February 12, 2013

HHID's State Of The Union, or A Weird Way To Celebrate Six Years Of Posts



Today marks the six-year anniversary of HHID, which is approximately five years more than most hip hop blogs started around the same time.  But instead of being self-congratulatory for tackling on a project that will take me forever to finish, allow me to step onto my soapbox for a bit.



It can be very tiring writing for a site such as this one.  There are hundreds of different albums on here that I've written about, and as you should know by now, my process involves me sitting through every single track on any given project.  As you can imagine, that can grow incredibly tiresome, especially when limiting yourself to a single musical genre.  Thanks to my sadistic nature in having started this site in the first place, I find myself getting very fucking bored of rap music very easily.

Some of this is my own fault.  Nobody asked me to write track-by-track reviews of albums that came out decades ago: it was something I wanted to see done on a more regular basis, so I decided to make it happen myself.  But listening to music simply to write about it takes its toll, which is what caused the majority of my long hiatuses: it's important to take sanity breaks every now and then, so that I don't just give up and throw this blog against a wall or something.  The readers don't see this, because to them I'm merely just some dude writing about music, but most of the time you listen to music to derive some sort of pleasure or enjoyment out of it, and I've made the conscious choice to listen to music as a sort-of job.  A job that doesn't pay very well, mind you (but I'll get to that later).

However, I place most of the blame on hip hop itself.  The music industry has bastardized our chosen art form, raping and pillaging until it became virtually unrecognizable.  It's easy to write that, back in the day, the music actually consisted of a message, but that's obvious, and that's not even my point.  But back in the day, it was a given that most rap albums on store shelves were written and performed by professionals, even if you didn't specifically care for their work: in order for a struggling artist to land a record deal, they had to perform, and perform, and perform some more, typically for fans, label executives, radio show producers, hell, anyone who had some sort of clout.  And then you had to perform some more, because record labels only signed the best of the best.  

Obviously, this changed long before I started the site in 2007.  The advent of the Internet, the ease at recording music at home instead of using up studio time, the instant gratification one gets by releasing something online and receiving an immediate reaction, and, yes, the rampant pirating and illegal downloading of music have all changed hip hop (well, all music, but we're focusing on hip hop because, well, it's in the name of the blog).  These days absolutely any-fucking-body can release a song, a video, a mixtape, or an actual album, and the heightened level of competition should have resulted in artists fighting for spots within your eyeline, constantly one-upping the next man in an attempt at winning your fandom.  Instead, though, hip hop has turned to fucking shit.  New rappers spring up every couple of minutes, but nobody really has anything to say: everyone's content riding current trends and recording songs that sound like everyone else's songs, and that also applies to multiplatinum artists on the radio today.  Everyone's afraid to take actual chances, and this blase attitude toward the art form has trickled up into the veterans of the game, all of whom are still vying for relevancy in a music industry that has frequently shoved their collective middle fingers in their faces.

Hence, rap is boring to listen to.

Obviously, I'm not talking about all rap.  But this is the reason why I primarily focus on older albums, choosing to grade artists on their respective bodies of work rather than comparing them to one another.  (It makes me laugh every time someone comments that I love (insert album title here) but that I didn't care for Gang Starr's Hard To Earn or something similar: do you compare a Seth McFarlane cartoon to The Simpsons just because they're both of the same visual medium and appear on the same channel?  Do you compare friends to one another because they're all human beings?  I should certainly hope not.)  Newer artists that catch my ear have a better shot at appearing on HHID because I find something that I may actually like, such as interesting production, or a turn of the phrase that I found intriguing.  But most new rappers bore me.  Most of the shit played on the radio today is heard by me only in five-to-ten-second spurts while I'm flipping around when Sirius XM's First Wave is playing yet another song from the fucking Police.  

