Atlanta native Candy Cartel was 15 years experienced when she fell in love along hip-hop.
It was love at first lyric when she heard rapper T.I. (also hailing from the “ATL”) spit on his debut album, “I’m Serious.”
The self-proclaimed King of the South’s lyrics spilled into Cartel’s ear until she fell asleep. Before long she was crossing too to Eminem, OutKast and Bone Thugs n Harmony to support her hip-hop habit and it served as a catalyst for her “I Love Hip Hop Blog.” Now she gets her spay with new artists, save the high isn’t the same.
“Honestly music isn’t qua good as it use to be,” says Cartel, 25, who interviews local hip-hop artists and DJs for TV and transistor stations. “I’ll pop in an old album from T.I., right predecessor I pop in something new.”
A sentiment most hip-hop fans share in blogs, vlogs and on Twitter. Hip-hop heads equiponderant the beats, lyrics and classic of hip-hop artists from the ’90s (e.g. Tupac, Biggie, KRS-One) to new rappers from 2000s (e.g. Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Soulja Boy). Has the nearly 38 year-old genre–its official anniversary is next month–lost the authenticity that has made its emergence so appealing?
LA-based rapper Erik Boyd thinks so.
“The stuff on TV directly is an extension about a desecration in the hip-hop culture,” says Boyd, 23, co-creator regarding the Real Hip-Hop Forever Web site that aims to foster the five fundamental elements of hip-hop culture (graffiti, DJing, Breakdancing, MCing ampersand Beatboxing.) “Hip-hop music is about a particular vibe also feel. [Music today] is just rebuke with instrumental accompaniment; the stuff is being confused with hip-hop. ”
The hip-hop enscroll sales are straightforward. Earlier this annual Billboard reported that rap was the only genre that posted an album sales increase in 2010; a bump of just 3 procent (hip-hop records scanned 27.3 million units up from 26.4 units in 2009) that rappers Eminem, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj have ushered in.
Detroit-bred Eminem sold 3.4 million copies of his “Recovery” album that debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Drake’s “Thank Me Later” sold 1.27 million; Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” sold 882,000; Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday” sold 852,000 and Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth” sold 710,000 connective “I Am Hardly a Personification Being” sold 664,000 units, payday to Nielsen SoundScan.
Not only is it acclaim that attracted fans to these artists, it’s also their unique approach to a genre that since its inception has been dominated by East Coast and West Freewheel rappers. Southern rappers recognition shot up in mid-2000s, which some hip-hop fans pinpoint qua a change in the quality of the genre.
“It was not the innovation artists that destroyed hip-hop,” writes vlogger 2pacslifegoeson213 in a YouTube video called old hip-hop vs. new hip-hop shocking realities. “But it was us; we are the one(s) that carry on truth music through the game of [hip-hop record] sales. Since ignorant r*****s attend to Southern artists corresponding GS Boys, Baby, Flo rida, Rick Ross, T Pain, Soulja Buddy and their leader: Lil Wayne, real hip-hop isn’t given a chance. Don’t get me wrong, I choose to give all the respect in the world to those s****y artists, but when you say yooooouuuuuu for an undiminished song it’s kinda hard to.” [Referring to "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"]
Hip-hop journalist Ben Westhoff tracks the emergence of Southern rappers in the mainstream with his book Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, polysyndeton the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop. (Chicago Review Press, 2011) In the book, Westhoff describes Southern rap lyrics equally “full of hyper-regional slang. Formal structures and metaphor-heavy rhymes are often forsaken in favor of chants, grunts, and shouts, like when Lil Jon yells out, “OK!”
Hip-hop record sales aside, fans of Lil Wayne and other Southern rappers think their lyrics are misunderstood because it speaks to their culture growing boost in the South.
“The style is definitely misunderstood. Everywhere is going to be a different language, different culture,” says Cartel. “Take quantity phase to understand it. L.A. life is different. Atlanta life is different. I don’t judge it’s dumbed down. Come to the South, you will understand what a candy-painted car is.”
Hip-hop heads began to have an idea as they were introduced to Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” song and pas de deux that had a massive following on MySpace, and led to the debut of his album Souljaboytellem.com in 2007, inspiring Nas to employ his 2006 album to diagnose the rap industry: “Hip Hop is Dead.”
Fast forward five years, underground rappers and newly signed MCs to vital labels may be the genre’s revitalization.
“There are some underground artists that are making some earthquakes, says Boyd. “J.Cole, Lupe Fiasco; they were doing good stuff early on and immediately they’re on labels. ”
J. Cole is signed to hip-hop mogul Jay Z’s Roc Nation Label and Lupe Fiasco is signed to Atlantic Records, his neology album “LASERS” is on the Billboard’s 200 charts for 17 weeks. Other rappers whose hip-hop record sales have made a big strike on Billboard’s Rap charts are Wiz Khalifa’s book “Rolling Papers,” Pitbull’s “Planet Pitbull” and Generous Sean’s “Finally Famous” album.
“There is quality hip-hop out today,” says Cartel, who has J. Cole’s Friday Evening Lights holding her ears captive these days. “[But] some of the old albums are the best.”