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This is What I Bought?…This Is What I Bought?….This is What I….This Is What I…This is Me Vomiting April 7, 2007

Posted by doctorolove in Music, Pop Culture Rants.

No person on this oblongated spheroid on which we live has ever heard me utter the words, “I identify with hip-hop culture.” Yes, I drank Cristal once because the bar was out of PBR cans. Yes, I own several Notorious BIG albums, mostly purchased during my reckless “Fill out my CD collection days with that whole “10 cds for a Penny” thing.” My pants often fit way too well (Thanks 99 cent burritos!) And the only time I ever watched a TV in a moving vehicle was on a road trip with my family. And it was not Scarface, but rather the under appreciated “Lost City of Atlantis,” featuring Michael J Fox in his new role as voice over extraordinaire (The shaking adds gravitas to his voice.) Yet just because I don’t identify with the culture does not mean I don’t understand and see its’ merit as one of the most important music and art forms of the last century. It is a combination of self-expression, musical rebellion and street poetry and metaphor that rivals the folk rock movement for its ability to move an entire group of disaffected culture.

But though I may not identify with it, I do identify with pop culture and that major pop culture watershed moment where a medium just doesn’t care anymore. They’re phoning it in; they’ve sent the managers home and the interns are running the office. And while it is true that needs to happy every once in a while, the real problem lies when the under talented begin to outshine the talented. And even while people complain or say something, we still buy it. Heavy Metal had the hair bands.  Disco had Rick Dees. Rock and Roll had Leif Garrett. And now hip-hop, which despite all its’ detractors, still maintained an air of relevancy. Meaningful hip-hop, may I introduce you to your killer? His name is Mims.

The song “This is Why I’m Hot” is the first of what will now be many songs that will inevitably lead to the downfall of hip-hop. Why? Is it something he said? No, it’s because of precisely what he doesn’t say. Anything. Not a single meaningful word, phrase, catchy metaphor or even P. Diddy groan that lets you know the track has merit.

The song is a bravura track, which is a staple of hip-hop. I’m better than you and you’re worse than me at its simplest form. Yet, nobody ever came out and said that without some sort of metaphor. I mean, would you rather nod your head and quote “I get lots of women” or “I get more butt than ashtrays?” The song’s chorus is so simple that I am positive I wrote it in someone’s yearbook in fifth grade next to the heavy set girl with a penchant for Hello Kitty paraphernalia who wrote “2 cool + 2 be = 4gotten.” It goes, and please, please, please correct me if I’m wrong “This is why I’m hot….This is why you’re not.” And while there is more, my brain is too busy contemplating the depth and ferocity of such an amazingly powerful disrespect that I lost track of everything else.

Now lyrics alone do not a song make. You need a beat, a melody or a backing track (or in P. Diddy’s case, the entire “Best Guitar Licks of the 70’s” catalog). Sampling, once frowned upon, is now a completely acceptable way to provide music for your grandiose words. It gives people the chance to go, “Wait, where’s that one from? I know that.” But to sample a song that samples a song is well, scientifically impossible. It’s like the movie Multiplicity. A copy of a copy of a copy can boil down until you have a retarded Michael Keaton. And “This is Why I’m Hot” samples not a classic riff or contains a perfectly crafted beat (which if you believe the people at Coors Light is done in the back of airplanes with a single well placed spotlight on the Moog machine). It contains samples of Kanye West and Dr. Dre. So not only are the words nothing to write home about, the music is someone else’s who didn’t even own it to begin with.

But I’m not just here to complain about the song. I could take several albums I’ve e purchased from the back of sedans in front of Tower Records and write novels on their issued. But the reasons wouldn’t have merit. Because other than me and a few friends, nobody bought those albums. “This is Why I’m Hot” was the bygone Number one song in the COUNTRY! Meaning more than enough people thought, “Wow, that’s good…Let’s buy that and listen to that. And then tell our friends about it.” And it is because of this that I say Mims will be forever associated with the death of hip-hop as we know it.

For something to be successful and gain number one status, everybody needs to get into it. And if Mims’ song, despite its complete lack of lyrical prowess and musical merit, is as popular as it is, it only opens the door for others to follow in its trashy and underdeveloped footsteps. Hip-hop was for many the light at the end of the tunnel. If you lived a life of struggle and despair, your words could be your ticket out. But the only ones to achieve success were those who worked hard and displayed talent. This now may no longer be the case. And if anybody can string together a juvenile chant with somebody else’s music, soon there will be more. Oversaturation can kill a genre faster than anything. Just ask Disco Duck. He’s in the corner, parking cars.

Hip-hop is dead, claimed Nas. And he may have been right. Early, but right. Mims has made people believe they can succeed without talent and skill. And he has also made a whole group of people who may have no idea about hip-hop’s real purpose and it’s ideals.  With every spin of that record at a club, Hip Hop dies a little more each day. It means that soon it will become mass produced and no longer valid. We all may laugh at Vanilla Ice, but everybody had to have bought that album at least once. And he alone has made it impossible for a white hip hopper to be taken seriously again.

So while we can’t fix it, we must start preparing. Hey, Fitty, can you play the harmonica? Bluegrass is coming. It’s gonna be huge.



1. Darr - April 27, 2007


2. lia - August 13, 2007

i like this song because i like the singer

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