My complaints aren't new, and they don't apply in every case.  Contrary to popular belief, I don't need all of my favorite songs to actually "say" something: I love tons of shit that looks silly as fuck when written down.  (See: all of the New Wave I keep talking about.)  For me, music is as good as the feeling that it manages to evoke, whether it be with the lyrics, the production, or a combination of both.  (And yes, I still believe that production is just as important as the lyrics, because without the music, every fucking rap song would be an acapella, and that would be silly.)  Not every artist is terrible: in fact, there are many who are actively trying to make the art form better than the way they found it.  But there are too many rappers out in the world, and not enough of them are contributing to the genre in a positive manner.

Short of demanding that every single artist either prove their worth in a battle to the death, I'd simply be happy if there were more actual good songs in 2013 than there were last year.  I'd like for the artists that I actually enjoy hearing to exercise quality control in their work, and to not just release every single thought that spills out of their respective pieholes.  I'd like more of the younger artists to show respect to not just their elders, but to the audience in general: too many songs these days are dripping with contempt, where the rappers in question laugh all the way to the bank while the listener is forced to scoop their now-dead brain cells up from off the ground.  I'd like more of the older artists to shut the fuck up and just continue making music because they love to create art and not because they have child support payments and third mortgages to cover; if that's really the motivation behind your latest project filled wall-to-wall with attempts to recapture your youth instead of growing older and wiser with your life experiences, then perhaps you should look for a different line of work. (I'd also like older artists to not do stupid shit, such as, oh, sue newer artists for tens of millions of dollars for borrowing a beat for a project that the younger artists wasn't even paid for.  Lord Finesse, I'm looking in your direction.)

But enough of my unreasonable demands upon a musical genre that won't listen to me and will evolve well beyond me in about twenty minutes.  What I can control is this site, which has enjoyed a steady readership and has grown into something that I enjoy doing, even if some of my words above may prove otherwise.  What follows is a relatively short list of requests that I humbly make to the two readers.

(1)  I originally created HHID to not just write about albums that I love (and hate), but to encourage active discussion between readers about said albums.  That said, I've noticed that some of the albums I've written about have generated more user comments than others.  I'd like there to be more comments and interaction, if only because I want to take a more active role in the interaction, as well.

(2) I've mentioned a whole shitload of times that there are multiple Amazon links within each post.  Purchasing something by clicking on one of these links, even if it isn't what is actually being linked, helps the site indirectly by putting a (really fucking) small amount of money in my pocket, which, in turn, can be used to either purchase more albums or to encourage me to write more.  So, more of that, please.

(3) Something I'm trying to get better at is running Reader Reviews during the occasional hiatuses, in order to keep the audience interested while I'm recuperating.  As always, I'm still on the lookout for more contributions; as always, if you're interested, write to me first at max (dot) hiphopisntdead (at) gmail (dot) com.  Unsolicited contributions will not be used from this point forward; you have to submit ideas to me so that I can ensure no duplication of efforts.  If you've contributed Reader Reviews in the past that still haven't seen the light of day, look for a message from me in your inbox soon.

(4) Please understand that not every request will be honored.  For one, I don't own every single album in creation, and besides, I'm in the middle of a project that finds me attempting to complete writing about the complete bodies of work of many of the artists in the sidebar (but not every single one, mind you), and that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for newer names to be thrown in the mix.  I'm not shutting out new artists at all, but I have to be at least remotely interested to consider new names; as such, I plan on using the Reader Reviews as an outlet for the newer acts to have a presence on the site.  So if you're not seeing the artists you would like to see, perhaps you should actively do something about it.

A sincere thank you to the readers for continuing to follow the site, even through its sporadic updates  and the general apathetic nature of its main author.  I will be trying to update much more frequently, but anything you guys can do to help me out would be greatly appreciated.

End of rambling.  I'll be back in a bit.

-Max

86 comments:

  1. Max: your site is awesome; your dedication to your site is awesome; your work ethic towards this site is awesome; I'm pretty sure you're awesome, but that's knowledge privy only to yourself and your loved ones.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for HHID. If this was a just world you'd make mucho dinero from it. When I purchase music I buy from iTunes because I can use gift cards and we're trying to pay DOWN our credit card - but I'll see about buying an Amazon gift card or two and put a tiny bit of $ in your pocket.

