My friend Mary aka DJ Fusion wrote this rant on Hip Hop for 2009. This is a great example of an indie scene flourishing and a good read for anyone thinking about a career in music these days.
“We’re approximately 35 – 40 years into a musical art form and culture that has traveled from the ‘hood to the corporate boardroom with some dallying around a bit with college folk, the ‘burbs and outsiders worldwide wanting another groove to dance to and a way to use the spoken word for expression.
As one of the many musical great grandchildren of the African Diaspora born from the coupling of what some call American Classical Music (Jazz, Funk, Blues, Soul, Funk, Rock, etc.) and Reggae, Hip-Hop has come a long way from its beginnings.
There’s more of a hungry audience on the hunt for new and diverse types of music than ever before because of the mainstream music industry dropping the ball on what they’re supposed to do in the first place – promote great artists for different audiences to listen to and spend money on.
The second the Hip-Hop A&R rep became more an regional area SoundScan Excel Spreadsheet reader instead of the person who hunted for new music from all over the planet or took time to craft a music artist’s long term career, the Old School Music System started to collapse.
Luckily during this time, the huge technological & social advancement of the Internet becoming a normal part of life though people’s computers, mp3 players or telephones created totally new options for music to expand it’s reach to essentially anywhere, to anyone and at anytime in a relatively cheap, quick and efficient way.
This fundamental shift is one of the great gifts ever given to all aspects of the Independent Music Community.
The playing field has gone from a huge mountain to climb to even get a demo a listen or for getting people to check out your viewpoint of Hip-Hop to at least become a slightly more manageable hill for music lovers to negotiate a successful career and outlet of expression.
Audiences who want to connect to dope music don’t really have to be around the corner anymore and are just a few clicks away through sites like MySpace, BandCamp, FaceBook, Twitter, Imeem, ReverbNation, CD Baby, YouTube and more.
An indie music artist or outlet can hit up that audience and give major record labels and distributors the finger by promoting themselves at pretty much however they like with promotional singles & mixtapes or any other product via tons of ‘net companies and the right applications.
With some dope audio software, an e-mail address, file sharing programs and a solid work ethic, new forms of musical collaborations can occur as long as there are like minds in the mix.
What about current subpar TV, Radio and written media outlets that don’t play or acknowledge dope Old School Hip-Hop artists (a lot of which are now back to either being Indie Music Artists again or having to function like one to get any worthy promotion for their projects) or any innovative New School heads?
Well, there’s probably either a website, blog, podcast, internet radio station, conference call, newsletter or online video outlet to avoid all that. Old School Hip-Hop as a whole is literally being kept ALIVE through it’s accessibility through the internet from these sort of outlets.
And the great thing is if there isn’t such an outlet yet, fans OR a music artist can make create their own such sites with the numerous free services out there for self-expression and upgrade GoDaddy.com style later on if one chooses.
The Old School mentality that made truly great Hip-Hop and is still keeping it alive has made a comeback that can revolutionize a positive artistic creativity and business model – you got to do for self (D.I.Y. game proper) to come up, work hard as hell, stand out with fantastic musical product not just to get people to pay attention, but to stick around as a long time fan.
Basically, you got to earn your way homey – no shortcuts. Even some of your Top 40 Hip-Hop MCs didn’t just emerge from a record crate pre-packed for consumption – quite a few of them have been in the music business for years before getting to that point and had to climb as up as an indie to get to their current status (from Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, UGK, the list can go on for days).
An music artist really has no choice BUT to build from the ground up to earn the respect of fans so they can give up their hard earned cash & word of mouth.
Indie musicians have more ways now than ever to develop a rabid niche audience that digs their individual musical foundation and to expand from there. Along with great support team that wants to promote the hell out of a person and do business on the up and up, next thing you know there’s an empowered Hip-Hop artist who doesn’t have to pimp themselves out to the latest trend to get a crappy major label/distributor contract in hopes of riches.”
2009’s 25 Great Hip-Hop Music Related Websites (Besides PlanetIll.com, of course) That You Should Always Be Checking For Dope Writing, Music Content, Information And Balance Away From The Norm:
- Philaflava’s The T.R.O.Y. Blog
- Poisonous Paragraphs
- The Mad Bloggers
- Ron Mexico City
- Bryon Crawford
- Combat Jack with Today’s Mathematics
- Hip-Hop Is Read
- Tha Feedback
- The Nappy Diatribe aka The Daily Throatchop
- Ill Doctrine
- Word On The Streets Magazine
- Nah Right
- Wax Poetics
- Ill Roots
- DC Mumbo Sauce
- Rock The Dub
- Blunt Rapps
- Writer’s Block Media
- The Smoking Section
- Wake Your Daughter Up
- Making The Mogul
- DJ D-Nice Journal