I can remember being at a taping for the Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam when the mighty Mos Def introduced KanYe West as the savior of Hip-Hop. I was a little offended at the time for Mos’ hyperbole being that I have seen several saviors come and go through rap. Rakim, Treach, Nas, B.I.G. all “brought it back” while simultaneously moving it forward. KanYe West brought it back, moved it sideways, took it off track and then put it in reverse[ll]. All these artists have contributed significantly to the musical aspect of Hip-Hop, but none of them are greater than the art. Why do the people that fux with rap have to constantly proclaim a new turntable Jesus?
I feel like excessive hyperbole is turning to Jay Electronica. I’m not saying that Jay isn’t nice on the mic and doesn’t deserve to be recognized as a skillful lyricist, but if I have learned one thing from the excessive hype that gets placed on people is that it kills them from being who they are meant to be. I remember how Grant Hill was supposed to be the next Air Jordan. You see how that turned out? Grant did get Fila to release that one pair of kicks that was really dope, but at the end of the day Grant Hill is to Micheal Jordan what Fila is to Nike. I’m not trying to say that Jay Electronica’s flow is like Grant Hill’s bad ankles either. I just want the internets to curb their enthusiasm for this dude’s album.
The internets are the earliest adopters. They knew that Drake was going to be a superstar back when he was still riding around in a wheelchair. They also helped make Ke$ha an overnight sensation. I want to gird against the bandwidth flavor of the week syndrome in Jay Elec’s situation. The internets has an insatiable appetite for new content. They eat it all up so voraciously that nothing gets digested properly. I don’t want Jay Elec to get beasted on by the hypes just because he’s a beast on the mic. I can’t think of a rap superstar that the internets have developed. Where not considering Lady Gaga as Hip-Hop are we? Okay, good. Drake isn’t really an internets project since he had shit bubbling on television already. Kid Cudi could become a superstar and he def came up through the ‘nets. However, Cudi’s music is still a little too dark and unorthodox to appeal to the masses.
Let’s face it, the internets has shown they can pick the winning horse, but they haven’t shown they can put their money down at post time. I’m not just talking about buying albums either, but the overall support that comes with an artist whose work you respect. The concerts, the merchandise and yeah, the album sales all add up. This is why music companies got their greedy hands all into an artist’s diverse streams of income. The music companies aren’t just happy recouping because that doesn’t pay for their expenses. The music companies want it ALL. And unless they are getting it all from an artist there is a chance we won’t hear or see all we want from that artist. So think seriously about all your hype for Jay Electronica and be prepared to officially represent when the time comes.
Otherwise y’all will just be further proof that hype kills.