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#1 +zhiVago

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:11

Why does the Music Industry keep “Underground Hip-Hop Music” Underground?
 

Music is everybody’s possession . It’s only publishers who think that people own it.

John Lennon

Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News - The Corporate Music industry has had a monopoly on what youths from all around the world listen to.  They have been controlling the thoughts and beliefs of our youths and even adults through their control of the music industry.  The Music industry is a multi-billion dollar business. There are now “Big Three” record labels since 2012 that include Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group that dominate the market.  They control the artist and set what percentage of the sales receipts they keep as profits.  They also keep the competition between the major record labels at a minimum since they are already a monopoly.

There are many underground hip-hop artists that the political and corporate elite don’t want the public to know about.  They control what kind of music is produced and sold to the public.  In an interview with Jay Woodson, organizer of National Hip Hop Political Convention (NHHPC) in Philadelphia with online news source The Final Call:

FINAL CALL (FC): A recent study of rap songs and music videos on BET and MTV found that several major corporations advertise their products or services during programs that often expose explicit lyrics and images to children. I remember the time when the music industry and society held that rap and hip-hop music was just a fad that would pass. What’s happening now that “everyone” seems to be on board?

JAY WOODSON (JW): What our options are in this political economy are options for profit, which benefits large corporations. This includes the entertainment industry. They give a very narrow message and image of what Black life is. It’s materialistic, about death, it’s about violence, and it’s about misogyny and any diverse or alternative messages and images of that, they don’t seem to support because they don’t find it profitable to have diverse aesthetics within the entertainment industry for people to purchase and to view on television. A lot of time when it comes down to critiquing BET and Viacom, we really need to look at the policy of communications. Like, we understand that the airways are owned by people, who give licenses through the Federal Communication Commission. With legislation that was passed in the mid-90s under Bill Clinton, Congress narrowed the plan for people to tap into the media. A lot of larger media bought up media in smaller markets and it narrowed the choices for smaller media or even public access to have cable programming or even local radio stations. So you have these large corporations such as Clear Channel giving such small packages of 20 songs that are played over and over again.

Lauryn Hill is a Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, rapper and a former member of the Fugees explains how the music industry operates in a letter she wrote on Tumblr to the public about the music business and her tax evasion case where a judge sentenced her to 3 months in prison earlier this year:

For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground.  I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.  Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance.  I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm.  I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power.  These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally.

 

Continued...
 




#2 Anibal P

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:21

"Underground" just means not ready for prime time, that's all, just about all underground Rap is not very good, there are a few good ones doing the whole "stay indie" thing but for the most part it's barely amateur rap that comes out of that scene

 

The real gems are the rappers that are not in the limelight that have strong followings, but there aren't as many of them as before, the real indie rappers have been swallowed up by the big guys to prop up poor releases from the so called good ones 



#3 Growled

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 15:50

It's harder to keep a good artist down with the Internet available. Cream rises to the top, as they say. Most of the Underground guys just aren't ready for prime time yet.



#4 He's Dead Jim

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 15:58

It's harder to keep a good artist down with the Internet available. Cream rises to the top, as they say. Most of the Underground guys just aren't ready for prime time yet.

 

I would have agreed with that in 2003 before all the majors held the www music monopoly, :) the cream has gotten soured by the majors, more like curds and whey now(imho)



#5 compl3x

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:24

Underground stuff is entirely an acquired taste. A lot of the lyrics are politically charged, socially critical, complex, intricate, abstract etc. and the reality is a  lot of people don't want to sit around and listen to that type of stuff. If you have no interest in hip-hop beyond party-friendly tunes that are good to dance to then you're not going to give a ###### about a rapper who creates complex rhyming schemes or is rapping about the disadvantage in the inner cities.



#6 KingCracker

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:28

there has been a lot of underground songs come up in the mainstream. I look at underground hip hop as 2 things 1. pretty much like an early release of a song. 2. I also see it as a place where artists dont want the mainstream hype. There are a lot of incredibly seccussful artists doing underground hiphop.



#7 compl3x

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:31

There are a lot of incredibly seccussful artists doing underground hiphop.

 

Also highly acclaimed.



#8 KingCracker

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:31

Also highly acclaimed.

yep



#9 LUTZIFER

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:35

Should be "Underground", and buried. All rapcrap/hiphop.



#10 +Bryan R.

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:35

I've thought about this for a long while and have come to the same conclusions as the writer of this article. The music industry is one of many examples of capitalism gone too far. The large record labels have the entire industry in their pocket and now know what sounds and lyrics sell to which demographic. They have it down to a science. Market saturated by Nickleback? Simple, you manufacture a knock-off band and boom, instant profits. Katy Perry? Same thing. It's all the same and they keep it just different enough for people to stay hooked on the superficial.



