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Why hip-hop sucks in 2009…

October 22, 2009

A certain ‘Nasty’ Nasir Jones mused in 2006 on the demise of hip-hop. But instead of using this reflection as a spur to get in the studio and start making some proper music, rappers worldwide seemed to think “Fuck it – if he can get away with churning out piss-poor albums with no titles that people will only buy off the back of one classic LP from fifteen years ago, why can’t we?”

nas

Even Kelis got wise to her husband’s tactics and filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences (one still makes good music, one doesn’t) ending hip-hop’s second most high profile hitching. So it was left to Nas’ old sparring partner and Beyonce’s current squeeze to take the mantle of most over-hyped album of the year. Using the same template, Mr Hova dropped The Blueprint 3 – the imaginatively titled follow up to The Blueprint (good) and The Blueprint 2 (bad). Containing three awesome tracks – the Nas-Ethering Thankyou, Big Apple paean Empire State of Mind and Kanye-baiting Death of Autotune – the album was unfortunately let down by inconsistency. Chart hit Run This Town suffered from an awful vocal performance by nobody’s favourite nasally doormat Rihanna and the rest of the album was merely forgettable.

Anticipation-of-the-decade Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt II by Raekwon went down the same road. The Nic Cage of rap should have left production to the Rzarector instead of letting Busta stick his paws in and generally get in the way.

This could have been the year that Kanye made a comeback and ditched Autotune in favour of some Curtis Mayfield samples and a few punchlines but instead decided to remain the most unfashionable man in fashion, distancing himself further from heads by making little girls cry for fun. When the President of the USA himself calls you a jackass, you know you done fucked up.

There could be a late steal in the run-up to Christmas from old boys Rakim and Dr Dre. The former’s Seventh Seal LP is due to drop to a lukewarm reception in a couple of weeks, but the latter’s Detox album still looks like it could be beaten to the shelves by Saigon’s Greatest Hits.

Dope on a Rope is just happy that Q-Tip’s Kamaal the Abstract finally got a release this year.

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