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MUSIC 15 Week 10. Back to the Streets?. After 2004. Beginning of the full scale collapse of the music business How did this effect hip hop which had just become the dominant form?

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Music 15 week 10

MUSIC 15 Week 10

Back to the Streets?

After 2004
After 2004

  • Beginning of the full scale collapse of the music business

  • How did this effect hip hop which had just become the dominant form?

  • Since hip hop had always had an awkward relationship with the mainstream, it moved back into a more diffuse and underground position

Important factors in recent hip hop
Important factors in recent hip hop

  • Mixtapes

  • Local dance styles

  • Street culture historicism

  • The internet…

  • Questions: has this changed the demographic of the music and if so how?


  • Originally promotional tools for DJs

  • Became a useful career-building tool for many artists, providing black market revenue and street credibility and exposure

  • Also a primary venue for experimentation and dispute: a much faster moving medium than official albums

Mixtapes cont d
Mixtapes cont’d

  • Relationship between the music business and mixtape scene has always been complicated

  • Strictly speaking most are still illegal

  • The shift to online distribution has broadened the scope and ambition

  • It’s often hard now to distinguish a “mixtape” from an official album

Street culture mythologizing the drug trade
Street culture, mythologizing the drug trade

  • By the mid-late 2000s crime was at historic lows in most major American cities

  • Crack was almost completely gone

  • But crack-dealing raps were everywhere

  • Part of a general adaptation of the story of crack into a genre narrative.

  • See also magazines and DVDs that chronicled gang culture historically

Young jeezy go crazy remix w jay z
Young Jeezy “Go Crazy” remix w/ Jay Z

  • One of the first “retro” crack dealing songs, complete with notorious snowman logo

  • Jay Z verse added credibility for both artists, but is interesting for how he speaks to the criminal/corporate divide (or lack thereof)

Rick ross b m f
Rick Ross “B.M.F.”

  • Rick Ross, former corrections officer took his stagename from “Freeway” Ricky Ross, the L.A. crack kingpin of the 80s

  • BMF supposedly stands for “blowing money fast” but is a reference to Atlanta’s Black Mafia Family crime syndicate

  • The cinematic gloss of both the video and the production make it quite clear that this has everything to with fantasy and little to do with “real life”

Dance music
Dance Music

  • For much of the 1990s and into the 2000s mainstream hip hop had faded as a form of dance music

  • However in most cities in the U.S. there were small regional club styles that were somewhat associated with hip hop that lived largely under the radar, at least until Youtube

  • Some of these scenes produced novelty songs that became hits

  • More recently mainstream hip hop increasingly drew on club music as a production influence

Soulja boy crank dat
Soulja Boy “Crank Dat”

  • Probably the most successful dance craze song

  • Video spells out that it’s a response to an already significant phenomenon

  • Produced by Collipark who’d made a lot of club records for Atlanta artists (notably the Ying Yang Twins)

New boyz you re a jerk
New Boyz “You’re a Jerk”

  • Representative song of a larger subculture/dance style

  • West coast this time

  • While the dance moves are compelling the fashion is also important here

E 40 tell me when to go
E 40 “Tell me when to go”

  • Again more a document of a larger culture than a one-off craze, this time the Bay Area’s “hyphy”

  • E 40 has had a very long career and is notable for both the novelty of his slang and the odd rhythmic sensibility of his rhyming

T i why you wanna
T.I. “Why You Wanna”

  • An early example of the trend of rapping over beats made from club records rather than soul or funk or jazz breaks

  • The source here is Crystal Waters early 90s house record “Gypsy Woman”

  • This became a dominant trend for a while and is still everywhere, from Pitbull to the success of collaborations between rappers and European house music producers like David Guetta and Calvin Harris

Different vocal styles
Different vocal styles

  • Much recent rap has reacted against the traditional emphasis on lyricism

  • Many recently successful artists are not technically adept lyricists, but emphasize unique vocal styles, rap as well as sing, or are more concerned with producing an overall persona

Lil wayne a milli
Lil’ Wayne “A Milli”

  • Lil’ Wayne shifted from regional star to pop star status by becoming more flamboyant, but also by experimenting with his vocal delivery: rapping through autotune, half-singing, slurring his voice deliberately (or at least deliberately recording while high) etc etc

  • His lyrics also became almost self-consciously surreal and full of non sequiturs. This is a good example--the beat is minimal in the extreme and allows him a lot of space

Kanye west monster w rick ross jay z nicki minaj
Kanye West “Monster” w/ Rick Ross, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj

  • From Kanye’s “My Beautiful Dark Fantasy” album, largely conceived and released through the internet

  • Notably especially for Nicki Minaj’s verse which features her trademark sudden shifts in accent and diction

Wacka flocka flame hard in da paint
Wacka Flocka Flame “Hard in da Paint”

  • Someone who’s hardly a rapper by traditional standards

  • Attitude is everything

  • Beat was breakthrough for Lex Luger, the dominant producer in Southern hip hop at the moment. Style is incredibly bombastic, but also cheap and synthetic sounding at the same time. Combines orchestral samples with almost marching band sounding drum patterns

A ap rocky peso
A$AP Rocky “Peso”

  • Harlem rapper who has built his sound and style largely on Southern models, especially Houston and Memphis

  • Fashion is hugely important here, not just luxury brand things, but street style as a kind of fashion avant garde

  • Made much of his impact via the internet, fashion magazines etc

  • Some of the music deals with being a child of the crack era

Kendrick lamar adhd
Kendrick Lamar “ADHD”

  • Compton rapper, who has made a point of his generation being the children of the crack years: this track is from the album “Section:80”

  • Stylistically hard to place: at once conscious, political and populist

Tyler yonkers
Tyler “Yonkers”

  • Head agent-provocateur of Odd Future, Los Angeles crew that draws as much on skate culture as traditional hip hop

  • This song is autobiographical in an emotional sense in a way that a lot of earlier rap isn’t (it’s almost emo)