Simply put; the rap game done changed. This is obvious to all participants, but outsiders may not agree. All they hear are the raps, & all they see are the pseudo-super rap stars doing what they’ve been collectively doing for the last 40 years: rap. That face, or façade, is cosmetic. It will always be. But the back door, behind-the-scenes play is what determines who gets what shine where & when. Even before “talent” is considered or dismissed by the public, certain things must first take place. Things like promotion.
Without promotion, whatever it is that you do is useless, pointless, & a veritable waste of time. (Talent has absolutely nothing to do with preparation & assertion.) That’s not just for rapping, either. Any talent-churning ability – that one wants to earn monies for doing – needs to be promoted. Today, the
computer ‘Net is the promoters tool of choice. Thus, Hip Hop blogs & rap websites have officially taken the place of traditional radio format, word to Combat Jack. Oddly, however, it’s still hard to put a finger on whether this is good or bad. In the case of today’s rapper, though, this is a good thing.
For the most part, the current rap blogs maintain a certain ebb & flow that allows for just about anybody to get their name “out there,” whatever that means. I talk to my real-world friends about online things, months before they are real world things, & I always wonder what would happen if there was no bridge between the 2. Just to broaden the example a bit, would the Rick Ross/50 Cent beef have been such a big deal if the ‘Net wasn’t there to cover it?
Bloggers are literally & figuratively the new DJ, & speaking of which, I need a rapper to brag about, who’ll hold me down, & vice versa. (Hold that thought, though.)
magazines blogs are like Hip Hop plankton. You may not know we’re here, may even choose to ignore us, but if it weren’t for us, the surrounding rap life would cease to exist. How else would people in New York know about Dom Kennedy & Schoolboy Q? It ticks me off when I see “rappers” – who are just as unpopular as the blog they solicit – putting down the cats whose opinions got them there to begin with. Keep in mind that without “you,” the blogger would essentially have no blog. Aside from that, it’s true that any publicity is good publicity, & if you disagree, you’re absolutely in the wrong business. But, I digress.
I’ve seen actual arguments unfold on Twitter behind songs. Songs, people. One blogger does something a rapper doesn’t like – behind a song leak or premiere – & before you know it, there’s a weed carrier’s call to collective arms, & all baggage handling hell is breaking loose. The way I see it, as long as we scratch each other’s backs, the less we need a middle man. I’m no business man per se, but I’m smart enough to see that rap doesn’t necessarily required a physical “record industry” to thrive. If you doubt, take a look around – in cyberspace as well as the meatworld – & see it as it unfolds.
So up & coming rappers – as a neutral spokesperson of sorts – I not only offer an olive branch to your integrity, but also ask that you respect us with the same velocity. As an aside of sorts, the fact that most of us don’t charge you money to promote your product shows that there’s room for everyone. We just want the same shout outs & nods we give, in return. Really though, we need each other.