Category Archives : Hip-Hop

F*cked around and got locked up? That’s not in the contract.

Bobby Shmurda, 20, took the internet by storm in early 2014 when a Vine of his song “Shmoney Dance”  went viral.  After a bidding war between labels, he signed a multi-album deal to Epic Records, and became hip-hop’s new flavor of the week.  He followed it up with “Hot Nigga” and seemed poised for continued success (whatever that looks like in today’s music business landscape).  Yet somehow, with lyrics that highlight drug sales, trap houses, and violent exchanges (or him and his crew just shooting people, as it were), there was some incredulity when Shmurda was arrested in December 2014 on a series of charges that include drug dealing, weapons possession, conspiracy to commit murder, and assault.  Shmurda pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $2 million.  Yet two months later, he is still in custody, and apparently upset that his label hasn’t been more supportive, specifically by posting his bail and voicing its support. My gut reaction to Shmurda’s sense of entitlement from his label was disgust. How dare this employee expect his employer to bail him out of a situation he got himself into by allegedly committing crimes? If I go out and catch charges, I’d sooner expect to be fired than for my employer to post my […]

The ever-changing face of music

Today, via Twitter, I learned that Fat Beats was closing its New York and Los Angeles retail locations.  I’ve never been to either location, but the realization that I never will hurts.  A TON of the artists I like have expressed how integral Fat Beats was in their careers, both tangibly and otherwise.  Many of them cited how amazing on a personal level it had been to do their first in-store appearances there, or described how legitimizing it felt to see their vinyl in the stores.  Others talked about how you could always trust Fat Beats to have the underground music more mainstream stores couldn’t be counted on to have. Immediately, people jumped to the why.  How could something that has come to be regarded as a “mecca” for hip-hop fans and artists be closing?  It truly is a hip-hop institution, so what went wrong?  The same answer echoed (and was retweeted): people don’t buy music.  DJs don’t vinyl anymore.  Fans don’t purchase physical music, either.  More than that, when people do purchase physical music, they do it at big box chains like Best Buy, Walmart and Target, but not local mom and pop spots, like Fat Beats, CD Game […]

Archive: The Tipping Point?

I chanced upon someone else’s page and they brought up the issue of commercial rap, and how people assume that just because white people are buying your albums, you just gotta be commercial. Oh Man! There are so many ways to look at this, but I wanna use The Roots and their album “The Tipping Point” to illustrate my point. In this month’s issue of XXL, the group talks about how this album is more … sigh … what’s the word I’m looking for … commercial. No. More … average hip-hop listener friendly. The group wants more mainstream success. I can’t blame them … they got bills to pay. As ?uestlove said, “I’d rather have to deal with the embarrassment of someone questioning my artistic merit than with, ‘Why’s he moving back into his mom’s house?’”