While 2013 marked the first time in Billboard’s 55 year history that there were no black artists on the Hot 100 chart, this was a great year for us with Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore claiming the #1 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, proving that market demands are shifting.
You can just say that you didn’t mean to offend anyone and that you really respect Malcolm X as a great leader. It’s black history month too so it’s perfect!
This case isn’t about loud “thug” music, a closet racist’s PC way of replacing the N word. It’s about white people’s pathological fear of Black males, a reality CNN, Fox, and company wouldn’t discuss in a million years.
And while they may have tried to justify their actions by claiming that proceeds of the fight were going to charity, those working behind the scenes to coordinate this event were getting paid for their services.
After decades of watching Rap and R&B music suffocate itself under the tightening grip of narrow-minded content, the 2013 Billboard charts and 2014 Grammy Awards have proven that the Rap and R&B landscape seems to be taking a final fatal turn towards gentrification.
It took a 17 year-old girl from New Zealand to bring attention to a problem that’s been plaguing rap music for years while a 1000 rappers who have been trying to do the very same thing for the last two decades have been overlooked, silenced, and even mocked for being relics of a bygone Hip Hop era.
If I had a dollar for every artist I met who swears that their music is different than everybody else’s music, I’d already be retired. You cannot flat out copy everything from your favorite artist, down to gestures and mannerisms and have the audacity to say you’re original.
The list of things to rap about is endless…or at least it should be. The examples I offered here are mostly subjects I’m passionate about that go under reported in mainstream news (and definitely in the music world) but need to be brought to light.
Up to what point can Hip Hop music transform, change, be remixed and experimented upon until it is no longer Hip Hop music? That’s the question a friend and I were trying to answer during a heated conversation about the state of rap and which new artists claim to have a stake in this art form.
I grew up with records and tapes. If I wanted a song, I had to go to the store and buy it. I could also record it on a blank cassette tape off the radio but I’d have to wait indefinitely until the song came on.