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Thread: Underground is Dead.

  1. #1
    Junior Member Demon9ne's Avatar
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    Underground is Dead.

    Disclaimer

    The following thread contains elitest notions and opinions on independent rap music in 2009, which you may or may not agree with, and could be considered offensive. If you've arrived in this thread because you need a new place to trash-talk, you're in the wrong place, because most everything I'm about to say is both relative and/or theoretical. But fear not -- if you go talk shit to your parents, you are likely to get loads of immediate attention at home.


    Every independent rap artist that's ever recorded a song now claims to be "underground". These artists not only have their own websites, but are also promoting themselves using YouTube, FaceBook, or MySpace, the latter of which has over 100 million user accounts created.

    To give you some idea of how big that number is: about 100 million seconds ago, it was 2006.

    But the hell with millions. Let's talk about billions of dollars! We all hate MTV (owned by Viacom; hold that thought) for being mainstream and we hate the radio for the same reason. But should we? Shouldn't we hate MySpace more? Myspace is owned by Fox, which is owned by News Corp, which churned out about 28.66 billion-fucking-dollars in 2007, while Viacom clocked in at 13.42 billion. Around half. Let me that sum that up real quick, in order of lameness:

    1. Myspace (News Corp, 28.66 billion)
    2. MTV (Viacom, 13.42 billion)
    3. Local radio (Poor?)

    You're probably thinking: how does this apply to independent music? Remember hearing those lyrics that went "Fuck MTV" or "Fuck the radio" or "We're deep underground." Fuck those lyrics. Your fans will decide what you are and what you will become. Especially if you start putting out stale beats and weak flows.

    I realized recently that one reason I really look up to Tech as an artist is for what he's NOT saying. Tech's lyrics are self-aware and stereotypes ("I'm so [whatever]") are mostly avoided. Take the track 'Come Gangsta', for instance. In this song, Tech isn't saying "I'm so gangsta". In this song Tech is saying to his rivals, "If this is what gangsta is, I'm miles ahead of you." And he's right. Tech raps about his life: his struggles, his family, his passions, etc. and he let's his audience (us) decide what to make of it. Tech's music bangs without jocking popular culture. He's 'constantly giving us elite shit'... but only some of us get it. When Tech says "Fuck The Industry", I interpret that to mean something along the lines of 'fuck the institutionalization of rap music'. It means 'out with the old and in with the new' and it means that if you hear a Tech song playing in a club some day, you're shouldn't question it's mainstreamness; you should just thank god it's not that same played-out Lil Wayne song again. (The one you heard in the club's parking lot, before even getting out of your car.) Tech N9ne, to me, is the exemplar of independent rap. There are some artists out there who need to pay attention and learn a thing or two. I'd love to mention them here, but I'd rather see them disappear altogether.

    The moral of the story is this:

    An artist approaching you with a CD for sale in a subway -- that's underground, but you're likely to reach for a concealed weapon. This just isn't reality anymore. Welcome to the information age.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum: an artist posting six MySpace bulletins every day -- if that's "underground", I want to be "mainstream" again.

  2. #2
    Senior Member LTB's Avatar
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    I like this.... its an interesting take on the whole underground thing....nice work...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Michael51's Avatar
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    i agree. thats pretty tight.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheReaLTB
    I like this.... its an interesting take on the whole underground thing....nice work...

  4. #4
    I guess indie would be a better term than underground but at the same time what seperates the mainstream material and the underground would be the obvious you stated.Being a mainstream artist comes with a hell of a lot more politics i.e. money stipulations ,limitations and of course all that is seeded in radio play and marketing.I wouldnt say underground is dead but just like hiphop today along with the way we acquire our information it has evolved.In this day and age its all bout marketing and work ethic.No longer can an artist be accepted just because of thier skills. The market's just too damn saturated.Now a days u need a gimmick or a marketing ploy.Back in the day there wasnt a fraction of the material we have today.But now the owners of all these major label's ,record companies and distribution giants get to pick and choose from countless amounts of artists and sounds.When they find one in particular that they feel is marketable the exploit the fuck out of it till there is no more water in the well so to speak.Without any kind of major promoter in your corner and artist is forced to either sit on his or her hands or evolve and become innovative.Prime example of this would be crooked i with his "hiphop weekly" frees joe budden, teaming up with amalgum digital and also hosting his own makeshift reality tv series"joe budden tv" and of course tech n9ne with his bonus material,samplers and his machine like work ethic.But what seperates these artists from ppl like lil wayne ,kanye ,and fabulous is the fact that they dont get any radio play,they arent signed to a major label and they dont have anyone over thier shoulder overseeing the product that they put out.Thats just a couple of major differences when it comes to the ppl i just mentioned.So as far as the dynamics go then yes the underground has changed and become more accessible. But the fine line between mainstream and underground still stands to this day.I also think that tech is on the threshold and has the potential to officially change the face of the entire mainstream/underground blueprint as we know it.

    oh yeah nice work on the blog its about time someone talked about something other than the color of tech's boxers

  5. #5
    Senior Member The Chef's Avatar
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    best post ever put up..real talk right here

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mercedes's Avatar
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    nice,i like this.i also agree duke.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LTB's Avatar
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    I like this thread cuz it actually says something very very signficant and is intellegent...nice post

  8. #8
    Senior Member Neville's Avatar
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    this is interesting and very thought out good job

  9. #9
    i agree with what is being said. but u have got understand nothing ever stay the same. dont get me wrong i hate having a myspace to per mote my music. but with alot of the shows that happen in this area they need u to have a myspace which suxs. i rather do it the old fashion way. that like the other day we went to philly with flyer and demo pressed up to pass out to people and someone was using are demo as a frisbee and throw r flyers one the floor. cuz no one understands what it is to be underground ne more.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Demon9ne's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement/compliments from all of you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelance Assassins
    i agree with what is being said. but u have got understand nothing ever stay the same. dont get me wrong i hate having a myspace to per mote my music. but with alot of the shows that happen in this area they need u to have a myspace which suxs. i rather do it the old fashion way. that like the other day we went to philly with flyer and demo pressed up to pass out to people and someone was using are demo as a frisbee and throw r flyers one the floor. cuz no one understands what it is to be underground ne more.
    I hear you. A MySpace profile is both free and necessary. I've been trying to think of a couple clarifications to add, because this is kind of a sad but true issue. But the fact remains that you if you're promoting with MySpace and then dissing MTV and radio, it's very hypocritical unless you're talking costs. (MTV and radio want to suck you dry up-front. Money first, promotion second.) And there is a big difference between having a MySpace that exists for those who are looking for you versus having a MySpace to spam mails/bulletins/comments from. Spamming on MySpace is the fastest way to look both desperate and untalented.

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