2011 in my opinion wasn’t the greatest year at all in hip-hop. There were some big artists that emerged victorious in many ways, but for the most part it was very few and far in between. 2012 could bring a fresh start to a variety of options for hip-hop, it’s just my hope that record execs and artists utilize certain tools in order to keep this industry alive and focused at the same time. Here are my hopes-
NO MORE SAMPLING. Enough already. There are way too many artists that sample other songs, artists, beats, etc. It is getting redundant and artificial. Artists like Flo Rida, Jason DeRulo and even Rihanna (sampling Avril Lavigne? Really Girl!!!) need to focus on creating their own beats and stop sampling others. For Jason DeRulo to sample a variety of people such as Imogen Heap to even “The Banana Boat Song” and he can’t come up with his own stuff is really pathetic. It just makes the producers and artist seem lazy and looking for an easy way out.
NEW ARTISTS NEED TO EMERGE. This wasn’t the year for the new artist by any means necessary. The only two in my opinion to really emerge as stars are Wiz Khalifa and J. Cole. For the Grammys to nominate artists like Skrillex, The Band Perry and Nicki Minaj who have been around for quite some time and not Wiz, J or Miguel for that matter (shocked about all of them), says a lot. Hopefully new artists will burst onto the scene and take control of the industry. Wale’ seems to be doing a good job of that right now, especially with “Lotus Flower Bomb” being huge, but hopefully there will others to come.
SIMPLE ENOUGH- BRING BACK THE MUSIC VIDEO. It drives me nuts and is absurd that VH1, MTV and BET don’t play music videos anymore. If they do, it’s for an hour a day tops and no one sees them. Yes, the world of Youtube allows a huge audience to see the videos, but that’s besides the point. There are several artists in history that wouldn’t be half as big as they are if the music video wasn’t put into play (Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, etc.). These artists careers were sometimes defined by it, and it makes me really angry that art really isn’t put into videos like they used to be. Understandably, because they know they won’t be shown in any rotation. MTV needs to stop airing marathons of Teen Mom and Jersey Shore (Pathetic shows that are demoralizing our youth as we speak), and play music videos on a more frequent basis. Doing that causes somewhat of a domino effect in terms of sales for these artists, seeing as going platinum is a very hard task these days.
GROUPS ANYONE? The main focus on hip-hop these days seems to be the importance of the solo artist. There aren’t many groups left out there, besides Young Money, that really have a following like some groups did back in the day. The 90’s had a bunch of hip-hop groups from Bone Thugs N’ Harmony to Wu-Tang, that were popular and capatilized their industry ten fold with songs like “Tha Crossroads”. There are ways to bring a bunch of rappers together and make it work, I just wish it would happen sooner or later.