December 8, 2009

An Editorial on the Music Industry

Why the Music Industry Can’t Save Itself

Source AllHipHop.com

-Editorial by Tolu Olorunda On November 23, 2009, Scottish singer Susan Boyle, of fame Britain's Got Talent (season 3), released her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream. Three months prior to the set date, it had already become an Amazon best-seller. And, sure enough, when the U.S. Billboard sales results were revealed last week Wednesday, most were stunned, as the classically trained singer sold 701,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Other reports crowned her not only the fastest selling UK debut album in history, and the strongest for a female artist ever (since Soundscan), but, perhaps most meaningfully, the biggest opening weeks sales thus far in 2009.

So, what does all this say about the future of an industry too preoccupied with commercial, replaceable, disposable artists—and the music they make? A good deal. For starters, that the age of gimmickry might be nearing its coffin hole.

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Here's a great comment from the same post:

iron_disciple said:
The factors need to be re-prioritized.

1. Most folks flying "Hip-Hop" banner are just rappers. They want to do more than make a living off their music, they want to be rich and famous.

2. Most rich and famous people did whatever they had to do to get rich and famous.

3. Most customers only buy what the mainstream feeds them.

4. The mainstream promotes artists that share their dream of optimized profits.

5. Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, etc. want to be rich and famous.
6. When the metric for measuring talent, skill, and dopeness was ability not money, we all knew folks like Weezy, Jigga, and Fiddy were ranking around 5 out of 10 stars. These guys aren't amazing, never have been. They are impressively clever, and dabble in wordplay on occasion.

7. Now that the old faceless Hip-Hop enemy (the sucker MC, that wack rapper who couldn't spit) has been replaced with the new faceless threat (the hater, which is anyone with the balls to say they don't like a song, artist, or style), people have become sheep and are no longer confident in expressing their own opinions.

8. In order to get rich selling records you have to reach as many people as possible, and turn off as few people as possible. Since the concept of Hip-Hop is now the equivalent of PRO WRESTLING (a bunch of oiled up men flexing muscle, tossing money around, and parading women before the camera while threatening to beat the crap outta one another), we see the rap game as a soap opera.

"Oh! Did you see what d**k said to Harold about sleeping with Jane?"
is now

"Yo! Did you see what 50 did with Jay's old boy Beans?"

9. Rappers will say whatever they can to get more people buying their records. Most listeners don't buy records though. So... they target non-Hip-Hop fans.

10. Ain't nothing wrong with the music industry. It cut its own throat when vinyl came out. They've been fighting the release of every music playing technology since then. They didn't want record players on the market because it would destroy radio sales. They didn't want blank cassettes on the market, they didn't want blank CDs on the market, and so it shouldn't shock anyone that they don't want MP3 technology on the market either.

11. What's hurting us is we used to dig in the crates and hit underground shows to find the dopest MCs, DJ, beatmakers, etc. Now we depend on the radio and the labels (the two entities Public Enemy, Paris, The Coup, and every other 'awake" rapper --yes, conscious has become a bad word -- has been warning us about for 25 years.

12. As long as we give props to moneymakers and ignore talent, we will decide making money is the only meaningful skill. If all you do use fashion, sex, and the streets to make money, you're a whore not a dope MC.

13. Labels have been pimping MCs since at least 1984 and they've been complaining about it just as long.

In closing: As long as we're too lazy to push our own music, too greedy to settle for gold, and too ignorant to use the Internet to get our grind on, we as Hip-Hop heads are gonna get pimped.

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