lack of that fierce competitiveness that east coast rappers used to have. For example, T.I could do a record, it becomes a hit and 3 other down south rappers can bite that record to a tee. But, back in the day if you did that it was frowned upon. You had to do your own shit.

    • Drew

      note…learned from…not copied…quick example…my friend and current upcoming canadian artist named shad…has a track called “old prince lives at home”…rappers nowadays talk about money but they ALL say stuff like “i stack bills for days” or some ish like that…but shad, still talking about money issues, takes a diff route, talking about how cheap he is and ways he can save a quick buck or two….a humorous perspective on the same topic…not saying its the BEST song…but there is a difference between learning from the past and making it your own vs. taking what has been said and regurgitating it 1000000x over

  • WAKA FLOCKA FLAME

    ALL MY NIGGA TTG
    THEY TRAIN TA GO SHAWTY

    • T.I.

      Thanks for the support nigga. PSC nigga. Grand Hustle nigga.

  • ravsuav

    WAKA FLOCKA CD IS CLASSIC!!!!!….THE FUTURE OF HIP HOP IS HERE!!!….BOW! BOW! BOW!

    • Canibus

      Flockaveli is FIRE!

  • Rocky

    Based GOD!

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  • Shashwat

    as Young Scolla says “Why be the next YOU, when I can be the first ME?”
    that guy is gonna be great

  • http://twitter.com/sybrand1 Sybrand

    Y’all should really start fucking with Odd Future.

  • wa_stateofmind

    Flackavelli is classic….trash

    • Rakim

      Hurt yoself nigga.

  • Haterama

    I want heat, beats and rap that makes me feel throwback on a futuristic level. But I still feel like the artists shouldnt stray too much from the formula, still wanna feel the head bang. So don’t be strange just for the sake of being strange and out the box. On that note, Flockavelli or Slime Flu? and WTF happened to Nippsey?!? :P

    • http://www.swankanddirect.blogspot.com/ chrome

      Slime Flu everyday rama

  • http://reverbnation.com/ImpoliteSociety ImpoliteSociety

    Originality and creativity is seemingly a thing of the past; everybody just does what works, taking risks are…risky.

    (SN: WTF is wrong w/ these readers?)

    • PUSSEE BEETAH

      Nigga u gay.

      • Goon

        U betta this nigga is a bitch

  • cedmor

    Actually, you can reinvent the wheel…remember when those awfull spinners started taking over…

    Rap is missing new content…aka a different message… than Ice, Sex and Money….people are tired of that…but all and all, the artform is well and alive…

  • otto

    Meka are you serious?

    I gotta co-sign wsrfwr.

    Vado, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil B, and Odd Future are the most original rappers in hip hop right now.

    But you wouldn’t know that because you only promote generic hypebeasts.

    SMH @ thinking J. Cole, All City Chess Club, Big Sean, Dom Kennedy, etc. Those rappers are targeted to the “LCD.”

    OMG, Lupe stans and shit like them are generally the most retarded hip hop heads.

    The majority of BasedGod fans have a very eclectic taste compared to Wiz fans, and they’re usually very intelligent people too, who are knowledgeable about many genres of music including golden age hip hop, avant-garde, and indie rock. I’d rather kick it w/ BasedGod, Gucci Mane and Tyler, the Creator over Big Sean, Chiddy Bang and Asher Roth any day.

    Realshit.

    • otto

      SMH @ thinking J. Cole, All City Chess Club, Big Sean, Dom Kennedy, etc. are the future/original.**

  • otto

    SMH @ thinking J. Cole, All City Chess Club, Big Sean, Dom Kennedy, etc. are the future and original**

  • otto

    SMH @ thinking J. Cole, All City Chess Club, Big Sean, Dom Kennedy, etc. are the future/original.

  • tega

    yo

  • tega

    me

  • there4iwin

    drrrrrrr…

  • http://www.emcdl.com EmCDL

    “Instead of being the “next” artist, I wish more would focus on being the “first” artist.”

    ….yeah I been saying that.

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