Too Many Webcams, Not Enough MCs (Hip-Hop Beef '08) - A Mini Rant

Equivalent of New Age Hip-Hop Beef: Somewhat the Same, But With The Changes Made, Not Quite Like The Original Product

What's Good Everyone,

Usually here on the official blog of the syndicated FuseBox Radio Broadcast,, folks don't get to doing too many rants and such, since we are trying to be good natured folks and put out what we feel is positive in Black Music and Black Radio.

But this mess I'm going to write about here has just been getting on my last nerve for the past few months and has recently boiled over within the past week.

I am not a believer of the entire "Hip-Hop Is Dead" movement/whinefest that has been going down the past few years*, but I do feel like there are things that are not giving the music and all things associated with a good look.

I'm also not one of those folks who believes the internet is the bane of a music artist's existence in regards to making money, getting quality exposure and so forth. **

Hip-Hop isn't Dead, but it's looking very wacked out right now.

One of the main reasons to me is this:

Too Many Webcams, Not Enough MCs

Now you may ask, "DJ Fusion, what do you mean?"

I mean, there hasn't been a great Hip-Hop Beef*** on Wax/CD/mp3 in ages (in my eyes, there has not been one since Jay-Z/Nas or LL Cool J/Canibus - the 50 Cent smack talk mixtape fests, while efficent and sometimes amusing, don't count).

Instead what we get is current nonsense like Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy**** being played out on the internet through dueling video cameras.

Hip-Hop Beef now has just become a press release ready cliche.

Tons of folks now must feel like this:

Average Hip-Hop Fan #1: "So and So talked s*** about So and So!"
Average Hip-Hop Fan #2: * yawns and searches for latest release to 'net jack on Hip-Hop Computer Forum of choice * "Uh huh, new album coming out from one of them, huh?"
Average Hip-Hop Fan #1: * excited* "Did you hear what I said?!"
Average Hip-Hop Fan #2: "Mmmhmmm." *continues 'net jacking*

There is no excitement to Hip-Hop Beef anymore becuase everyone knows the formula. There is no mystery or spontaneity to things.

In other words and to be real basic, it's boring as hell because most of the time, there isn't even any music being made anymore.

The template to this mess has become a basic process of folks getting a webcam, sitting in front of it (sometimes with flunkies/weed carriers) and calling the offending party or parties:

1. Hos
2. Snitches
3. Weak
4. Various riffs on family members, girlfriends, etc. being subpar
5. not being "real"*****

Afterwards, it gets posted up on a video site, press release goes out to all media folks (websites, magazines, DJs, etc.) and folks hope it catches fire.

Guess what? Even if it does get some press, it doesn't really get the MC/Rapper involved any real respect because most of the stuff even being talked about is stupid and redundant as hell.

And after a while, there's the next situation to go too - your buzz has ended (especially if you're not that hot in the first place). Whee.

At the end of the day, this is just another way Hip-Hop gets an "L" and in the long run, this Webcam Beef-By-Product just makes the Hip-Hop Generation(s) look petty, easy to manipulate and corny due to infighting and easy to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world at large.******

Maybe a non-profit should be started again to set up a free course for Hip-Hop MCs to take:

Hip-Hop 301: How to Record A Quality Hip-Hop Beef Track That Buzz Lasts Longer Than 1 Week

Time to get it together people, for real.

If for no other reason (if respect as a music artist, keeping Hip-Hop a viable music, culture, way to not work a 9 to 5, etc. does not matter to you), at least to keep those checks coming in before you become ordinary.

And who wants to pay for that?

* Ends Rant and Now Goes Back To Regular Transmission *

What do you all think? Am I on point, off, what?

Article Asides & Notes:

* - If you honestly feel that way, why are you still involved in the music, business and/or culture then?

Good music is and has always come out from Hip-Hop artists - it sometimes just doesn't get the deserved exposure, is all.

If things are truly that damned hopeless to you AND as an artist, businessperson, listener, writer, etc. are not trying to provide a counterbalance against what you feel is garbage, then you've already mentally lost the battle and aren't going to be off any help.

Step off and let somebody who wants to make a difference take your slot, please and stop trying to be a designated commentator for something you have no interest in, OK?

** - Bootlegs have existed since sheet music, so the internet is just a continuation of that movement. Most folks if they feel your product is on point, WILL eventually purchase it from a legitmate source and now due to the internet, have more then one revunue stream to get that music from. And on the exposure tip, you are what you put out 99% of the time.

*** - Great Hip-Hop Beef = quality music being made without any/very little serious violence between camps (beatdowns, injuries, death, etc.) ;

There were great Hip-Hop Beefs where music was put out that at the end of the day, the parties involved weren't really even too mad at each other and were admittingly done for publicity, but made dope music - now, not so much.

**** - Yes, things are that damned bad in mainstream Hip-Hop where Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy is not a joke headline in The Onion or some such thing.

***** - Realness has become for real one of the most stupid arguments ever in Hip-Hop music and culture ever, especially in regards to my Brothers and Sisters who do "Street Hop".

Art is supposed to be about expressing yourself PERIOD and having skills to go along with that.

Everybody is not going to make the same type of music and because of that, it's going to have different peaks of popularity more then others. Music made for the club is going to get a different audience (usually) then joints for cruising, and so forth.

Some Hip-Hop MCs need to get over this and remember that a hot flow and a hot beat equals a hot song.

It should be an insult to yourself as an artist and as a man or woman to front that something you're not - just say you're telling a story, I'm great at doing it and keep it moving. No harm, no foul.

****** - From mainstream media to weak-minded Civil Rights Generation folks, Hip-Hop music, culture and youth are the new age whipping boys and girls, as it were. No one likes to look at the fact that folks learn from their elders...but that's a whole other post.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Well, for me, it got old a while back...just like you said, after the Jay-Z vs Nas battle.

I actually think sometimes these rappers get together before ISH pops off and say...

Rapper #1 - "Hey man, my records ain't doin' so hot. I need a new formula.

Rapper #2 - "Well, i'm doin' pretty good. But my flame is getting a little dim."

Rapper #1 - "Well, how about we do some Pac & Big ISH...that drew soooo much exposure."

Rapper #2 - "Yeaaaaaah...this way, i'll be in the limelight a little longer...hopefully get a movie deal or something. And you get back into the spotlight...looks like a win-win situation to me."

Rapper #1 - "Well, let's do it. I'll spark it're the one that's hot right be the man, you gotta beat the man...that's what I always heard."


Intentional or not idol conversation is a distraction from real issues that effect real change in our lives and the lives of others.

Perhaps conversations should focus on land ownership and being owner/operators of multiple businesses while creating multiple revenue streams.

For those simply interested in controversy they'll want to read INDUSTRY PIMPING and Music Industry Connection

DJ P-Money said...

DJ FUSION! You said a MOUTHFUL! There haven't been any GOOD battles since the 90's. There have been a few good "Diss Records" like "A Fair One" by Papoose going at Fat Joe. That was a quality song. But this 50 mess with Young Buck, and like you said Ice-T and Souljah Boy, this is all for publicity, because your AVERAGE FAN will run to the net to download the track to keep the beef going.

There is no substance to these so called Beefs nowadays. I say, Record labels should take it back to the Late 80's/early 90's and make these artists sign a 3 single deal before they even get signed to an Album deal. Bring me 3 hot singles that we can get behind, and then we will talk about an Album. This way we will weed out the "One Hit Wonders" and sift out the Quality artists.

We the FUN back in Hip-Hop right now!