Murder Of The Month October 2007

R.I.P…Hip Hop Journalism

First things first. We are not journalists, nor do we aspire to be journalists. We don’t want to “make a living” at being journalists. We didn’t go to school to be journalists, we didn’t work on our high school newspapers, we didn’t try to write fake reviews of albums when we were teens and we most certainly do not aspire to ever in our life to interview “hip hop” artists, CEOs, producers, DJs, or anyone for that matter. I’ve said this to numerous people since Rapmullet was started and “most” people get it. Me personally, I’m a mixtape head/hip hop fan with a great ear for music that happens to write about it. Sometimes it comes out good, sometimes it doesn’t…but that’s the Rapmullet way. We do what the fuck we want, the way we want and don’t apologize for it and most importantly don’t answer to anyone all while doing it for the love of mixtapes and hip hop.

With that said…where are today’s Hip Hop journalists? Where are those writers from the ’90s that made The Source what it was…the Hip Hop bible? Sold your soul for riches…maybe. How come those pioneering Hip Hop journalists didn’t usher in a new crop of writers the write (pun) way? One might say those “journalists” took on the lives of the very “artists” they were covering in these publications and neglected to bring the new crop of talent into the game properly. Sound familiar? Always wanting to maintain the spotlight while never letting those under-studies get more shine than the “boss” and quite possibly from ever becoming “the” boss. That’s the hip hop way people. Shit…that’s life. From big time MCs to big time Hip Hop “journalists”; if you want to consider them that. I don’t claim to know the inner workings of the hip hop journalistic industry and I don’t really care to know. But. And there is always a but; you have to know that shit is dead.

For those of you lucky enough to have come up with The Source from it’s inception until say ‘97-‘98 you know what I mean. We used to cop albums solely on how many MICs cats got. You hear people say that all the time but it’s the truth. You could identify with the writer in the review, feel what they heard and it made you want to hear the same shit. When’s the last time you read a review like that in any of these hip hop magazines or even online? When’s the last time you read an “article” about a artist written by a journalist and you actually learned something new, interesting, funny, sad, about that artist or that the journalist could actually convey through their words something you could identify with? It’s so rare these days you have a better chance of getting a hand job from a blind, midget porn star on the train ride home from work. There is no passion in peoples work today. It’s all formulaic…the same shit about the same artist over and over. Hard knock up bringing, gets big break, smokes weed in the studio and every other “artist” cliché’. (Yawns) Don’t even get me started on interviews. It’s like watching paint dry…anti-climatic to say the least. Here let me sum up all artist interviews….Journalist: “How’s the new album?”…..Artist: “It’s crazy”. There it is in a nutshell. (pause) No one has a “real” opinion anymore. They all play it safe so as not to piss people off. Gotta keep those connects straight right? The reason I read HHG’s interviews that 730 does is because he actually asks pertinent questions. He’s not scared and he gets to voice his opinion in his weekly column or whatever and no one artist, dj, producer or other jack ass is immune. That’s how it should be. Let the people know you are a real person that they can relate to. 730 isn’t a closet wanabe hip hop superstar trying to be “close” to “the game” on some fruit cake shit. Just an educated cat that digs writing digs hip hop and lets you know how he views it and tries to bring it to the people that way. That’s what this shit should be about.

Don’t put all the blame on the artist either. A good journalist should be able to bring out something in the person…good or bad and then be able to write about it in a way that captures the audience. You know how we always say that there are no more hip hop fans; they’re all trying to be hip hop stars? The same holds true for these writers. Stop trying to be cool with these artists, producers, djs, whoever and start writing about it properly. You’re a writer, not a groupie. Learn the difference. And most of you are more groupie than actual journalist, the truth hurts. Take some fucking chances. Stop worrying about “connects” and start trying to inspire something or someone. For gods sake try being creative.

Hip Hop journalism right now is a Jerry Springer, Montell Williams type of insulting “make my pages turn over on my blog” type of thing. Or it’s all about reporting so called news….Such and such artist went to court, is fucking this person, got their chained snatched ect ect and here look a picture of that person. Oh by the way here is a new song by “enter artist name here” for download. That’s hip hop journalism in 2007 folks. You know what? Rapmullet does some of that shit too. We’re not immune. Hell, you’re reading the Murder Of The Month for christ sake. The difference is in anything we write there’s truth to it and it’s an honest opinion…not just to make pages turn on some “mo’ clicks, mo’ clicks” type shit.

The bottom line for these so called journalists is to stop being a hip hop groupie and start inspiring the people with your words. Start telling the truth in this shit. If I, as an un-schooled and talent less writer, can inspire countless DJs and upcoming artist just think what someone who is an educated journalist has the potential to do.

Shout out to Brian over at HHG for doing what he does and shout out to all the Rapmullet readers who come back to the site everyday to read our reviews and columns. We don’t use pretty words or even proper sentences/grammar most times but you will always get the truth in a way you can relate to it…and that’s why we win. Journalists take notes….