Posted by: vincentlopez | December 11, 2008

5 More Burning Questions



This has been gnawing at me for years so people please help me understand this:


I listen to tons of soul/funk/R&B music from the 60’s and 70’s and it’s still played on the radio today but why is hip-hop music treated as and considered disposable?  Are there too many artists?  Do the fans have short attention spans?


Why are older hip-hop artists and pioneers pushed away and/or unknown and not respected?


Why can old rock groups go on tour in huge arenas full of young fans and make millions but if Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and KRS-One had a tour, it probably would be held in smaller venues and wouldn’t be as well attended by the younger hip-hop audience?


Is there any new artist, who came out in 2007 or 2008, that you know without a doubt you’ll be listening to 20 years from now?


Do you try to educate or inform your younger family members and friends about hip-hop artists and music from the 80’s and 90’s?





  1. I’ve been thinking the exact SAME thing for years, homie. Some of my past theories included racism, lack of proper exploitation of older catalogue, lack of “classic hip hop” radio formats, etc.

    I just think it comes down to hip hop being the baby genre still. It’s only a little over 30 years old. It’s early fans are just now getting older, but instead of supporting it, have moved on to R&B or whatever. It’s not their fault–they’ve been shoved out by labels, advertising, etc. Rock caters to 15 year olds the same way it does 60 year olds (how many Zepplin/Beatles/Hendrix/Stone reissues are released every year?).

    The hip hop audience has been lambasted–no 40 year old microphone fiend should be doing the Soldier Boy, but where exactly is Rakim to pick up the slack and stay touring? The old school acts tour overseas and are relevant–they don’t do it here and are pissed when Bow Wow gets more shine. Big Daddy Kane can still lyrically hang with any mixtape rapper, but he rarely gets a phonecall. It’s bizarre.

    It’s really dog eat dog to me.

  2. @ Zilla – “…lack of proper exploitation of older catalogue…”

    I’ve been saying that for years. Why aren’t hip-hop albums reissued more? At least after 10 years and most certainly after 20 years?

    I grumbled and complained all year about why there wasn’t a mass reissuing of all 1988 albums this year (and 1987 albums last year). It’s stupefying! I want my Public Enemy “It Takes a Nation of Millions…” reissue with more liner notes, a booklet, and the unreleased Bomb Squad tracks. How the heck does Def Jam drop the ball on their catalog? They could have been reissuing good ish for 3 years now.

    Take a look at Ego Trip’s top albums list from 1988:

    Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Def Jam)

    N.W.A: Straight Outta Compton (Ruthless)

    The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (Def Jam)

    EPMD: Strictly Business (Fresh)

    Boogie Down Productions: By Any Means Necessary (Jive)

    Big Daddy Kane: Long Live the Kane (Cold Chillin’)

    Ultramagnetic MCs: Critical Beatdown (Next Plateau)

    Eric B. & Rakim: Follow the Leader (Uni)

    Biz Markie: Goin’ Off (Cold Chillin’)

    Jungle Brothers: Straight Out the Jungle (Idlers)

    Eazy-E: Eazy-Duz-It (Ruthless)

    Run-D.M.C.: Tougher Than Leather (Profile)

    MC Lyte: Lyte as a Rock (First Priority)

    DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince: He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper (Jive)

    Marley Marl: In Control Vol. 1 (Cold Chillin’)

    Salt-n-Pepa: A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (Next Plateau)

    Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: Road to the Riches (Cold Chillin’)

    Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew: The World’s Greatest Entertainer (Reality)

    Stetsasonic: In Full Gear (Tommy Boy)

    2 Live Crew: Move Somethin’ (Luke Skyywalker)

    Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud: Girls I Got ’em Locked (Elektra)

    Life is…Too $hort (Jive)

    King Tee: Act a Fool (Capitol)

    Kid ‘n Play: 2 Hype (Select)

    Lakim Shabazz: Pure Righteousness (Tuff City)

  3. Old Black Men are irrelevant, unless they are dead actors or civil rights leaders.

    Hip hop has always been fueled by catering to the young. Pop culture in general and hip hop specificllay.

