Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Re: Time’s Up (Gregory L. Jackson, pp. 72-78)

Dear The Source:

I recently read your October 2006 (no. 203) issue. To paraphrase the popular hip-hop edict, “stop snitchin’, stop lyin’” some one should tell Lloyd Banks as well as his hip-hop bretheren – “stop bitchin’, stop lyin’. I take sincere umbrage to artists’ assertion that downloading is the ‘kryptonite’ to their ‘superman’ persona.

I love hip-hop, despite its chauvinistic attitude and peter pan syndrome. My first hip-hop tape was a bootleg N.W.A. (Straight Outta Compton) tape, which lasted longer than half of the tapes I bought from The Wall or Sam Goody. I have purchased some great tapes/CDs along this journey, as well as some not so great stuff. I have upgraded some tapes to CDs (NWA. 2Pac, etc.), and since 1999 I have downloaded some mediocre stuff. It started simply enough with trying to get copies of singles from some of my favorite tapes, which I felt didn’t warrant a full ‘repurchase’. As hip-hop drifted to a ‘single’ driven marketing scheme, I drifted more to downloading.

Here’s a simple concept for artist – make a lyrically cohesive album coupled with a sonically astute and smart production – and I (as well as other downloaders) will be apt to buy it. You will be able to remember this by the following shorthand – ‘concept album’. Dre did with Chronic, Nas did it with Illmatic, N.W.A. did it with Straight Outta Compton. To be honest downloading offers somethings that you just aren’t going to find in your local store, such as DangerMouse’s seminal Grey Album. And truth be told if it ever was ‘reissued’ as an album, I’d cop it.

Here is some food for thought Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy was the ‘must’ have download this summer yet they still went RIAA certified platinum. I actually purchased Lloyd’s first album, it was okay at best, if I lose the CD I ain’t mourning over it. If this album is more of the same, he’ll be lucky if he goes gold. Lloyd should step his game up, should man up and bring it, show and prove and any other any other oft used cliché.

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