Monday, March 12, 2007

Don't push me 'cuz I'm close to the edge


While I don't completely agree, I have to admit my friend Wintermute makes some points:

The word is finally being heard that rap recordings and hip-hop in general are on the way out. See this CNN.com Entertainment piece, "Has rap music hit a wall?"

The turning point is hard to pinpoint. But after 30 years of growing popularity, rap music is now struggling with an alarming sales decline and growing criticism from within about the culture's negative effect on society.

I always found it difficult to call rap "music," because the synthetic drum beats and the spoken doggerel verse so outweigh the minimal role of pitched instruments in rap recordings. To me, the term "rap music" is an oxymoron, an inherently contradictory pairing of words like "jumbo shrimp."


And as we follow the story to the CNN piece, we find this:

The turning point is hard to pinpoint. But after 30 years of growing popularity, rap music is now struggling with an alarming sales decline and growing criticism from within about the culture's negative effect on society.

Rap insider Chuck Creekmur, who runs the leading Web site Allhiphop.com, says he got a message from a friend recently "asking me to hook her up with some Red Hot Chili Peppers because she said she's through with rap. A lot of people are sick of rap ... the negativity is just over the top now." (Watch how hip-hop can revel in stereotypes -- or highlight injustice Video)

The rapper Nas, considered one of the greats, challenged the condition of the art form when he titled his latest album "Hip-Hop is Dead." It's at least ailing, according to recent statistics: Though music sales are down overall, rap sales slid a whopping 21 percent from 2005 to 2006, and for the first time in 12 years no rap album was among the top 10 sellers of the year.


Music sales are down overall the last few years, so this may be trying to analyze a problem where none exists. But maybe people are getting tired of some types of rap.

You know, I remember when people got tired of Yoko Ono, too. I dunno...