Consumer Backlash

I’m not a fan of doing lists. Sure, they’re good for a quick fix and all, but most of the time I just view them as an unoriginal, passé and bland formula used when the writer or writing organization either runs out of ideas or cannot compete with today’s Ritalin-flavored model of writing.

No shots.

So of course I was thinking of compiling a list for today’s post, something along the lines of my personal choices for the definitive misogynistic songs of all time (just in time for Valentine’s Day, of course), because I’ve had about a weeklong hangover from my trip to Toronto last weekend. That idea became rather stagnant, though, after I got to Ghostface Killah’s “Wildflower,” so I deaded the entire idea and flipped to listen to something that spoke more to the California native in me: weed songs [1], eventually shifting into rap’s latest pot purveyor, Wiz Khalifa.

Or, known now as the latest addition to the “the milk’s gone bad,” alleged wack music legion of doom.

Over the past half-decade or so Wiz has slowly but surely morphed from an angry Pittsburgh spitfire to an easygoing universal hippie, eventually trading in the electro-bleeps of Alice Deejay and the first level of Sonic The Hedgehog for the cryptically smooth stylings of Frou Frou, Demi Lovato and Chrono Trigger, finally hitting a proverbial gold mine with “Black & Yellow.” Unfortunately for him, achieving a level of success translated into the legions of pre-Taylor Gang zealots denouncing him as the latest telltale “sell-out,” as is the norm for any rapster that makes it out of the muck of today’s YouTube and the Twitter tomfoolery and into the public’s collective consciousness.

The million-dollar question, however, is why so-called “fans of the sport” are just as quick to spit on the faces of the artist who, just a few weeks ago, they were championing as the one who will take rap to that “next level.” This isn’t like a Ja Rule, “already a washout starting from his Cash Money Click days” type of disdain either; it’s more an “on-off switch” type of backlash. Whether you’re 50 Cent, whose sing-song flow was evident as far back as his pre-Bullet Tooth Tony, Power Of The Dollar days, or Jay-Z, who simply got older and richer (while mating with R&B’s Venus de Milo in the process), it seems pre-destined that an artist will not be liked by their “original” fan base.

Isn’t the point of rappers rapping is to, well, become successful at their craft? [2] To me at least, rappers who rap in any form in these days are trying to get noticed in some manner. Celebrity isn’t remotely guaranteed for most of them, but that has never stopped any of them from trying to grasp it. Fans should not be aghast when their favorite lyricist doesn’t want to stay in their tiny, cramped pocket of regional acclaim and underground (read: those who are quick to cop a free mixtape, yet turn away in disgust once said artist releases a project for sale) success, and if they are perhaps they weren’t “fans” in the first place.

Give it some time; I’m sure there will be a way to dislike Slaughterhouse and J. Cole soon enough.

[1] ScHoolboy Q’s “#BETiGOTSUMWEED” from his spectacular album Setbacks has been my weed anthem this year.

[2] I don’t believe anybody who isn’t in their thirties and above, has rapped for roughly three presidential terms and owned either a Dreamcast or the very first George Forman Grill saying they solely rap “for the love” at this point.

  • David HussleSoft

    I think selling out is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. One mans sell out is the next mans genuis. I think the reason hip-hop fans are so difficult on their artists is because for whatever reason when hip-hop artist cross over or reach for mainstream exceptance its such a far cry from where they started.

    Rock acts grow and change but they stay rooted in what got them in the game in the first place.

    U2 does not try to collab with a hip-hop or a pop act for exceptance. Arcade Fire does not say hey I need to make a record like Kings of Leon.

    But I read the other day that Jay-Z went to Stargate (the producers of Black and Yellow) and said I need some that sound for J.cole and for himself.

    Hip-Hop artist almost seem to leave the entire genre behind to become successful which is almost like a slap in the face to the culture. I think you can grow as an artist not forget where you came from.

    • Silky Johnson

      That is just not true. Rock as a genre is all about pushing the bounds, bands such as Aerosmith or Linkin Park have never been labeled as sellouts and both have collaborated with rappers. Or Wu-Tang going on tour and doing some live songs with Rage Against the Machine? Genre blending is not a sign of selling out. Rap is the only genre that has this issue for whatever reason. The Mainstream only wants a select style of Rap and the Underground screams sell-out if anyone tries something different. There is no respect given in Rap for pushing boundaries except for maybe Kanye West who manages to do it quite well.

