Friday, April 20, 2007

Hip Hop is Dead and R & B is on life support

Yeah I said and it is true. I remember back in the day loving music. I take that back, I still love music, but only good, quality music. Too bad there isn't that great of a selection in the mainstream. I remember when I had choices. I could look and there were some artists that were too sexual, some were too boring, some were okay, and some were awesome. Nowadays, that is not the case. Everytime I turn on the tv to watch videos I see the same thing, women wearing barely nothing, money being thrown in the air, expensive cars, and jewelry. It all looks like it was cut from the same mold, without any originality. The great artists are pushed to the back or not promoted at all. It is all about the money. Before there was a message, something that uplifted the people. Fortunately for hip hop, it can be resurrected. It will take a lot of work but it is possible.

My poor R and B is barely alive. I remember when singers just "sang". No "fifty-leben" special guest rap artist appearances, no producers shouting their names on songs, no making up words and not making sense. The videos actually went along with the songs. Now the "popular" female singers are almost naked, and crawling around on the ground like a snake gyrating, and moving. The wonderful Tina Turner did it all but she was still able to sing. Most of the artists today dance and then barely get out a couple of out of breath lyrics or will just lip sing. All they sell is sex and try to call that talent. I thank GOD for artists like Jill Scott, Corrine Bailey, Rae, Vivian Green, Heather Headley, and others you may or may not have heard about. They don't get the airplay and promotion like the others, but these women can "sang" on their albums. I have heard great things about their concerts as well. They don't need all the fireworks, dancers, and wardrobe changes just a couple of backup singers, a live band and thier great voices.

It's sad that in order to go platinum you have to take off your clothes or be society's standard of "sexy". The radio stations only play what is popular too so the other artists barely have a chance to make it. I am soo looking forward to seeing John Legend and Corrine Bailey Rae on May 16th. So far the reviews have been great. They are two of the artists that I feel are helping to keep R and B alive. They have great voices, write their music, and play instruments.

I have the Essential Luther Vandross CD. OJ Lima a freelance writer wrote about Luther, his life, and his career. This one part stood out for me and this is something all artists should be able to do:
"I had an amazing experience a few years ago at a festival in Philadelphia. Luther was headlining a stadium show. There were a dozen acts. People were tired, they'd been drinking all day. Around midnight, about the third song in, Luther went into 'A House Is Not A Home.' I'm tlling you- in this stadium of 50 thousand people, you could hear a pin drop. What he sand was incredible. What he didn't sing- the silence between the phrases- was even more unbelievable. You were scared to breathe, you didn't want him to mess up! At the end, those poor people just lost their minds! I talked to hime about and he said, 'Marcus anyone can holler, but getting them to keep quiet...Now that's something.' Luther was something special, R.I.P Mr. Vandross. Q

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