November 25, 2007

...rikity-rowr...



das efx. when i was in my adolescence, i remember sitting around my best friend bz's house and watching "the box." the box, or video box, was a channel that ran a catalog of music videos. you would watch the channel and a list of artists, the song titles and a designated number for each would scroll up the screen. you would get on the phone, dial in the number for your chosen video and wait for it to come on. being two broke ass kids, we didn't have the money, and in some cases a phone to be able to call for our videos. so, like many other broke ass kids, we would just wait until someone would order the videos we wanted to see (when you dialed in a number, it would show up on the television for everyone who was watching to see -- that's how you knew what video was coming on next), and enjoy videos like the above.

later on in life, i had a chance to chill on a "royal elastics" tour bus with the two mikity-mic slingers. it was one of those surreal moments in my life (see christian hosoi blog below)...

this reminds me of the time in hip hop when "originality was a must." it was very frowned upon to be a "biter," a copy-cat, a clone... now, in hip hop, it's necessary. record labels have created marketing schemes for hip hop artists. there are only a few marketing plans, so if, as an artist, you don't fit in one of these categories, you ain't getting a record deal. i've sat in meetings with record "executives" who've asked me to describe my sound:

record exec: "so who do you sound like? dead prez, common, lil' wayne?"

it saddens me to see videos like this and think back to what i consider the "golden age" of hip hop. groups like das efx, the boot camp click, the pharcyde, ya'll so stupid, the boogie monsters, de la soul, freestyle fellowship, the wu tang... shit, the list goes on and on. these groups were all refreshing when they dropped. they created marketing schemes -- now, we have to fit in pre-existing plans, written by businessmen who know nothing about this subculture of hip hop.

so, to all my independent artist comrades -- keep doing what you love, and FUCK a record deal!

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