Thursday, July 2, 2009

Corporate Take Over Hip Hop Culture?

Whats up my people. This is Treez coming to you straight from Sin City, Nevada. I was smoking a blunt one day like I usually do, watching music videos on TV, and I guess the video being played was so mindless that I spaced out, so I just sat reminiscing about past house parties I went to when I was younger. I remembered how deeply Hip Hop music and most importantly Hip Hop culture affected me. I started to realize there was more soul in it then there is now overall and I started to miss that vibe. When Nas said Hip Hop was dead, to me was like a big slap in the face because how dare you fucking try to kill a culture and music as a marketing ploy for your next album; but shit thats just me. Then driving in the car playing the radio I could swore I started to hear the same 10 or 11 songs just playing over and over again. In the clubs the same shit. I personally know there are more than 15 artists trying to do this but I found only a very small percentage of all artists get the majority of mainstream exposure. So I started to see what Nas was saying but after another blunt to the head I was like damn Nas that was fucked up.

I was at the studio at the palms with Crooked I. He is basically the underground King of Cali. We were discussing different things that were happening to Hip Hop that we personally didn't find cool. Did you ever wonder why the image of an artist now outweighs the skill or truth in the personal story? Have you ever felt that these new artist are nothing but a hot instrumental with a catchy hook and maybe a dance and maybe a gimmick and maybe a story if it's even true? Because there is a lot of image going on and not of reality being portrayed in modern hip hop. Rick Ross was a corrections officer before he became famous. Now he raps about flooding the gates with cocaine. Real gangsta's don't talk criminalizing themselves out in the open. T. I. does not sell dope anymore yet he continues to rap about it just bringing negativity in his life. Snoop Dogg is not a pimp he has a wife and is a family man and was never an official pimp on the streets. He produced and starred in a few pornos but that is where it ends. Fat Joe does not sell crack yet he openly and irresponsibly spits all that bullshit because the only crack you'll see on Joe is his equator of an ass crack. It seems like what most rap artists are doing now is selling you a manufactured image of themselves unlike the raw original talents that express what is in thier soul whether it was sad, violent, gangsta, poetic, beautiful, crazy, abstract, raw but in the end it was all truth. We both came to realize that the people that have the most influence now are the corporations that market and distrubute the music on a massive scale. Take a look at this: DTP Records, Slip-n-Slide records, & Rocafella are owned by Def Jam who is owned by Island who is owned by Universal. G-Unit, Shady, Aftermath are all owned by Interscope who is owned by Universal. Cash Money owned by Universal. MCA records, Motown, Derrty Ent., Tuff Gong, So So Def are all owned by Universal. And get this Universal is owned by the Vivendi corporation. Rick Ross says he's the boss but he is signed to Slip-n-Slide so he has 5 bosses that cut him a check. Rick Ross is nothing more than an employee. So there is Vivendi, Sony BMG (TVT, Columbia, Asylum), Warner Music Group (Rap-A-Lot), 4 seperate entities that right now control and share a oligopoly on the mainstream hip hop consciousness. This shit is scary. When I looked at the radio stations there were only 4 major players Clear Channel (1200+ radio stations), Cox, Radio One and Cumulus. The TV channels were crazier with BET, MTV, MTV2, VH1 all being owned by Viacom. So I ask you what the fuck is happening to Hip Hop? Think about that for a second because according to the facts it is Corporations and Corporations only that dictate what artists will be distributed nationally and which artists will get the majority of radio play and TV time. Now it made sense why you won't hear dead prez or immortal on the radio. In my opinion these corporate motherfuckers are turning Hip Hop more and more like a dirty cash machine. The fact of the motherfuckin matter is Hip Hop music and culture started as an artistic movement of expression driven by its diversity that at its essence was about empowering the individual. Now Hip Hop is a business. I am not getting on the MC's for being businessmen don't get me wrong I just think you could be making that shit independent making more money and trying to take over instead of selling out to the suits but I guess noone is thinking like that. Fuck Corporate take over corporate already took over. And these corporations could give a fuck about keeping integrity in Hip Hop.The video below illustrates perfectly what am talking about. After watching the video let me know what you think. If you like the present trends why? If you don't let me know what direction you would like hip hop to be? And what are some of the things we can do to change things for the better.

Devoted Hip Hop civilians who have done the research know that hip hop is sometimes influenced by external parties that do not hold the values of hip hop culture and are more driven by profit margins. If you hold yourself to be part of this hip hop civilization and haven't done any research I advise you to read up on what interests you, because ignorance is bliss but knowledge is power and the more empowered hip hop civilians out there the more empowered Hip Hop will be. One love much respect and legalize me.

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