There are 4 Types of Rappers that we all know, love, hate, despise, and secretly want to be like.
The 90’s Rapper
This is the rapper that thinks that Rakim & Eric B are still the President, and hope that Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth will get back together. Baggy pants are still a staple fashion, and using complex metaphors over a classic snare drum & clap mixed with a boring chorus – are the ingredients to ‘Real Hip-Hop’
Top 90’s Rappers:
The Gangsta Rapper
This is the Alpha Thug, spends his drug money on working with the popular producers and the best studios. Loves Scarface. Is not afraid to take pics or videos of himself with guns, knives, and using banned narcotics. Likes to use a wide range of simile’s to explain how he will shoot and kill you, your family, and even retroactively kill your deceased great-great GrandFather from the civil war.
Top Gangsta Rappers:
The Swag Rapper
This is the Rapper whom gets his haircut at least once a week, cause you, black ppl’s hair grows back very fast. Always has the newest shoes and gear, frequenter of the Luxury Car Rental stores – cause appearance is everything, right? Makes sure to buy bottles upon bottles in the club, pouring liquor into his entourage’s mouth, and strangers. And always takes a bad bitch back to the hotel – then when its time to checkout, its back to Mama’s house … Until next weekend, and ‘We Do it again’.
Top Swag Rappers:
Any rapper that is highly materialistic (Yes, its a lot)
The Emo Rapper
This is the rapper that likes close fitting jeans, and low V-neck tops. Working out at the gym isn’t that important, food isn’t as important either. Comes from the suburbs, but knows about hardships …. Talks about real problems like bitches that snort too much of your cocaine, those type of issues. Likes to sing too, and thinks they are ‘Pseudo Rockers’ so will have a skateboard and guitar too. Also this rapper is very expressive with his feelings and emotions, sometimes a bit too much.
Top Emo Rappers:
Yeah, we know there are more types of Rappers that could possibly be added to this list, feel free to list those types in the comments below.
Gotta give a shoutout to all Managers of the Independent Artists out there; management is a real tough gig. By definition of the job itself, Management is working for others, and hoping to fulfill their wishes and intent to the best of your capacity; so thus, you are working for people that already think highly of themselves and are a tad bit self-absorbed.
And the management of independent artists is a whole different beast I imagine; as the artist(s) are also co-managers, and necessarily do not have to take heed to your comments and recommendations. As most artists already have a ‘beautiful roadmap’ as to how they will make it in the game. The best thing you can do as a manager is to try and offer advice and constructive criticisms; though this may be a bit hard, because as a manager you are by very nature/definition a ‘control freak’ and/or have control issues – so not having free control over whatever you are managing, can prove to be frustrating.
So, here are a list of resources and potential problems with solutions for dealing with your independent artists:
How to deal with artists not recording and/or sticking to their schedule?
This is tricky, because part of the reason they may not be recording is due to lack of creativity, or due to laziness. So to sift through this if you are experiencing recording problems, is to stop making the schedules for them, and tell the artist(s) to start scheduling their own damn schedule – this way you can test their seriousness and work ethic.
Promotion & Brand Visibility
What do to with artists whom are not engaging and interacting with fans? Some artists think that they just make music and perform – and that’s it. But in this day of age, I would liken artists as brands – and their are many ways to manage and promote your brand, and more importantly engaging and communicating with your followers/fans. With the range of tools that are available to us, it is easy to engage in ‘CRM’ (Customer Relationship Management) with a brands following, here are some good tools:
HootSuite – scheduled sending of tweets (offers free & PRO accounts), and has mobile apps on BB, iOS, Android http://www.hootsuite.comGmail – the amount of tools and features that gmail has makes it easy to send and respond from any computer or device http://www.gmail.com Google Voice – Allows you to get a virtual number that you can use as a business number; and can be managed via your Google gmail account. http://www.google.com/voice
Miscellaneous & Organization
Other things to help keep you organized:
Notebook: bring these to meetings and document major goals and ideas so that in the future you can go back to these failed goals and see ‘what went wrong’Calendar: Usually everyone has a smartphone, so teach your artist(s) about how to use the calendar function (you’d be surprised how many people that have smartphones don’t use this feature). And for important events and milestones, add several reminders so that they can’t say ‘I never knew’. I love the Calendar, its a fail-safe bullshit meter
If you have any other items that I may have missed, please feel free to comment and let me know – heck, I’m still learning myself.
P.S.; and I guess the greatest asset to have is PATIENCE, as you deal with some things and thoughts that make no logical sense.
Interesting video of popular Kanye West produced songs that he has sampled from. Now, sampling is a part of hip-hop, and I’ve always known that he has sampled songs from the past, but this montage of his samples show how necessary it is to have money & good lawyers to be able to get the clearances – because some of his samples come from artists such as Elton John, Luther Vandross, Bette Midler, and many others.
As with all industries, nobody really ‘invents’, they just innovate on existing products, platforms, or in this case – music. And in all, nothing is really wrong with that, just as long the source is credited.
Another track from Toronto based hip-hop group DOT CITY with ‘City of Dreams'; this time, they take the musical composition to the next level – yes I may sound bias because I work with them, but with the banging beats by Flawless Tracks (@flawlesstracks), this track shows the range & musical potential of Dot City.
Dot City ‘City of Dreams
Performed by DOT CITY
Produced by Flawless Tracks
Mixed & Mastered by K R Moore
“But the soultronica series is officially back on. Brothertron handles the intro, since dex digital is incapacitated (if you caught the last episode, you’ll remember why) – but wait, dude somehow survived half an hour of no oxygen – what’s the deal?”
