Things have been happening in the hip hop world and the greater world. Let me catch you up.
First, let’s start on a sad note.
R.I.P. Stuart Scott
Stuart Scott passed away this morning after a 7-year battle with cancer. He was 49. Sure he wasn’t technically any sort of figure in hip hop, but he was hugely important for the culture as an anchor for Sportscenter. Also, a bunch of rappers responded to the news on twitter, including the man himself, Chuck D.
Before Stuart Scott, sportscasting and commentary (even on Sportscenter) was by a white audience, for a white audience. Then Stuart Scott came, and soon Sportscenter was as cool as the other side of the pillow. I grew up listening to him and thinking he was the coolest dude. Thanks to him, young black people (and to a lesser extent, Latino folks like myself) saw that you could be a successful journalist without whitewashing yourself. Rest in Peace my man.
In case you somehow haven’t heard yet, Kanye West has released a new song called Only One, featuring Paul McCartney on the keyboard. It definitely ain’t hip hop (but Kanye is, so I’m telling you about it), and it’s a lot closer to R&B. It’s in the voice of his deceased mother, who asks Kanye to tell Nori (North West) about him.
It’s a haunting track that fits Paul McCartney’s (supposedly) improvised keyboard backing. The melody also sounds a lot like a Beatles track, which I guess is no surprise considering who did it. Don’t come into it expecting anything like the rap you know from Kanye, but I think you’ll like it.
Hip Hop Album Sales Plummeting
Surprising probably no one, sales of hip hop albums are absolutely dropping, and none of 2014’s top 10 sellers were hip hop albums. There are a number of reasons for this, but mostly it comes down to folks just not buying hip hop albums. Come on y’all, we gotta do better.
Buy hip hop albums (even though you might say, but why buy music?). Support your favorite artists by buying their albums, it’s that easy. I mean, one of the reasons that trash, garbage artists like Macklemore and Iggy are doing well is because their listeners actually buy their albums! So if we buy hot albums, like Cadillactica and 2014 Forest Hills Drive, maybe this won’t happen in 2015 and hip hop will rebound stronger than ever. It’s up to us.