    Take care.... and thanks again.

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    1. You don't have to do it, but it would be cool if you did.

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  2. I've also become sorta tired with rap lately. I've been listening to nothing but rock (classic and modern) for the past 3-4 months. It's actually the only genre that doesn't frustrate me at the moment.

    I agree with you that most new rap has become a steaming mass of homogenized whale shit. Nothing is outstanding and nothing is remarkable. It's a tired genre. Sigh.

    And yes, it is insulting to my intelligence when rappers constantly brag and boast about how they're rich, about how they fuck bitches, about how they drink shit out of styrofoam cups, etc. Is this all you have to say right now? Could your music be any more substance-less?
    That type of braggadocio used to endearing in some sort of absurd and ridiculous way, but now it has become disgusting. At least artists used to sprinkle a bit of intelligence in their music to try and balance out the ignorance.
    It seems like new artists are trying way too hard to emulate their idols, and by overcompensating so fucking much, they end up sounding like bastardized, reckless clones.

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  3. Congratulations Max, you blog is now old enough to pick up a book and fluently read it.

    Honestly, you've grown with the blog. Most of the reviews from back in the day were terrible, I'm sorry. I look at your Illmatic review (and several others you wrote at that time) and think it's blasphemy how you could write so little on such masterpieces. But you've definitely improved in terms of word count, and we all have appreciated this. So in the end I'm happy.

    I'm definitely looking forward to your seventh year of ranting. Thanks again Max!

    Protons.Electrons.Always.Cause.Explosions.

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    1. No need to be sorry. The earlier reviews are short, broad, and sometimes fairly silly, which amused me at the time, but not so much now. Yes, Illmatic would have probably benefited from me waiting until now to write about it, but I don't think I would have been able to wait this long to write about that classic album.

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  4. Hey Max,
    Really appreciate the effort and time you spent to build this website. I agree that most rap these days is boring. Listening to the radio makes me feel like I'm killing brain cells.
    There are some groups that are good, though and put out quality music. I noticed you haven't reviewed any Blue Scholars. I'd suggest you check them out, particularly their first album. All of their albums are unique.

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    1. I'll try to look them up separately from the site, as I still want to listen to music for enjoyment, too.

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    2. YES AND THANK YOU ANONYMOUS, i would like to say I def second emotion anonymous and i recommend SOUTHSIDE REVIVAL- BLUE SCHOLARS.

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  5. Well, you could have a stab at cross-genre appeal and start going into different genres.

    I for one would definitely like to know just what's good in New Wave.

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    1. My wife says the same thing, but I don't want to write a future post about how I find New Wave boring.

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  6. Also if it still is something you'd like to see done more often by others than yourself.
    http://digginginthacrates.wordpress.com/
    I don't do track by tracks, and I do not restrict myself to hip-hop, but in stead I offer links to youtube videos and links to record labels that no longer exist :D

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    1. I'm going to check out your blog when I have time. Thanks for posting the link!

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    2. "I get ahhs and ooohs not boos because I'm real cool, fucking with Finesse is the wrong career move."

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    3. I liked the "record labels that no longer exist" thing. Not sure why, but it stuck with me.

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  7. djbosscrewwreckaFebruary 12, 2013

    Good post. Interesting to read the reasons you gave for hip hop being shit nowadays. Basically, I agree with you, and a big one is definitely the fact that artists don’t really have to pay dues resulting in watered down product. I’d like to add something else. You commented that because there are so many artists out there you would expect these artists to be fighting even harder to be the best. This sounds logical, but the fact that there are so many artists actually means that the general level of hip hop product is lowered in quality, and so people don’t have to try hard to be the best – the audience don’t expect quality. As well, I think one important factor you missed is the typical hip hop audience. Older fans (such as you and me) who make these kind of complaints need to remember two things. First, the style of hip hop we enjoy has been done well and will probably never be bettered (eg: Illmatic will soon be 20 years old). I’m looking for a buzz I can’t get, and my favourite artists are mostly past their prime. Part of the reason I don’t like newer artists is objective - lyrically they’re weak. But part of it is subjective and just age – I’m not into newer production styles. Secondly, our kind of demographic isn’t the one influencing sales, so the stuff I like has a lower profile. Younger fans who don’t have our frame of reference and so don’t have our complaints influence hip hop more. If artists making lyrical, quality controlled, non-superficial music made money the business would be promoting them instead. The majority of the blame lies with fans who, for whatever reason (patience, intelligence, taste), support this shit.

