Disappearing Acts: Quality of Music > Quantity of Music
Okay, okay I was on one yesterday. Y’all made some valid points, too; times are hard and buying CDs may not be on the top of folks’ priority lists. I can dig it! But, let me just say that Jay Electronica has released his Just Blazed-produced single “Exhibit C” on iTunes. So if you’re one of those Stans who believe that Jay Elec is the seconding coming of Christ on the mic, then I hope you will at least shell out the .99 cents.
Alright, I’m off that. I promise. But let’s stay on the topic of Jay Elec-Hanukkah. Dude has built his fan base strictly off of his lyrical wizardry; still he isn’t a very active rapper (at least by today’s standards). Seems like we get a new Jay joint once every six months on average, but they’re all pretty hot. So my question is this: In this modern-day, Internet, drop-a-song-a-day era of hip-hop, is there room for quality over quantity?
Seems like a silly question, right? As fans, of course we want the best music that we can get. Still, with more rappers than ever, the truly talented often get overlooked because they just aren’t busy enough.
Case in point: Mos Def finally dropped an album (The Ecstatic) this year after a three-year hiatus, and what do you know it was pretty dope. Shit, he even got nominated for a Grammy, not that the Grammy committee is any type of authority. I mean, Flo Rida gets a Rap Album of the Year nod over Rick Ross? For real?
Q-Tip was also nominated for his 2008 release, The Renaissance, and that came nine years after his last joint, Amplified. Despite the long gaps between projects, both Q-Tip and Mos Def have put out quality work.
Andre 3000 is another artist worth mentioning. He averages one 24-bar verse a year (at least that’s what he’s releasing, we don’t know what he has on stash back in the A). Still, 3 Stacks more often than not winds up on a lot of folks top five list.
On the other hand, Rick Ross has put out about an album a year since he debuted in 2006 and, in my opinion, they have all been pretty solid albums; though, lyrically, he doesn’t compare to a Mos Def or Andre 3000. Call me an idealist, but I’d like to think that if Ross only released a verse a year like Andre did, that verse would be pretty fuckin ill! Or, maybe not—who knows?
It’s kind of unfair to chastise a rapper for constantly putting out material. In this day and age, artists have to stay busy or they face irrelevancy. I mean, where the fuck is Rich Boy? And I don’t mean that sarcastically, I’d really like another Rich Boy album right about now. Maybe Dr. Dre can get away with shit like that, but even Detox is starting to become a running joke.
Where do y’all stand? Would you rather your favorite rapper stay active by constantly putting out material like Weezy did? Or do you prefer them to be meticulous and take their time like Raekwon and Cuban Linx, Pt. 2? —Rob Markman, The Deputy!