    The exclusive and the NEW is CENTRAL to hip hop.
    Given the fact that it is hard to be new when your old, and given the fact that Capitalism has ni**as saying they keeping it real but they really paying mortgages, Old heads don’t get love.

    I have a post coming for you about this.


  4. >I grumbled and complained all year about why there wasn’t a mass reissuing of all 1988 albums this year (and 1987 albums last year). It’s stupefying!

    From what I’ve been told the deluxe edition of ”It takes a nation…” had been cancelled because it was impossible to clear all the samples. The label simply doesn’t want to draw any attention to this album. I guess it’s the same for most of the music we like.
    Smaller companies like Traffic do it without clearing anything because their numbers are not significant enough to get into troubles, but majors ? Forget about it !

  5. Hip Hop is definitely not promoted and respected as much as other music genres. It doesn’t reach as much people as the others as well. It has always been considered a more underground or alternative music. I think this is the reason for the lack of old school radio stations, huge tours etc.

    However I think Run-DMC could pull off an arena tour because of their continual popularity and acceptance amongst commercial music fans and Hip Hop heads. But it wouldn’t be right without JMJ.

  6. I was thinking about this post again yesterday, Vince.

    Above all else, I think the problem comes down to RESPECT.

    Record labels don’t RESPECT the longtime consumers–get money today off a ringtone kid, fuck cats with longtime fans and catalogues that perservere (The Roots, Ghostface, Redman, etc)

    Artists don’t RESPECT the crowd–most rappers honestly and truly can’t perform to save their frickin lives, so don’t be pissed when people aren’t coming out to see if you unless you came out in the 80s and 90s

    Young artists don’t RESPECT pioneers and vice versa—too many sensitive egos and fear of losing a “spot”. There’s a reason why Scarface and Bun B have longevity–they ALWAYS work with the hottest up and coming acts, even if they vanish in a year.

    Artists don’t RESPECT the craft/the “album”–putting out 35 mixtapes a month downgrades the quality of music and people are proud to make music income but not necessarily “being a rapper”

    Fans don’t RESPECT the artist–downloading a new album by your favorite rapper is a sin. I’m all for stealing music from people you don’t know of to get a taste, but why not support your heroes?

    Critics still don’t RESPECT the culture–white hipster music geeks champion ONLY the most ignorant, violent, crack-selling rappers. It’s subtle racism.

    I’m getting off my soapbox now haha

  7. great post again vincent, i appreciate what u do!

    1. i dont know why that is. just like, why do radio stations have a old school hour when they play nothin but old school hip-hip. its like our classics are now considered old school, and thats it. like u would never hear it if they play it out of the blue. but now hip-hop is disposable cause it too many out there that u would never hear again after they 1 hit.

    2. great point. its like if it wasnt for them, there wouldnt be rappers doin what they doin to today. they set the standard. it remind me of the movie The Show, when kurtis blow, melle mel, whodini and etc. was talkin how hip-hop at that time was giving respect to the ol school artists. i remember BIG and method man sayin that they not hatin on them but u cant fault them for doing their thing. so its more of a generation gap more than anything. especially now cause the youth dont know nothing about ol school hip-hop.

    3. Like i said earlier, the youth dont know nothin bout old school hip-hop. those concerts would only be attended by middle aged people. now the rock bands from back in the days know that they will get supported by fans old and new, thats just how it is. their fans support them to the max. its sad, but its lik that.

    4. there is no artist that came out this year or last year that i will listen to 20 years from now. hell to the naw!! i dont listen to new stuff, so i wouldnt know. i live in the 90’s man, forever!

    5. i try to educate the young black youth anytime i can on old school hip-hop and how it used to be. but its hard man, i mean that pop & lock bullshit and lil wayne got them confused man. its like they dont give a damn what hip-hop used to be like. i think they would trip out when they realize what hip-hop supposed to sound like compared to now. i never thought in a million years when i was younger that hip-hop would be like it is now. i thought everybody in the world knew who LL, Big Daddy kane, Rakim & KRS was. but i was sadly mistaken.

  8. Corporations and promoters have no interest in getting Classic Hip Hop in the mainstream. Check out the XM/Sirius merger and they axed the Classic Hip Hop channel. People expect fans of the music to “grow up” and move to other formats. It’s sad, EPMD is playing here at a club next week. A little CLUB that holds maybe 300 people.