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  8. I been reading this blog for 2yrs now but I gotta say this so hopefully you approve the message... but its 2 types of HipHop fans,the ones who listen to it because they love it and the ones who listens to it because its a "cool" thing to do. I don't honestly don't see how people can get bored with it and not wanna listen to it anymore, that just makes no sense..if you have that mentality then its obvious you wasn't a real fan of this shit from the jump.People always blame the rappers but never blame the labels, its a new era the internet era to be exact so shit anybody can get signed from making bullshit music it is what it is. Like I always say there is no such thing as "Real HipHop" and it never will be, elitist are the only ones who use that phrase to be honest. I watch so many interviews and plenty of artist said the label wouldn't approve their songs that was positive or have have messages in it. Lets not pretend some of these artisdt that get labeled as real hip hop were called sellouts in the 90s, from Nas to Jay even Krs. But people always ignore that, whats really the difference between the contenet now that the 90s? I could post plenty of wack shit from the 90s as well and I grew up in that era. You dont have to fuck with the new shit but dont act like a lot of good shit didn't drop last ear especially on the underground scene like Sean P, Roc Mar and others. Shit changes but the true fans of this shit will never turn their back on the culture!If you dont like the new shit then listen to the throwback but I think its wack when people try to shit on our culture. Im starting my blog soon and addressing all this shit, but this was only a little taste.

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    1. Do it for six years consistently and tell me that you wouldn't be a little tired of it. Not addressing all of the shit you wrote above, but listening to literally hundreds of albums straight through and writing about every. Single. Track. There's a marked difference between listening to music for fun and for work. And for the record, if I only listened to this to seem "cool", then wouldn't I have gotten bored of doing this shit long ago?

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    2. @Anonymous: so are you saying that the true hip-hop fan will never listen to anything but hip-hop and to listen to other forms of music equals "shitting on your culture"? Take it from me: born in 75 and playing basketball in 84 listening to Run DMC, LL, Fat Boys, etc. So what if I'm talking California and mostly white and Hispanic kids in my neighborhood wearing out our cassette tapes playing "I'm Bad" by LL over and over? I'm of that generation and it's my culture too. And when current hip-hop doesn't speak to me or for me I reserve the right to listen to whatever I want: older rap or some heavy Led Zeppelin or Sabbath.

      So I hope I misunderstood your post. And if I'm spot on in my interpretation of your paragraph: fuck you.

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    3. @Max
      I see how you feel cause the shit does take a toll, especially track by track reviews, thats why I stopped doing them. I'm gonna quote a few things you said that stood out the most.

      "rap is boring to listen to" You lost me with this quote, its like a million albums and mixtapes out fam, how could you be bored when you never gave them a chance?. Action Bronson and alc, Joey Badass, Asap Rocky, Brother Lynch Hung, Rass Kass, Joe Budden, J Cole, Brother Ali and plenty others dropped projects recently and late last yr but you haven't reviewed them.

      "I place most of the blame on hip hop itself" Thats not fair, everybody from the labels (execs), to the fans,to the radio to the artist themselves should get the blame. why are underground artist not
      selling that much? Who deserves the blame for that?

      "I've made the conscious choice to listen to music as a sort-of job." Thats the reason you fed up with it because your not listening for fun.

