Is this what it's come to?

On Monday, as I sat around unhappy about the lack of Basketball programming and REFUSING to weather the vuvuzelas in The World Cup, I was at the computer listening to something. Damned if I could remember what I was doing on the computer. That is neither here nor there, though.

I got a text from my friend Brian.

Brian: Did u dl the dead prez gangsta grillz

Me: Yeah, grabbed it when it leaked last Wednesday, I like it, but I don't love it or anything... I think they are wearing thin on me these days.

Brian: Yeah, I got it

Brian: I feel you but compared to drake and waka waka its the shit

Me: No cosign, I can't pretend something is "great" just because it doesn't suck as much as something else.

Brian: But ok music does seem better if the market if flooded with subpar bs. Its like that girl that's a 6 during the school yr that's an 8 during summer school...

That last message from Brian was at 22:34, I was not awake much longer on that night.
Been bedding early this week in anticipation -- or just tired from preparation -- for my birthday tomorrow.

I was prepared to make this post going in on the "well, at least it's not [this] or [that]" sentiment, but the school metaphor just might be the most profound thing Brian has ever said. Maybe he is off of the weed these days?
[Phlip note - probably not, though]
There was once a time where dead prez were a group you could look to in order to see the antithesis of "popular" artists, in that they did not look, speak or (ironically, given that they still exist 10 years later) SELL like popular hip hop acts. 300k sold of their first album could be seen as a bit of a coup for them and their self-righteous brand of hip hop, and the fact that they sold just 21k (yes, twenty-one, not two hundred ten) thousand of their next effort 4 years later speaks to that.
Through it all, they made their own lane and stayed in it effectively, doing what they do through live shows and (usually free) mixtapes. Apparently doing well enough to feed themselves and their kids, even if they DO look like they may have missed a meal or 20 down through the years.

And here is where I am bothered...
Using Brian's metaphor, we have been in Summer School for about 5 or so years now. We are treated -- and many line up to oblige -- as if we're supposed to coddle a 6 as if she was an 8, 7s become 10s now? What the fuck?!!?
I used to REALLY like dead prez a lot, when it felt like they were doing something about something, but now to me it seems more as if they're just "complaining for profit," so to speak. Yeah, the "Turn Off The Radio" thing early last decade was cool, as was the use of Orwell's Animal Farm, and constant soundbites from other things I had read/read about at the time of their first album. What happened, though, is that they just never talked about anything different, and it got old to me. At current, though, I am at the point where I appreciate them more for their old work (read: first album mostly) than anything they're doing nowadays.
What bothers me a great deal, though, is that the more things change the more they stay -- or as it were, "become" -- the same. Example? See here:
(skinny t-shirts, doo rags, and silly fucking shades worn indoors, this goes not to mention the mohawk seen on the album art for the current project)

I guess I am most bothered that my issue with hip hop at large, the crabs-in-a-barrel mentality where everything is the same, despite attempts to APPEAR not to be. I guess "revolutionaries" and "activists" need to blend in with the hipsters if they plan to eventually teach them anything, I guess?

Well, lady and gentleman, we can officially name this the end of the world when we have hipster-hop having infiltrated dead prez.

And no, I am not one to sit here and claim small victories like "well, it's better than what's on the radio," not when there is literally NOTHING good coming out these days. Perhaps if hip hop didn't make martyrs out of people who brought their demise on themselves (Tupac) or deify those who were only passingly talented and smashingly lucky to be in the right place at the right time (B.I.G.).

[Phlip note - there, I said it... Big Pun was a better rapper than the both of them]

Right, y'all's priorities are all fucked the fuck up these days. I really do hate that it was a conversation on dead prez that started this post in motion, as my distaste is not necessarily directed at them, beyond the feeling of their little "shtick" wearing thin on me. That is easy to deal with; just turn the shit off. But when the alternatives are that much worse?
I can't dig in the archives forever, people.
As I have stated time and again, I do not go into anything I listen to, even once, expecting to dislike it. If I EXPECT to dislike it, I act as if I already do and ignore it.
Ask me how many Soulja Boy albums I have ever listened to.

My problem begins at the particular point where all we have is crap being flung in from all angles and are expected to either pretend we like said shit, or act as if nothing is wrong as we witness those we USED to like as they digress, or just go nowhere in particular.
Here's to hoping the album will be better than the mixtape


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