It’s good to see how far Hip-Hop has come, but then again, it depends on who you speak to about it. If at anytime you end up talking about the rap element of the Hip-Hop Culture, you may get that popular phrase screamed in your ear “rap music is a billion dollar industry”. Industry…………. industry, feel free to ponder upon that word for a sec – industry. For you see a true historian knows that Hip-Hop began as a movement, then later became a culture and is now known as an industry.
Some party people feel that the culture has lost it’s way, I say that’s an incomplete statement. I would say that the rap element of Hip-Hop has lost it’s culture when it became an industry, a billion dollar industry. So what happened? How the hell did it get this way?
There’s an episode in Hip-Hop history that I can’t help but to think of, whenever I ask the question how the hell did it get this way. In my opinion, the episode that I always think of, was the musical merger of Run-Dmc and the legendary rock group Aerosmith’s remake of their original hit single “Walk This Way”. At first DJ Run and Dmc was dead set against it, but it was Jam Master Jay that convinced them to get on board with their producer Rick Rubin’s idea for the remake. I believe the true purpose behind the idea at that time was to prove to the recording industry that rap music can be accepted on a universal level, and it sure as hell worked.
You see I also believe, THAT was the very moment, that gave Corporate America the crystal clear vision, that money can be made from the art of rap. Therefore, here’s a question I bet that nobody has ever thought to ask. Would you say that Run-Dmc’s Walk This Way was the very first Hip-Pop song to hit the market?
Hip-Pop!!, yes I said it, the very genre that I feel Lil’ Wayne is the king of. The poisonous sound that Corporate America owns. The watered down street sound. You see I believe a lot of us in Hip-Hop underestimated the power the remake of Walk This Way had.
Pretty soon after it’s release rap began to spread literally across the billboard charts. Rap was heard on Gospel, Pop, Rock and R & B songs throughout the entire recording industry. Whoa! There goes that word again……. industry. In my opinion, by accident, Run-Dmc set the standard on how to go for that big money in the recording industry. So those who lack the culture of Hip-Hop’s history has been trying to duplicate the success of the remake since 1986. A few came close, but most have failed.
Now don’t think I’m against crossing over, because I feel crossing over can be good for the culture. It’s just that when most people in Hip-Hop cross over, they end up losing their soul in the process. That didn’t happened to Run-Dmc, they remained true to themselves and also to the Hip-Hop Culture. In my opinion, that’s what gave the remake ultimate power.
Hip-Pop songs today are soulless, lightweight, narcissistic, pointless, weak, fraudulent, heartless, synthetic, shallow and comical. Not one person involved with that artificial genre thus far, is true to themselves, let alone to the Hip-Hop Culture. Hip-Pop is like a square peg trying to squeeze through a round hole, it doesn’t fit in our Hip-Hop Culture. It’s not ours to own or to control, but we can use it.
After all it uses us.