#11 KingCracker

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:37

I've thought about this for a long while and have come to the same conclusions as the writer of this article. The music industry is one of many examples of capitalism gone too far. The large record labels have the entire industry in their pocket and now know what sounds and lyrics sell to which demographic. They have it down to a science. Market saturated by Nickleback? Simple, you manufacture a knock-off band and boom, instant profits. Katy Perry? Same thing. It's all the same and they keep it just different enough for people to stay hooked on the superficial.

I wouldnt say that. The internet kinda evens the odds because underground artists can get thier material out and some even have their own record lables. 



#12 +Bryan R.

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:53

I wouldnt say that. The internet kinda evens the odds because underground artists can get thier material out and some even have their own record lables. 

The internet gives independent artists one last market to get it into unhindered, but it's only despite the strangle hold the big three record labels have on the airways. As it is, radio is completely manufactured. YouTube and the internet is where musical innovation happens now.



#13 KingCracker

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 17:58

The internet gives independent artists one last market to get it into unhindered, but it's only despite the strangle hold the big three record labels have on the airways. As it is, radio is completely manufactured. YouTube and the internet is where musical innovation happens now.

Well before the internet they only had word of mouth,signs and posters on telephone poles and the like.



#14 Wyn6

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 18:11

"Underground" just means not ready for prime time, that's all, just about all underground Rap is not very good, there are a few good ones doing the whole "stay indie" thing but for the most part it's barely amateur rap that comes out of that scene

 

The real gems are the rappers that are not in the limelight that have strong followings, but there aren't as many of them as before, the real indie rappers have been swallowed up by the big guys to prop up poor releases from the so called good ones 

This isn't quire accurate. "Prime Time" rap, not Hip-Hop, is what's usually not any good. The term Underground does not refer to music that isn't any good. The term Underground is used to refer to music that isn't considered commercial or commercially viable, i.e. doesn't make tens of millions of dollars for someone. These underground artists often have substance and actual lyrical skill. They're not just Mother Goose rappers. But, the music industry has conditioned people to like and buy the songs that the industry wants them to like and buy. A lyric from the song "Triumph" by the Wu-Tang clan says, "The dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum." I think this was U-God. This lyric simply means that, people are being conditioned to not actually listen to or place any emphasis on the song's content. Instead what becomes important is if it has a beat they can dance to. Don't get me wrong. There have always been party jams since the dawn of hip-hop. But, hip-hop has always been about people who have a relevant commentary on a myriad of topics, personal, municipal, national, international, social, political, etc.

 

This, unfortunately, is no longer the case. At one point in time, you needed actual talent to be "prime time" in hip-hop. Now... not so much.

 

A quote from Cee-Lo in the above article says this:

And I’ve said this before on Twitter, but hip-hop was once an Ivy League institution, and now it’s become a community college—you don’t need any qualifications to come on in. And, quite frankly, it can be a little embellished-upon. There’s a low entry level, and it’s become monotonous and congested. All you need to do is be able to rhyme “cat” and “hat,” and you can become an MC.
 
This is the unfortunate state of hip-hop and entertainment as a whole. Many true artists, regardless of artform, will always be obscured for something with less substance. So, here's to Jay-Z's the Next Color album, Modern Combat: The Future War of 1812, and Transformers 11: The Return of Megan Fox.


#15 +Bryan R.

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 18:17

 

This isn't quire accurate. "Prime Time" rap, not Hip-Hop, is what's usually not any good. The term Underground does not refer to music that isn't any good. The term Underground is used to refer to music that isn't considered commercial or commercially viable, i.e. doesn't make tens of millions of dollars for someone. These underground artists often have substance and actual lyrical skill. They're not just Mother Goose rappers. But, the music industry has conditioned people to like and buy the songs that the industry wants them to like and buy. A lyric from the song "Triumph" by the Wu-Tang clan says, "The dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum." I think this was U-God. This lyric simply means that, people are being conditioned to not actually listen to or place any emphasis on the song's content. Instead what becomes important is if it has a beat they can dance to. Don't get me wrong. There have always been party jams since the dawn of hip-hop. But, hip-hop has always been about people who have a relevant commentary on a myriad of topics, personal, municipal, national, international, social, political, etc.

 

This, unfortunately, is no longer the case. At one point in time, you needed actual talent to be "prime time" in hip-hop. Now... not so much.

 

A quote from Cee-Lo in the above article says this:

And I’ve said this before on Twitter, but hip-hop was once an Ivy League institution, and now it’s become a community college—you don’t need any qualifications to come on in. And, quite frankly, it can be a little embellished-upon. There’s a low entry level, and it’s become monotonous and congested. All you need to do is be able to rhyme “cat” and “hat,” and you can become an MC.
 
This is the unfortunate state of hip-hop and entertainment as a whole. Many true artists, regardless of artform, will always be obscured for something with less substance. So, here's to Jay-Z's the Next Color album, Modern Combat: The Future War of 1812, and Transformers 11: The Return of Megan Fox.

 

This man gets it.

 

To me, the music industry is simply preying on rampant consumerism in our society. People want what makes them feel good and everything else takes a back seat. That was the day the music died.