Hip-Hop/Hip-Pop

I think the title of this entry pretty much suggests what I'm gonna rant about, but… first off, I just want to say that from a commercial stand-point, I realise that there is a place for hip-pop and that plenty of people seem to really enjoy it. I don't want for there to be any presumption that I'm going to just rip some music to shreds and praise some other (I make no promises, what can I say? I'm passionate!) – I'll attempt to show a bit more depth into the discussion and raise some valid points. So, let's get to it…

In-case some readers aren't quite aware of what my crass label hip-pop means, I will explain; hip-pop is the casual term given to mass produced commercial hip-hop that is released solely for quick sale chart consumption. Bear in mind that this is only an opinion (although plenty share it) and not everybody will agree with my assessment. Many feel that these hip-pop artists are just selling out; using the hip-hop genre to make artistically-limited music that is marketed towards kids, purely in an attempt to make as much money as quickly as possible, without much thought to the actual music itself. I'm sure these artists would (publicly) disagree, but public perception rules all and on this occasion I don't believe that our eyes deceive.

To give you an idea, I'll list a few names that could be considered as hip-pop artists; 50 Cent, basically all of G-Unit, modern day Jay-Z, Ja Rule, modern day Black Eyed Peas, P Diddy, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Nelly, Obie Trice, Akon, Bubba Sparxxx, modern day Busta Rhymes, the list really does go on, but I think you get the idea. It is difficult to know what these artists are thinking, whether they actually care about the music, or do they just want loads of money – to be honest, we'll probably never know, and that is where our perception comes into play. Personally I can only conclude that the aforementioned artists are essentially pop artists after lots of cash, using a watered down version of hip-hop.

Some of these hip-pop artists were once highly respected hip-hop acts, like Jay-Z, Black Eyed Peas, and Busta Rhymes, for example. Maybe they just lost their desire for the music, maybe they just want to drive nicer cars, who knows? All I do know is that I'm sick of hearing this watered down hip-hop. I don't really listen to commercial radio anymore or watch much TV, so I don't get exposed to this music very often, but what hurts me most is how much people sing the praises of this music. There's no soul to this music – it's just a catchy jingle over a heavy beat and some guy rapping bout shooting someone in the face and f*cking some hoe. I remember a friend of mine saying they don't like hip-hop music cos they don't like the way the songs are all about violence, money, and hoes – I was ready to list of a hundred hip-hop artists that never mention that crap, but this persons mind was already made up. I've even tried to counter suggest artists to people that have been consumed by the devil (listeners of hip-pop), if someone tells me they like 50 Cent, I suggest they try listening to Nas, MF DOOM, or Ghostface, for example. But the devil has them so tightly that they feel if it isn't being rammed down their throats via tv and the radio, then it isn't cool to listen to it.

Regardless, the underground hip-hop scene is still strong. I mean, there are tonnes of fantastic acts still struggling to get record deals, but it is encouraging to see people still putting the effort in to make decent art. I just find it incredibly sad that people rely on the mainstream media to such an extent. Either they cant see that it is ruling their lives, or they just don't care. If these people could just take the time out to discover new things for themselves, with an open mind, maybe they would take their musical enjoyment to the next level.

All said and done, this is a rant coming from someone that does appreciate real hip-hop and does despise hip-pop – I know many will agree with my sentiment, but there are tonnes of fans of hip-pop music and they don't really care what I think, but perhaps this is just the state of things in this day and age. I also realise I have only briefly touched on what is actually quite a heavy debate, but I figured that it wouldn't be wise to send you to sleep with a massive rant, so it's just some food for thought. What would be cool is if anyone reading this would take 30 seconds out to leave a comment that includes the name of a real hip-hop artist, just some recognition and appreciation for the guys striving to keep the scene alive.

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  • jaydoh

    nice write up man. totally on point. i think for people like you and me we are less susceptible to being told what music to listen to based on popularity alone. I think that the majority of the fan base of hip pop are all about superficial things like cash, clothes & hoes… I like those things as much as the next guy but I don’t need to hear some product trying to quantify just how much of each this guy’s got… How did he come across these material items? .. by $elling out that’s how…

    I definitely don’t want to be told what to listen to my some PR firm’s marketing team.. If I wanted to be spoon fed my music I might listen to what these clowns are putting out but that whole scene just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.. it’s because of sell-outs like those that are making real hip hop into the sorry state its in today…