      Basically what im saying is that if you really love hiphop like you say, then you wouldn't shit on so much
      Thats all I wanted to say, keep doing ya thing fam! Congrats on 6yrs. Peace

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    4. @Tile Grout
      You totally misunderstood my post.. When I say our culture Im speaking from a hiphop fan standpoint. HipHop is a culture and anybody that says different is fooled. Any race can be apart of the culture. I said the people who always stop listening to Hip hop "completely" was never a true fan of the shit. Damn near every fan of rap listens to other genres so you took my comment out of context. Alof of this current shit is wack but at the same time its good shit out there as well.

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    5. @Max - Lol turn off your hot97 & start listening hiphop then, it's not that hard to find if you know where to look, I hate it when old folks shit on this generations music by listening the the radio & nothing else, fuck outta here with that bs, that's like me saying everything that came out in the 80/90s was crap because of stuff like Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Dana Dane, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch etc on the radio?

      @Tile Grout You claim to be from the 80's yet you call Led Zep "heavy"? They're blues/hard rock ffs.

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    6. I disagree: it's because I love hip hop so much that it disappoints me so greatly, and I'm nothing if not honest about my feelings throughout these write-ups, whether my opinions are positive or negative. There's so much potential in the art form even at this point within its evolution, and yet there are so few artists that explore any of it. You're always harder on the ones you love. I don't particularly care for polka or death metal, but that's why I don't WRITE about polka or death metal.

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    7. @Anonymous... Heavy is a state of mind! Led Zeppelin is heavy blues. I think Black Sabbath's Master of Reality is the heaviest album ever made, followed closely by Method Man's Tical. Swollen Member's Daggermouth is a newer hip-hop album that's heavy. Sage Frances album with that "Call me Francois" song. The Witch Doctor's nineties album produced by Organized Noise. The new Killer Mike album. There are many others that I could name, past and more current. Wo Fat carries the modern heavy blues metal torch.

      I did laugh at your Marky Mark and MC Hammer point. There's truth there: every era has its share of wackness.... I hope that you submit reader reviews here and at your upcoming blog to highlight good new artists.

      I will add that I've never found it useful to question why someone becomes burned out on something. Its likely a personal thing that you won't be able to affect one way or another...

      And I'll lastly add an apology for taking your post wrong. I'm glad you listen to many genres of music and that you don't view that as a betrayal. That was an unfortunate side of some otherwise excellent rap music in the nineties - an exclusively Afrocentric, exclusively pure hip-hop outlook that turned me off and, in my opinion, stifled creativity in the long term.

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    8. @ the first Anonymous, good fucking post bro! Its funny how nobody could deny the truth in your post. Everything you said was spot on. Its a whole new era and people need to realize this.

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  9. First off Max, your blog kicks ass. I hold your opinion MUCH higher than those "professional" reviewers out there, because you're an actual person, and you care about this thing we call hip hop. I'll also say that you have affected the way i listen to music, as my standards have risen since i found your blog. No more do i allow listenable tracks into my ipod, the shits actually gotta be good. As far as the site taking a toll on you, i won't say i understand, (because i'm pretty sure i haven't been running a blog for six years) but i will say that your reviews are worth the wait. And before i go, let me say that it is the people's fault as well for the state of hip hop at the moment, for we have to support the artists we like. (I know you purchase albums Max, and i would like to think all your readers do too) It's all fun and dandy to say "Atmosphere is good hip hop, not Lil Wayne" but if you're not actually BUYING Atmosphere's album and just downloading it, then you're not helping the situation at all. Anyway, Max you're awesome, and here's hoping the comments section will forever be as crazy as the All Eyez On Me comments section was.

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    1. To some it may be fun to say that Atmosphere is good hip hop and Lil Wayne is not. But it's bullshit of course. The true connaisseur and true fan of hip hop will say: Some Atmosphere is good hip hop and most Atmosphere is not. Some Lil Wayne is good hip hop and most of the other Lil Wayne shit is not.

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    2. It's all fun and dandy to say "Atmosphere is good hip hop, not Lil Wayne" but if you're not actually BUYING Atmosphere's album and just downloading it, then you're not helping the situation at all- That statement is so damn true!

