You know, the advancement of technology and time has made our lives a little easier. No longer are the days when we had to use rotary phones to call anyone. We now have cell phones. Hell, no one actually calls anyone anymore (except mama), we only text to communicate. Even with that, we’ve expedited it. Sometimes people send me texts and I feel like I’m reading hieroglyphics. I don’t know what the fuck they’re saying. I say that to say this, I don’t know what the fuck I’m listening to these days! The Mediocre has risen and well the cream, the cream is just taking too long to drop new material frankly. Not only has the Mediocre risen, it’s churning out cheap product as often as possible. And we’ve all gotten fat on it.
Contrary to popular belief and avid music lovers, FUTURE is the most “popular” artist in hip-hop music right now. I know, I know, you don’t want to hear that shit, but it’s true in the metrics and in content. Future has learned and literally mastered how to make actual “crack music”. It’s intoxicating and addictive sonically, but the substance not so much. It reminds me of McDonald’s, the king of making fast, affordable food with legendary secret sauces and all. But how are they able to do that while producing so much product? With the help of GMOs, steroids, fake meat, even fake fries etc. McDonald’s Big Mac, a societal staple, is probably part cow, chicken and plastic all rolled together to mass produce and build an enormous profit.
I watched a documentary called Food Inc, and it made me question every edible decision I’ve ever made. I assure you it looks as bad as it sounds. Which brings me back to Future, the art of mass production is his gift. He realized the quality doesn’t really matter as long as the beat is musically close to appealing and has a twinge of bounce and reggae. From there it’s rinse and repeat. You think it’s different, NO it’s all the same. He exclusively talks about drugs, money and women in a non-creative high school way. Then he flips it, women, money, drugs. And why would he change it? It’s a winning formula and others have followed suit. Even some of our “so called” greats and favorite artists occasionally follow suit because it undeniably works.
I blame Jay-Z for this metamorphosis in hip-hop, because he mishandled his photographic memory gift that allows him not to write. His ability to make music effortlessly with the same content and make it sound fresh was damn close to genius. He made LAZY artists feel they could do that as well, and they obviously can’t. They viewed not writing as a short cut, not as a crafted God-given skill. Hence, I believe it was the birth of the lazy-no-thought musical genre and probably the beginning of the demise of New York hip-hop. How fast he used to put out “quality” music annually would be way too late now. Now artists are dropping product every other week just to keep up. Forget about the quality, they’re just trying to stay relevant. It’s like the people who really want to eat well, but can’t afford it; McDonald’s will have to do. Tastes so good, but yet so bad for you and your bowels. There’s nothing developed in a week that’s great, I’m sorry. However, living in an ADHD society, this is looking more and more like the new norm. Not everyone has the luxury of Beyoncé, Kanye, and Adele of taking their time to make substantive music and when it drops, it drops. Tragically, they’re all in a race to be the queen or king of mediocrity while sipping lean and making lots of money. It rarely ends that way though. I wrote this while listening to FUTURE. Now I either need to head to the strip club or pop a Xanax while wearing Gucci flip flops. Wonderful SMFH…
Jarmil Belle aka Jay, is a sneaker and music culture enthusiast. He is a man of worldly and intellectual views, who demands himself and others to think outside the box. People who regurgitate platitudes need not be around him. You can follow him on twitter at @Jahb1911.