  • jaydoh

    nice write up man. totally on point. i think for people like you and me we are less susceptible to being told what music to listen to based on popularity alone. I think that the majority of the fan base of hip pop are all about superficial things like cash, clothes & hoes… I like those things as much as the next guy but I don’t need to hear some product trying to quantify just how much of each this guy’s got… How did he come across these material items? .. by $elling out that’s how…

    I definitely don’t want to be told what to listen to my some PR firm’s marketing team.. If I wanted to be spoon fed my music I might listen to what these clowns are putting out but that whole scene just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.. it’s because of sell-outs like those that are making real hip hop into the sorry state its in today…

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Yup, you’re spot on mate. I remember MF DOOM saying something pretty funny along the lines of not wanting to see some half naked dude on an album sleeve. Some people will go to any lengths to sell records. I mean I say sell records, but what I mean is “make money”.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Yup, you’re spot on mate. I remember MF DOOM saying something pretty funny along the lines of not wanting to see some half naked dude on an album sleeve. Some people will go to any lengths to sell records. I mean I say sell records, but what I mean is “make money”.

  • jaydoh

    i was going to say something about my loving to contradict myself because sometimes… Say if I am half in the bag or something I will put on some super jiggy-bling-bling crunked up stuff.. but it’s kind of a joke.. I only do it cause I am drunk/baked or both and stupid sh*t is hilarious.. take R.Kelly’s trapped in a closet for a prime example.. how many laughs did you get out of that?? :D

  • jaydoh

    i was going to say something about my loving to contradict myself because sometimes… Say if I am half in the bag or something I will put on some super jiggy-bling-bling crunked up stuff.. but it’s kind of a joke.. I only do it cause I am drunk/baked or both and stupid sh*t is hilarious.. take R.Kelly’s trapped in a closet for a prime example.. how many laughs did you get out of that?? :D

  • Teko

    very good post, totaly agree with you,
    sad to see how many artists sold out over time…i wish it it was the early 90’s over gain, when Jay-Z was a part of Original Flavor, when Busta Rhymes was one third of Leaders of the New School, when Black Eyed Peas was Atban Klann…

  • Teko

    very good post, totaly agree with you,
    sad to see how many artists sold out over time…i wish it it was the early 90’s over gain, when Jay-Z was a part of Original Flavor, when Busta Rhymes was one third of Leaders of the New School, when Black Eyed Peas was Atban Klann…

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Ha ha, to be fair Jay the only time I even entertain that crap is when I am in a club and very drunk! But you’re right, Trapped In The Closet is extremely funny!

    Teko, feel your pain Brother! But we live in the now, and this is what we have.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Ha ha, to be fair Jay the only time I even entertain that crap is when I am in a club and very drunk! But you’re right, Trapped In The Closet is extremely funny!

    Teko, feel your pain Brother! But we live in the now, and this is what we have.

  • http://naoconcordocontigo.blogspot.com/ Rui Oliveira

    nice point of view.. but i only disagree in one point.. for me Nas, is one more of the poppie hop hoppers.. just my opinion..
    great text man, if you don’t mind i will link this site to my blog

  • http://naoconcordocontigo.blogspot.com/ Rui Oliveira

    nice point of view.. but i only disagree in one point.. for me Nas, is one more of the poppie hop hoppers.. just my opinion..
    great text man, if you don’t mind i will link this site to my blog

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    I can understand what you are saying with regards to Nas, I mean he is on a big record label, has released tracks in the charts. But essentially his music and what he stands for are still in the sense of real hip-hop, in my mind anyway.

    Different people have different opinions and definitions for words and terms, but when I think of the hip-pop aritsts that I mentioned in my post, somehow Nas doesn’t quite fit in with that list of names.

    Hey, feel free to link to this blog, I appreciate it greatly. :-)

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    I can understand what you are saying with regards to Nas, I mean he is on a big record label, has released tracks in the charts. But essentially his music and what he stands for are still in the sense of real hip-hop, in my mind anyway.

    Different people have different opinions and definitions for words and terms, but when I think of the hip-pop aritsts that I mentioned in my post, somehow Nas doesn’t quite fit in with that list of names.