  9. I think Zilla has had the most concise answers to your questions so I’m not even gonna speak on it. I agree with him. As far as educating the youth…….I found out how hard I’d been slacking on Thanksgiving when my 16 year old nephew asked me who Public Enemy was. He didn’t know at 16 years old. I was able to see Public Enemy for the first time last year and Chuck spoke for a couple of minutes about how there were hardly any people in the crowd under 25 and how it was a shame and I felt the same way. I guess I figured that my brother in law would’ve hipped them to better music considering that he and I listen to mostly the same stuff but that wasn’t the case. My nephews, upon further questioning, also had no idea who Boogie Down Productions was nor were they familiar with Slick Rick. The only reason they knew about RUN-DMC is because every time they’ve been in my car I was playing it. So, yeah, I was slacking but after hearing all of this shocking information, I’ll be giving them the greatest gift of all this holiday season……..the entire back catalogue of PE, BDP, Slick Rick, as well as some extra goodies. Hopefully they’ll give them a listen and want some questions answered.

  10. Hey Vincent!

    Love love love your blog! Tell T I finally saw it.



  11. 1. The problem with Hip-Hop is mostly the timing. Hip-Hop is unfortunate enough to blow up right as the music industry was blowing itself up, so while Rock and R&B had 25, 30 years to reach it’s peak and kind of survive, Hip-Hop came along at the end of the music industry’s peak and didn’t have time to become solidified as part of American culture.

    Imagine if Jimi Hendrix came out today? He probably wouldn’t even get signed, or if he did, he’d end up like Cody Chestnutt or somebody, just kind of a “hipster” type artist, but he wouldn’t be on MTV constantly. Hendrix is alive today because his music lived through the 60’s through the ’70s, 80s, and ’90s. He’s as identifiable with America as George Washington is. No artist who’s come out in the last decade in any genre, other than maybe somebody like Alicia Keys or something will have that type of legacy, because we just don’t value music in our society the same way. It’ll always be the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, because that was the last time music was free(meaning liberated). It’s all been business the last decade.

    2. Old school Hip-Hop artists are not respected, because they never were by the mainstream and the younger generation of Hip-HOp took the money and ran. See, the old school Blues guys didn’t get no respect either, even B.B. King talks about it, until people like The Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, came from England and told the whole world about how great all these old blues guys like Muddy Waters and B.B. King were. Then, White kids in their eternal search for “credibility” started to really respect them because Mick Jagger did, and those guys ended up making more money years after they were hot, performing for those White kids who wanted to hear who Led Zeppelin idolized.

    Our problem is that 50 Cent doesn’t bring Melle Mel on stage like the Stones used to bring Muddy Waters on stage and perform with him. Grandmaster Caz isn’t mentioned in every interview that Puffy or Kanye West does, because it’s not “fashionable”. The White boys wanted credibility, whereas we tell our boys that if they’re from “da hood” and can rhyme a few words, then they have all the credibility they need to start a rap career. It’s not a requirement to respect the old school and look out for our elders.

    3.Look at answer 2. Why can B.B. King sell more tickets today than he did when he was young? Because U2 put him in “Rattle & Hum” and rock guys are constantly giving him and Chuck Berry props. WE think that just being Black or Latino is all the credibility we need to do the music, so we throw our guys away, not thinking about what happens when the next generation throw us away. If Kanye or Jay just let Whodini open for them regularly and said, “These are our heroes”, pretty soon Whodini would be kickin’ all kinds of ass on tour and might even be able to put out new records with a new audience listening.

    You’d think Jay would have respect seeing as Kane is the one put him on, but he don’t even respect Jaz.

    4. I can’t really see myself listening to any newer artists in any genre today 20 years from now to be honest. The real artists will get torn to shreds by the industry, that’s why Lupe’s already talking about this last album is his last. The only ones who’ll be around are those who are willing to stay on MTV, BET, radio, and those people suck.

    5. Man, I try, but it’s hard feelin’ like the old man tryin’ to preach to kids. My nephew gave me a Cadillac Don & J-Money record one time. I almost started crying.

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