Dallas Penn: Don’t Believe The Hype…

13 years ago view-show 955,548


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.


  1. DP, you're right.. We'll see who buys his album.

    Don't forget, you can begin to support Jay Elec by copping his singles on iTunes. I did, both of 'em. I hope that other internet celebrities (!) and laypeople do the same.

  2. I don't think the praise he is getting is hype. He's been around since 2007 I think, so he has had a fan base. The music he has put out (as sporadic as it is) has been solid, so I believe he has earned that “hype.” What I've learned about the internet is internet folks love to be up on the newest and latest and keep it to themselves. Once that “secret” is out the bag internet folk want to push the old out the way for the new.

    I believe as long as the music is good and people actually support the product (CD/MP3, concert, merchandise sales) he'll be alright. However, if the “internets” praise him like Slaughterhouse and don't go out to support then he'll fail.

    Good drop.

  3. I dunno man. 3.5 years ago this cat was a photographer for Okayplayer. Then he's Badu's new lick in a long line of rap licks (no shots–I love Badu) if you know what I mean. Dude has lyrical flow but the hype is through the roof. I mean his album would literally have to be a masterpiece to live up to all this hype. I think thats why Drake actually released that EP, just to let things cool down a bit.
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  4. nice post! funny cuz i just listened to exibit c today for the 1st time and actually read about the song being so awesome (and it is) and saw that every rapper and there mom did a remix, upon listen its nice. its better than any new artist shit beside kudi. i knew he did a beat 4 nas. but i felt the over hype killed it cuz i expected almost 2 much.

  5. Spoken well DP I download every album possible but we do need to buy more my theory is this after I listen if its dope I will buy it out the store if its wack fuck it. Certain artists to me cuz of quality get the auto $10 Hov, TIP, Jeezy, GFK, Clipse, Cam. But if niggas went as hard on their albums as their mixtapes people wouldnt be so scarred to buy albums

  6. dis is bs, why type all of this when nobody feels like readin about some clown ramble on about “hip-hop” fuck hip hop, if u dont like the current state of it then maybe u should try to change instead of dependin on some trash rapper to change it

  7. Yes sir, hype can be deadly! Everybody was all over Drake as if he was the next Rakim. When I finally heard a few of his tracks, I was very disappointed. As Public Enemy said “Don't Believe the Hype”

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