    Hey, feel free to link to this blog, I appreciate it greatly. :-)

  • http://www.myspace.com/wish_ka wishka

    Good point Gav :) I have something on my mind now.. Do you remeber this track? ‘Hate when I go to open mics and I see everybody clapping, for some clown they don’t understand, yet everybody acting like he dope because they believe he’s hip hop..’ :P
    Cheers

  • http://www.myspace.com/wish_ka wishka

    Good point Gav :) I have something on my mind now.. Do you remeber this track? ‘Hate when I go to open mics and I see everybody clapping, for some clown they don’t understand, yet everybody acting like he dope because they believe he’s hip hop..’ :P
    Cheers

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Those lyrics dont ring any bells, but I certainly get the sentiment.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Those lyrics dont ring any bells, but I certainly get the sentiment.

  • http://www.poetryofpeace.wordpress.com/ Afshin Rohani

    Interesting read, i don’t get bogged down with grouping the commercial crowd too much i think hip-hop is so diverse right now that it’s just exciting to see the different ways so many artists express themselves. Obviously some do it it in more constructive ways then others.

  • http://www.poetryofpeace.wordpress.com Afshin Rohani

    Interesting read, i don’t get bogged down with grouping the commercial crowd too much i think hip-hop is so diverse right now that it’s just exciting to see the different ways so many artists express themselves. Obviously some do it it in more constructive ways then others.

  • ingrid

    hm yeah I love some hip hop acts (such as lady sovereign, run DMC etc) but it seem that its stigamatized by the dull pop-acts and people in general thinks that hip-hop its just about the bling bling, fancy cars and hoes. good article (I dont usualy read blogs etc but I really liked yours)

  • ingrid

    hm yeah I love some hip hop acts (such as lady sovereign, run DMC etc) but it seem that its stigamatized by the dull pop-acts and people in general thinks that hip-hop its just about the bling bling, fancy cars and hoes. good article (I dont usualy read blogs etc but I really liked yours)

  • Gooseh

    Well put, I was thinking along the same lines not too long ago. I ended up calling it club-hop, but we’re talking about the same stuff. Pisses me off to no end that these guys get all the exposure through media etc, and hip-hop gets labelled as crap.

    As for the non-hip-pop list, here’s 3 to add: Roots Manurva, cLOUDDEAD, Del/Deltron

  • Gooseh

    Well put, I was thinking along the same lines not too long ago. I ended up calling it club-hop, but we’re talking about the same stuff. Pisses me off to no end that these guys get all the exposure through media etc, and hip-hop gets labelled as crap.

    As for the non-hip-pop list, here’s 3 to add: Roots Manurva, cLOUDDEAD, Del/Deltron

  • Aaron

    Hip-Pop does annoy me. At least there’s mf doom, aesop rock, mr. lif, outkast, etc. I love old-school Hip-Hop as well: a tribe called quest, early de la soul, etc.

    There seems to be a hip-hop culture at the moment that has more to do with lifestyle that creating good music. I just don’t think they care, wrapped up with what their record company tells them.

    It’s even effected De La Soul. Have you listened to their latest stuff? It seriously depresses me.

    I can’t figure out who’s facilitating this culture. Is it the fan-base who want their artists to be acting a certain way; or is it the artists that are acting in a certain spoilt-brat way that the music buying drones lap up because “it has to be cool because it’s done by hip-hop artists?”

    Maybe there’s a part of this fan-base that want “hoes and guns” and they like to see their “idols” doing this, so they can “live the dream” in a sense. I know there were too many quotation marks in that sentence, and I’m not totally sure if I articulated what I mean, but what I really want to say is: What the fuck have you done with my Hip-Hop?

  • Aaron

    Hip-Pop does annoy me. At least there’s mf doom, aesop rock, mr. lif, outkast, etc. I love old-school Hip-Hop as well: a tribe called quest, early de la soul, etc.

    There seems to be a hip-hop culture at the moment that has more to do with lifestyle that creating good music. I just don’t think they care, wrapped up with what their record company tells them.

    It’s even effected De La Soul. Have you listened to their latest stuff? It seriously depresses me.

    I can’t figure out who’s facilitating this culture. Is it the fan-base who want their artists to be acting a certain way; or is it the artists that are acting in a certain spoilt-brat way that the music buying drones lap up because “it has to be cool because it’s done by hip-hop artists?”

    Maybe there’s a part of this fan-base that want “hoes and guns” and they like to see their “idols” doing this, so they can “live the dream” in a sense. I know there were too many quotation marks in that sentence, and I’m not totally sure if I articulated what I mean, but what I really want to say is: What the fuck have you done with my Hip-Hop?

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Very amusing wee-willy-weeksy.

