"Rap City": 1989-2008

What up, Wally $ean back at ya. I was quite bummed to hear that BET's program "Rap City" will air it's final episode on Wednesday, October 29. Granted, it wasn't no "Yo! MTV Raps," but it was still pretty dope for a while. Nowadays, "Rap City" is virtually identical to the shit-tastic "106 and Park." But at least there were some sick freestyles. It was the only show where you could possibly see Talib Kweli, Buckshot and KRS-One tear shit up in the booth (see the video below- FYI, Buckshot kills it).

But why am I waxing poetic about "Rap City"? As I said before, it more or less sucks nowadays. Regardless, the cancelation of "Rap City" marks another critical decline in hip-hop, another nail in it's coffin. Those few moments where you would see ill emcees spitting hot fire? The won't happen again on national television, because BET refuses to show that kind of hip-hop 'cus it isn't marketable. The rap game's never really been just a game, but nowadays, it's just a fuckin' corporate scheme. Like Wall Street, greed has replaced artistic integrity. That's why there haven't been any new Pacs or Biggies or Puns or Ls: because every major label rapper is a fuckin' spreadsheet of sales numbers and revenue (yes, even Jay-Z; why you think he's resorted to doing crap like "Swagga Like Us"?). And those numerous underground emcees that could be legendary like Pac and the three Bigs, forget it. They'll only ever be underground legends (which is not such a bad thing, 'cus then at least they won't sell out). And up-and-coming rappers like Papoose, Saigon, Joell Ortiz, etc...they get the shaft hardest. They get such a buzz for their incredible talent, but instead they get their albums shelved or get dropped from their labels because they don't have an Auto Tune song or a DJ Khaled-assisted club track. Right now, I kind of question whether new hip-hop is even worth the time and money that should be invested in it. If you remember the Golden Era, it seemed like every record released was a fuckin' classic. Nowadays, classic albums are few and far between. So maybe Nas was right: hip-hop is dead. And if not, it's sure as hell dying. But that's just my opinion, and I've always been a lil' pessimistic.
Posted on 4:46 PM by Wally $ean and filed under , | 3 Comments »


Dao said... @ October 17, 2008 at 2:57 PM

I agree with you that hip hop is on a decline and good emcees arent getting their records released. but that happens for a reason. hip hop fans are the worst music fans in the world. Granted, we love our music more than any other genre of fans, but none of us go out and buy the records. We can give them all the hype we want on our blogs and forums and listen to all their mixtape tracks and freestyles, memorize every word and wild out at a show, but until we actually man up and put some money in the register for them then record companies aren't going to release their records. It's just like Wale said in "The Perfect Plan", "They say hip hop's dead, I believe it's just the fans..."


Wally $ean said... @ October 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM

true indeed. i completely agree with you on that point, and i'm totally guilty of everything you said. but at the same time, it's not just the fact that people not buying records is hurting artists. record companies are producing cookie cutter swagger rap more than they do real hip-hop. a lot of real emcees aren't getting the backing and promotion they deserve b/c they don't fit the record comany's new bullshit formula. for example, beanie sigel's last album got zero promotion despite the fact that he sold numerous records in years past. the album sounds nothing like a t.i. album, so def jam figured why risk pouring money into it with promotion?

Praverb said... @ October 19, 2008 at 1:30 AM

R.I.P. Rap City...the roasting of the booth was my favorite part of the show...