This is a Hip-Hop Kinetic Typography Music Video I produced for some independent artists out of Toronto. I was inspired by the Cee-Lo Green video ‘F— You’ and other Kinetic typography videos. A funny story accompanies this video, or tragic, I was like 80% done with the video, but then my power went out; which corrupted the file, so I had to spend another 10-12 hours re-creating everything. That was a lesson in saving multiple drafts of all video projects – especially in the Wonderful, yet buggy, Adobe After Effects, lol.
And of course with anything that is abstract, comes politics – especially when dealing with different people (which now, I really understand why most artists want to work for themselves and not deal with bullshit from other clients, collectives, etc.) … but thats for another chapter in my book, I’ll just say that when sampling a population, make sure your sample is representative of the target audience of your works.
No matter what your opinion is on the current state of hip-hop; whether we are in the ‘golden era’, or the ‘trash era’, one thing is for sure – hip-hop displays a fondness for literary devices, specifically that of simile’s and metaphors. Thinking about it, no other genre uses as much different metaphors & simile’s throughout a song – though, the abstract depth and reasoning behind the literary devices may vary across genres. Which is why, to ‘get’ hip-hop; you really have to listen and have knowledge to comprehend what the rapper is talking about – well, that used to be the old rules. Here is where it gets murky (in my opinion), metaphors have an edge over simile’s in that it requires more thought and knowledge to process – a simile just likens object A to object B, and usually uses the operand word ‘like’ to indicate the comparison. Whereas metaphors those the same thing almost, except the objects are concepts, which when it is compared, creates new meanings and inferences. The underground rappers are known to favor the frequent use of metaphors in their songs – while mainstream rappers do not use them as much.
So with that, the question is posed, does usage of devices indicate the rapper’s intelligence and/or the intelligence of their audience? One component of music, successful music, is its ability to connect with the audience – there is a reason why known lyricists like Talib Kweli, Canibus, Joe Budden, and a slew of other talented MC’s never get those big budget marketing dollars. While, rappers like Drake, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, pretty much get anything they want in terms of marketing dollars for videos, tours, etc. The blatant anomalies that have walked the fine line, the tight rope act of ‘dumbing it down’, but not too much to lose the ‘real hip-hop crowd’, would have to be Eminem, Nas, and Jay-Z; who have openly admitted that they had to ‘dumb down’ their lyrics in order to remain on their respective major labels. So is it the usage of literary devices determine one’s audience? Would using a bunch of simile’s get you a Joe Budden audience? Would using a bunch of metaphors get you a Gucci crowd? I believe the answer is ‘NO, like the opposite of ‘YES’, as their exist a correlation between commercial rap/underground rap and similes/metaphors – just listen to a commercial track, and there is no deep thought behind it. Your brain will not work overtime to process; commercial rap songs are very sing-songy, like a nursery rhyme (see, I just made a simile!). Let’s take a look at some popular songs from Lil Wayne and Joe Budden:
Joe Budden – Broken Wings
Drake, Lil Wayne – I’m Going In
Some difficulty with these popular usages of simile’s are that one has to understand the reference – that reference is usually from pop or hood culture, but besides that, nothing else. And maybe, that is what music should be – a passive experience that is soothing, relaxing, comfortable. Because I mean, after a long day of work/school, do you really want to explore abstract concepts and ideas? I mean, that is like running a track backwards in a race – you will always lose, right?
Even though she got a song with the same title as my boys in DOT CITY (check out their version of ‘How I Feel’ here), this New York native with a Jamaican accent is spitting some bars sounding like a young/hungry Foxy Brown.
2010 can probably be seen as the year of the ‘teaser’, where hip-hop got a little sugary taste of euro flavor. And the equivalent to the creepy guy that delivered the sugary snack was none other than Euro house star producer David Guetta. With chart-topping tracks for Kid Cudi, Estelle, Flo Rida, and Black Eyed Peas, other hip-hop and urban artists are taking note and realizing a new potential and opportunity. Some absolute truths exist with the euro market;
A) it is a big-ass market,
B) most Europeans already embrace the hip-hop culture
Thus, as hip-hop grows and continues its syntheses, 2011 will be the year of more and more songs embracing the Euro flava’. Rihanna just dropped a literal euro album, and everyone from Usher to Ne-Yo has singles in the works.
However, some of the hip-hop purists abd your general haters, have voiced some of their dis-taste for this evolution – citing it as ‘pop’, ‘euro trash’, and turning hip-hop into shit. What I think it is actually doing is tapping into a sub-genre that for some reaspn took very long for artists to explore. Hip-Hop has many Flavors, and this particular one will be somewhat on the pop tip; with mindless lyrics about club life, e-popping, and alcohol drinking rhymes, but isn’t it better than the current ‘club hip-hop’ trash of Wocka Flocka and other ‘hits’ that only talk about shooting and drug dealing? I guess I am referring to deciding between picking on one of the lesser evils, but from a societal standpoint, music laced with heavy degradation and negativity can’t be good. We are probably a long way off for clubs to be playing Talib Kweli or Immortal, but give me a euro-pop track with layering instrumental compositions with mindless lyrics, over bass-heavy coke-laced raps.
And really, life is all about innovation & progression, and that is what hip-hop has always done – I’m not saying that this sub-genre should dominate the artform, but it should be a viable repertoire in an artist’s weaponary and should be similied to ‘dirty South’, ‘west coast’ hip-hop style.