Friday, April 10, 2009
Asher Roth Saves Hip Hop, Big Pooh is Delightful, F- Hipster Hop
It's been a good long time since I last blogged. I ain't gonna lie, for a person who already doesn't blog too regularly- getting caught by the Twitter bug isn't a good look. I end up "tweeting" (or whatever the lame "tw-" term is for commenting) all of my blog ideas. Oh well. Go to twitter.com/jacinta_howard.
So, anyways... today I will do a round-up post- of some of the relatively random things that I've thought about/attended over the past few weeks.
#1- I went to Asher Roth's pre-listening listening party.
It was an experience. I've always been under the belief that the kid sounds just like Eminem circa 1999-2000. Listening to Asher's album didn't make me change my mind about that at all-- especially when I heard the song where he addresses his Eminem comparisons, admitting that he grew up on him and has been listening since the 7th grade. Usually, if you have to make a song about how much you don't sound like someone, you probably sound like them.
I will say this though: you can tell Asher doesn't actively try to sound like Eminem, and although the flow is quite similar on a lot of songs, the approach and lyrics are distinctively his. To sum him up, it's drunk white-college-attending, atmosphere music. I expect to hear it played on ABC Family's Greek one day or something. Yes, I sometimes watch ABC Family.
But, the most entertaining part of the evening didn't come from Asher's album. It came after the CD was ran through (and only half-listened to due to the shots of tequilla and loud conversations that ensued). Some folks waxed poetic and hoped upon their "why-the-industry-is-dead" soap box- including Asher's manager, Scooter. I don't know him, but he seems like a nice enough guy. Nevertheless I found it slightly amusing, when he suggested that everyone run out and purchase Asher's CD, whether you like it or not, because by doing so, you will validate bloggers who help propel what I call "Cyber Rappers" to prominence, and thus encourage labels like Interscope to keep signing them. So... by buy Asher's CD, I'm somehow saving "authentic hip-hop"? Good marketing tactic, Scooter-- gotta give you points for that. As I said before, good music is good music. As my girl, Des Williams aka That Retail Chick says, if your music has the "press play" factor (meaning you can just press play and that's enough to convince someone to buy your album) you'll be aight. No soap boxes required.
Truth is, outside of the money that can potentially come from endorsements and the attention of LA paparazzi, I don't understand why rapper cats these days would want to sign to a machine label anyway. We all know you stand to make much more money independently. You can even get endorsements ala the Cool Kids without a major. Shoot, Charles Hamilton (or some Cyber Rapper that is actually good) should just go sign with Johnnie Cabbell's HitAftaHit. Go be labelmates with Shawty Lo and them, because guess what? Even though Lo sold 200,000 copies or so of his last album-- they got $7 per album. I don't know about ya'll, but those millions are far more validating than any song mention at the bottom of an episode of the Hills or the City to me. But enough about hip-hop and money. I'm starting to bore myself.
#2- I went to the Cool Kids "Show" at 595 North.
As a person who has been around and in attendance of too many "hipster" events to name, I didn't feel out of place like my dude, Randy Exlcusive-- despite the fact that I was one of the only chicks there who was not dressed like Olivia Newton John. I just found it amusing that once "accepted" by more mainstream Atlanta movers and shakers/"tastemakers"/industry folk (Greg Street was there, Don Cannon is releasing the Cool Kids new mixtape, Gone Fishing) the hipsters stopped liking to be called hipsters. It's kind of like once accepted, it wasn't hip any more. I guess that's human nature. To be fair though, I'm semi-joking. I know that after a certain CL article came out, branding the sound hipster-hop, folks got upset then, and that was over a year ago. So maybe they never liked the term.
Anywhoo. The main thing I find funny about this is all is that these in-crowd folks come out to "support" the scene, but I have yet to hear any one of the people who perfomed have their music played on V-103, or any other urban station for that matter. Um, so is that really supporting?
#3- I listened to Rapper Big Pooh's Delightful Bars.
And I've been delighted ever since. Now, I'm not going to go on and on about how this album is the best thing to happen to hip-hop in years, or even months-- because to be honest, it's not. But guess what it is? It's RAP. Just plain ole, good to listen to, rap. He's not preaching, he's not being uber-gangster, or pseudo-homosexual. He's not making "songs for the ladies," he's not trying to be all super socio-political. He's not going on and on about how much hip-hop sucks and how mistreated he is by the evil label-machine or fans who just "don't get him." He's just, rapping. And damned if isn't refreshing. I also like the album art. Very Outkast-ish.