    Your questions are very appropriate, but it hurts my head to contemplate the answers, cos I am convinced there are many different reasons, in many different circumstances, as to why these people do these things. I know that might sound like a cop-out, but I just dont think we’ll ever know why certain ‘pop’ artists act a certain way – perhaps they think their music is amazing?

    I can only conclude that they love the money and the fame, the music is purely secondary… or maybe even tertiary.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Very amusing wee-willy-weeksy.

    Your questions are very appropriate, but it hurts my head to contemplate the answers, cos I am convinced there are many different reasons, in many different circumstances, as to why these people do these things. I know that might sound like a cop-out, but I just dont think we’ll ever know why certain ‘pop’ artists act a certain way – perhaps they think their music is amazing?

    I can only conclude that they love the money and the fame, the music is purely secondary… or maybe even tertiary.

  • Aaron

    I would agree there are many different reasons, but there is definitely a theme at the moment, so there must be common denominator somewhere, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with “money and fame” no matter how trite that is.

    I wish the appeal of making good music would outweigh the appeal of money, fame and all that comes with those two. Oh well, I’ve been enjoying Aesop Rock today at any rate.

  • Aaron

    I would agree there are many different reasons, but there is definitely a theme at the moment, so there must be common denominator somewhere, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with “money and fame” no matter how trite that is.

    I wish the appeal of making good music would outweigh the appeal of money, fame and all that comes with those two. Oh well, I’ve been enjoying Aesop Rock today at any rate.

  • Aaron

    Oh, that doesn’t really solve why people lap up this rubbish, and I don’t think I’ll touch on that as I’ll probably end up as an elitest claiming that the masses need to be reeducated which no one include me wants. But seriously, 50 cent fans, dropped on their heads at birth?

  • Aaron

    Oh, that doesn’t really solve why people lap up this rubbish, and I don’t think I’ll touch on that as I’ll probably end up as an elitest claiming that the masses need to be reeducated which no one include me wants. But seriously, 50 cent fans, dropped on their heads at birth?

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to delve too deep in the discussion, well, there were two reasons; 1. a billion word essay would have bored people, and 2. I’d have just offended people – I was certainly biting my tongue when I said “I realise that there is a place for hip-pop and that plenty of people seem to really enjoy it”.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Yeah, that’s why I didn’t want to delve too deep in the discussion, well, there were two reasons; 1. a billion word essay would have bored people, and 2. I’d have just offended people – I was certainly biting my tongue when I said “I realise that there is a place for hip-pop and that plenty of people seem to really enjoy it”.

  • http://camisado.wordpress.com/ camisado

    Good little rant there :D

    There are some rappers in my college class who make hip-hop exactly like hip-pop you were talking about. They’re in college and they’re rapping about killing and shooting people, and bitches. Their music comes off as a poor 50 Cent track. It makes me laugh.

  • http://camisado.wordpress.com/ camisado

    Good little rant there :D

    There are some rappers in my college class who make hip-hop exactly like hip-pop you were talking about. They’re in college and they’re rapping about killing and shooting people, and bitches. Their music comes off as a poor 50 Cent track. It makes me laugh.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    The very thought of a worser version of 50 Cent chills me to the spine!

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    The very thought of a worser version of 50 Cent chills me to the spine!

  • Ell

    The beats are getting sooooo f*cking bland too. It’s like they don’t care what it sounds like!

    Where does Kanye fall on the hip-hop/hip-pop scale for you?

  • Ell

    The beats are getting sooooo f*cking bland too. It’s like they don’t care what it sounds like!

    Where does Kanye fall on the hip-hop/hip-pop scale for you?

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Was hoping nobody was gonna mention him!

    It’s a tough one, cos I think he is a pretty talented producer. His first album was quite cool and I have a rare mixtape that is even better, but I wasn’t keen on his latest album and he is loving the pop lifestyle. I think very quickly he went from hip-hop to hip-pop – sad but true.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Was hoping nobody was gonna mention him!

    It’s a tough one, cos I think he is a pretty talented producer. His first album was quite cool and I have a rare mixtape that is even better, but I wasn’t keen on his latest album and he is loving the pop lifestyle. I think very quickly he went from hip-hop to hip-pop – sad but true.

  • http://www.fractos.com/ Fractos

    Might I recommend One Self – DJ Vadim’s current project, nice, honest Hip-Hop with Yarah Bravo and Blu Rum B) and the majestic DJ Format.