  • With-ur-mom

    Im a fan of Sha Stimuli who doesnt give a fuck about anyones opinion and raps what he wants to do and when My Soul To keep i went to the store and bought 2 then Unsung came out and copped it. I was a big Jay-z fan prior to him copying other peoples syles/beats/flow (hasnt been good since american gangster) and rapping with drakes waynes and all gthe othe rbums whio be fucking with. I can handle his rock friends because it is what is but if he raps with them it boost there credibilty up when they spit like the in 2nd grade. He fucked the game up by rocking with people who shouldnt . Thats why i dont fuck with him anymore. Same goes for emienem. Okay yhou put an album out to make money. Corny beats heavy rnb and then i see this guy fucking with wayne and drake. why? They arent good doesnt matter if people buy their shit up they still cant rap. i dont give fuck about their popularity. Anyone who reads that knows numbers dont really show whos the nicest.

    • afoxbehindthewheel

      just a thought, a lot of people said the same thing about big pimpin when they heard Jay was gonna be working with UGK and heard that the beat was a bit poppy…but that was still the shit though right?

      Im just saying, if your idea of not selling out means that an artist cant develop their sound/style as time passes, then i think you might be stuck in that high school mode… “I’ll never let college change me” type of shit

  • http://www.ahmedhoke.com Hunnit Thousand Seminar

    Wiz got you bloggin ass ninjas on the payroll that’s word from the Pentagon.

    Click my name for sum heaterz, ONE HUNNIT.

    • afoxbehindthewheel

      Up above is the classic sound of a hater who will never make it big, trying his best stir shit up so that someone (hopefully a well connected someone) clicks the link to his name so that he can get discovered and make it big…

      seriously though, dont n*ggas get tired of coming up on blogs, and trying to post links to their lame ass “smash hits” (seriously dude, i listened to your sh*t, wasnt any of it remotely interesting, or memorable)

      I guess you can take solace in the fact that you’ll never (get the chance to) sellout right?

      • http://www.ahmedhoke.com Hunnit Thousand Seminar

        That’s the beauty of the internet. Free self promotion. Keep the hits coming.

        Thank you for your support!

  • sensistar

    Hunnit Thousand Seminar: Has to be something because he always sucked. Sounds like a dude you got by the collar when your ready to whip is butt. Asking him where your money at.

    His voice just sounds like a Bit%$ A$$ Lame.

    Which he is.

  • Don mcCaine

    “I don’t believe anybody who isn’t in their thirties and above, has rapped for roughly three presidential terms and owned either a Dreamcast or the very first George Forman Grill saying they solely rap “for the love” at this point.”

    ^ this right here…alotta rap fans AND rappers aren’t music lovers…the only thing they know about David Ruffin comes from that movie…and of course the fans were gonna ride the Wiz wave up to now…it was free. tell me you don’t see the excuses now on why he didn’t sell…”i ain’t buying that sh^t, he sold out…”

    i miss crate digging…it made you listen to a whole album to find sample loops, you would most likely become a fan of that artist too. you’d be a hip hop guy walking around with classical, soul, jazz and disco tapes for the walkman, a cat’s music game was on a milli…in 2K11, dudes wanna pay Lex Luger to do the same beat, or do a freestyle over someone’s hit song.

    • afoxbehindthewheel

      cosign and agree, though i cant really say im old enough that I’ve been crate digging and what not… I just hate look at other rap/hip hop fans ipods and seeing their stuff flooded with all types of commercial shit, and the looking at me weird when my ipod shuffles from Hoe Cakes , to Rhapsody in Blue, to April in Paris, to Neon Street Valley, to Grown Simba, etc, etc

      but even if someones not a music lover in the complete sense of the phrase, its still sad to see people so fearful/hateful of change in artist that their quick to label them as a sellout instead of growing with the music they once claimed to love…

  • Chris

    wait…he sampled Chrono Trigger and Sonic the Hedgehog? which songs?

