Will The Politics Hurt The West Coast's Mix Again ?
As the music and radio industry continues to scramble and shuffle to gain a grip on it's profit margins and tries to pry it's foot out of it's mouth. I've observed how they've consistently played musical chairs with each region and has done a fine job of playing the divide and conquer game. They've managed to shoot themselves in the foot not realizing that the music consumer has more power over their industry than they do,as well as the independent artist. While I try and make my point,I'll have to air out a few uncomfortable issues. First off, the East Coast has never gotten over the fact that although the art form of hip hop was originated there,it has birthed different styles and artist from all over the world at this point. Now,when the take over started in the mid 80's and throughout the 90's from the West Coast they were offended and intimidated by not only the West Coast artist independence,but also the approach they took and the popularity it garnered. They almost acted as though they had a patent number on the art form and felt free to critique and disregard the prominence of the movement,but the Record Labels and radio stations were right in the middle eating off of it. Doing a fast foreword,at the height of that movement there was a new movement nurturing itself in the South. The South at that time was both a huge concert venue and record sales market for both East and West Coast artist,nobody seen the South as a place where some of the greatest rap artist would come from. Let us not forget that not only did the record companies sleep on it, but for the most part so did radio. They took the liberty to elect themselves as the dictators of who can get in and who can't. That frame of thinking trickled down to the New York artist,who found it real convenient to project that attitude as well,(and some still do). There was a time when "Yo MTV Raps" wouldn't put any artist in rotation but New York artist. Until "NWA" came in and kicked that steel door down as if it was made of paper. Let me not leave out Ice-T,King T,,MADD Circle,Too Short,Digital Underground,and so on. Isn't it funny how that video program shut down when East Coast artist weren't dominating anymore? So you Don't get me wrong, Public Enemy,Eric B & Rakim, Gangstar and RunDMC and many more were hot. As the South spawned it's first generation like 2 Live Crew,Arrested Development,Ghetto Boys and a few more,they still didn't respect the new contributers to the art. Now let's talk about how "OutKast" got totally disrespected winning the best new artist at the Source awards? The boos all came from the predominately East Coast crowd,who once again felt it necessary to vent their frustration and let it be known that their filters were still closed in the mid 90's. They roared like lions for "Biggie" and booed the "West" when Death Row attended and performed for that year's show. Now here's poetic justice for you. Outkast would go on to sell multi platinum projects and dominate the charts. We don't have to mention what Death Row did in record sales. The South, as they have for a while now, came in with a movement of talent that could not be stopped. So strong that the corporate pimps noses smelled money and jumped in head first. As their history proves,if it's money being made, here they come jumping on the bandwagon and trying to over see the kitchen when they didn't bring the meat to the party and sure as hell know nothing about seasoning it. So while the West and East Coast were trying to recover from that record label,radio,and media induced coastal war nightmare, we all lost 2 soldiers of the rap movement and many more. The South brought us that feel good, party hard music,cadenced with ancestral drums. So to speak,we've been second lining every since. So now a artist has to have a certain producer to sell big units or has to be on a certain label to blow up,or even needs a certain PR person to get airplay. All of these politics are being played by the labels and radio stations. I like good music bottom line,it doesn't matter where it derives from. I'm not looking to see another coastal beef either. I am hoping that the attitude some of our East Coast brothers once projected towards the West Coast,won't consume our Southern brothers to wear that same suit. Like any commodity,product or service,the tides have and always will change. Nothing stays hot forever. In the world of business,the profit of money is always the first concern. I understand that, but how will this music last another 20 years with the manipulation and instigation of division. I'm not asking for a bon fire and a cumbyah song to happen. However,my question is will the new wave of good "Left Coast" music coming out this year,get the love and support that it deserves? Or will the suit and ties keep pumping that divide and conquer shit from behind it's cowardly curtains and see to it that each region is only fed what it chooses to let through the pipeline? If that's the case then it won't be too long before there aren't any openings in this field of work to make a career with. You'll start to see 50 dudes at the corner store trying to sell you their unmixed and unmastered CDs instead of three. We all should be proud of where we come from. Where ever you go in the world,you will always be a reflection of that. Applying street tactics to a multimillion dollar industry has proven to be a fail,but allowing the corporate vultures to keep up this separation trick is to me nothing short of a pyromaniac who throws the match of destruction and stands in the crowd and smirks at the horror and calamity it caused.