  • http://www.fractos.com Fractos

    Might I recommend One Self – DJ Vadim’s current project, nice, honest Hip-Hop with Yarah Bravo and Blu Rum B) and the majestic DJ Format.

  • http://trekforce.synfinity.net/ steve

    wow dude, i’m not very good with words so next time i need to express my argument i shall direct folk at this post… i think you have just summed up one of hte things that pisses me off the most about music. There are a lot of more ‘underground’ genres (if you’ll pardon the evil expression) and they dont suffer quite as badly as hip-hop does, i have to admit that before i came to uni i didnt realise there was the good side… i just used to flick the switch on the radio whenever i heard a guy say “yeah, uh huh”.

    Anyway, wicked post. I prefer to call it sh*t-hop as opposed to hip-pop but either way.
    Foreign Beggars – check out this: http://www.break.com/index/schlomobeat.html

  • http://trekforce.synfinity.net steve

    wow dude, i’m not very good with words so next time i need to express my argument i shall direct folk at this post… i think you have just summed up one of hte things that pisses me off the most about music. There are a lot of more ‘underground’ genres (if you’ll pardon the evil expression) and they dont suffer quite as badly as hip-hop does, i have to admit that before i came to uni i didnt realise there was the good side… i just used to flick the switch on the radio whenever i heard a guy say “yeah, uh huh”.

    Anyway, wicked post. I prefer to call it sh*t-hop as opposed to hip-pop but either way.
    Foreign Beggars – check out this: http://www.break.com/index/schlomobeat.html

  • http://trekforce.synfinity.net/ steve

    uh- just to clarify- i didnt mean Foreign Beggars are sh*t-hop.

  • http://trekforce.synfinity.net steve

    uh- just to clarify- i didnt mean Foreign Beggars are sh*t-hop.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Some good recommendations there guys.

    The crazy thing is, I think I could name a lot more decent real hip-hop acts than I could name hip-pop acts – it’s just the hip-pop guys hug the limelight and make the mega green-backs.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Some good recommendations there guys.

    The crazy thing is, I think I could name a lot more decent real hip-hop acts than I could name hip-pop acts – it’s just the hip-pop guys hug the limelight and make the mega green-backs.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com/ khal

    you ain’t lying… big up yourself.

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    you ain’t lying… big up yourself.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Ha ha, thanks.

  • http://jeej.wordpress.com/ jeej

    Ha ha, thanks.

  • MastaJ

    Hip-Hop Is Really What It’s Called

    Hips – Up
    An Hops – Down

    Well, i Mean They Has Been Many Big Artists Such As, Tupac BiggieSmalls RunDMC Nas Eminem

    Yet, Many People Do Not Understand, Nas Wrote A Song Named “HipHop Is Dead” Meaning What Its Called Its Dead. Still Got Big Acts In The Game But They All Into 1 Thing.. Money. Thats What Runs Pretty Much Every Industry In The World Wether Its Sports Music W/e. Once Upon A Time HipHop Was For The MUSIC! Not For The Money. Eminem Nas Tupac Biggie Jay-Z RunDMC Eazy-E

    Many Artists Like That Are Really Respected For What They Do And They Are HipHop. Or Was In Some Of There Cases.

    50Cent May I Mention Is Just A Flick If You Feel Me, I Mean Hes Just.. Aimed At Children.

    I Am A HipHop Fan Thats My Fave Music And I Do Listen To All Of It. All About Opinion!

  • MastaJ

    Hip-Hop Is Really What It’s Called

    Hips – Up
    An Hops – Down

    Well, i Mean They Has Been Many Big Artists Such As, Tupac BiggieSmalls RunDMC Nas Eminem

    Yet, Many People Do Not Understand, Nas Wrote A Song Named “HipHop Is Dead” Meaning What Its Called Its Dead. Still Got Big Acts In The Game But They All Into 1 Thing.. Money. Thats What Runs Pretty Much Every Industry In The World Wether Its Sports Music W/e. Once Upon A Time HipHop Was For The MUSIC! Not For The Money. Eminem Nas Tupac Biggie Jay-Z RunDMC Eazy-E

    Many Artists Like That Are Really Respected For What They Do And They Are HipHop. Or Was In Some Of There Cases.

    50Cent May I Mention Is Just A Flick If You Feel Me, I Mean Hes Just.. Aimed At Children.

    I Am A HipHop Fan Thats My Fave Music And I Do Listen To All Of It. All About Opinion!