    • Wil Solstice

      “Never Been” off his Kush & OJ mixtape was sampled from Chono Trigger, I think its called Schalas Theme. Idk about the sonic one though

      • CHEat

        Ms. Rightfernow.

    • Blackaristocrat

      He sampled Sonic The Hedgehog “Green Zone” (The 1st stage in the game) for “Rightfornow” which was on Flight School) Even the laugh at the beginning of the song as Dr. Robotnik (Dr. Eggman)

  • azfreddieb

    The public does not necessarily hate the artist because he is “successful”, rather the hate comes from the fact that the artist had to resort to a commercial sound to gain fame. In your magazine many of these artists are noted for their lyrical ability and/or wordplay, especially in editions like the annual 10 Freshmen issue.

    Most of these new artists that are praised as the next big thing and end up up offering nothing new to the game. Specifically, Wiz resorted to rapping about material things, just like the thousand other rappers on the radio. For the record, I do not listen to many mixtapes, let alone Wiz’. I just heard the buzz on the Internet about his talent and was, at the time, excited to hear quality music on the radio for a change.

    You have to understand, to those of us who have been listening to rap for the last 20 plus years find this a big disappointment. Its like the culture is devolving, not evolving. It can be equated to inventing cars and email and then going back to using wagon trains and pony express. We don’t go backwards.

    Finally, I’m about to agree with one of the previous posts. When established, well-liked artists associate themselves with obviously less talented artists it hurts the whole culture. What happens is that new listeners who don’t have an appreciation for hip hop as a history and an art form accept these less talented artists as the status quo. Thus, the quality of hip-hop takes a nose dive because newer artists don’t have much to aspire to.

    I change the station every time “Black and Yellow” comes on.

    • azfreddieb

      This is the reason “artists”, and I use that term loosely, like Waka Flocka Flame, Soulja By and Gucci Mane are given contracts. Waka and Soulja boy say they choose to be non-lyrical. Right. All 3 put together could not come up with enough lyrical content or meaning in a whole album that would match just one song from a classic artist if they tried. Not to insult anyone’s intelligence, but if you don’t have the talent, admit you don’t have the talent.

  • azfreddieb

    Forgot to mention that repeating a hook 75 times in a 3 minute span does not constitute a song.

  • a fan

    what does selling out mean. i dont understand i hate rappers and rap music still bob my head to it. rap niggas are ignorant and rap fans are retarddd. still i own a shit load of it. idk guess im retarddd too. who cares i like pink floyd i like bob marley i like bat for lashes. i like radiohead i like emo i like rock i like rap too. i no im make no sense. my dream is to become a rapper one day. just so my sound can influence the game. but i hate rap. its just probably the easiset form of music to get into.

    • Soulchild

      What the hell are talking about?

  • MonstaDon

    Anyone that listens to Wizzle-man knows dude has eclectic tastes in music, and hasn’t hid his unabashed desire to be a pop star. I do not understand where the ‘sellout’ tag would come in HIS case, only because he never hid his ambitions, nor did he hide that type of music in his catalog…it’s littered with quirky songs sampled from pop and alt-rock tunes…

    As far as the whole ‘Sell-out’ thing? Listen…I’m 40 years old…Rap music SOLD out over a decade ago. Kniggas really need to knock it off. Rap music IS POP-ular music.

    100.

  • http://www.exclusivecompany.co.uk Ken Hill

    Manchester Escorts thinks this is a Good article. Quite concise and to the point.

    It happens to most of the best artists and will def happen to J.cole in a few moths time

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  • http://www.reverbnation.com/blastmusicconcepts teamBMC

    Pop Music is short for “popular”. If enough people dig it, it goes pop. But remember that the world isnt full of fans. Moreso people that just were doing their everyday thing and something caught their ear.
    Therefore I don’t hate. But meet the people half way and atleast be a real artist. Not to mention withdraw from so much transparency. One time Marilyn Manson wrote an open email to all of Interscope saying basically that when a fan knows too much about you/has too much access to you/some of your mistique goes a way. Maybe there’s some truth to that.
    @teamBMC

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/blastmusicconcepts teamBMC

      less is more on these n!@@az

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