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    3. @ A Funky Diabetic - Glad I was able to be of assistance. I'm okay with people buying stuff from artists they enjoy and wish to support; I just wish said artists were, I don't know, better?

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  10. Best. Blog. Ever.

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    1. Awesome hip hop bloggers commenting on each other's posts. Cute! ;)

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    2. @ Werner - Thank you, sir!

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  12. Agree completely with your observations, Max. It was just those observations that led me circuitously to your site a few years ago (I was looking for a review of Daily Operation or something).

    Anyway, once I got here I was hooked, and in fact you brought back all of the memories of what I loved so much about hip-hop once upon a time, and I started to revisit the golden oldies of my youth as well as the forgotten gems I'd thrown out with the bathwater of contemporary hip-hop.

    Your efforts are much appreciated by your "two readers."

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    1. Glad I could be of assistance.

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  13. We still love you, Max. Also out of curiosity, what stuff outside of hip-hop are you listening to currently?

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    1. I listen to a little bit of everything, aside from polka and death metal, which I mentioned above. Hip hop merely gets the majority of my writing voice, at least when I'm not actively trying to write other stuff short stories, screenplays, etc.).

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  14. Loving the site, don't often comment but you do keep me 'busy' at work.

    Couple of questions about buying through the links:

    1. I'm from the UK so usually will order through the Amazon.co.uk. If I go on and switch to the UK site and buy something will you still get credit?

    2. Do you get credit for Amazon new & used sales? Sometimes this is the only way to legally get hold of an obscure album, and usually fairly cheaply.

    3. Does it work on MP3 purchases? I don't have space any more to buy 100s of CDs rip them to my iTunes then pile them up on shelves so I often buy through them.

    If I can help keep this site going in any small way, I'm happy to click through Amazon whenever I buy anything!

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. The answers to 2 and 3 are "yes", but I'm not sure if being in the UK would prevent your purchases from counting. I'd have to look into that.

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  15. Being a 15 year old, I can't thank you enough for opening my mind to hip-hop. I've discovered some of my favorite artists and groups from HHID. Thanks man, your work is greatly appreciated

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  16. ...you know the way I flip the hoobajoob. Stickball fill more baseball diamonds than juicy fruit. A heated argument turned to a tea party, when I got my hand caught in the cookie jar and couldn't manage a backspin - I'm a cactus plant in a snowy avalanche. I make it hot more times than POW POW doin' the hammer dance. Kid snookie ookie with a snag snaggle tooth, I book bookie time to do this shit in a vocal booth. Hit by a meteor in a summer thumper jumper, I ring-ring the telephone and dial up wrong phone numbers. The kid's been fresh since fruit hit the market, since the first time I bought an LP by Alan Parsons. Because you do the sock hop,I do the drop drop, I make the rock rock, you make the rock rock, I shock the shock shock, you mock the crock pot, I do the doo doo, you do the do not. And the greatest show on Earth makes kids do the shoop-a-loop, better than the airplanes in Dreamflight doin' loop-de-loops, I'm chargin' my lasers - black bastard like shoop-da-woop, save the SHH SHH SHH for the hush of your goofy troop.

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  17. Don't blame you for getting tired with the genre because honestly I have too. I listen too much more rock than I did 3 or 4 years ago. Like Pras said "too many MC's not enough mics."

    Honestly at this point the only current rappers that really interest me are J. Cole, Kendrick, Earl Sweatshirt (I have faith this guy can be great), Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Hopsin, and XV. If I do spend time listening to hip hop it's usually 90's stuff.

    With that being said thank you for this blog. It's very entertaining to read and has opened my eyes to some great hip hop. Hopefully you're able to review some albums that actually interest you in the future to keep you from becoming more burnt out.

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  18. Y'all just need to listen to more Madlib- and Dilla-related stuff.

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  19. this post reminds me of kool keith's "goodbye rap".. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xFAkQtvk-Q

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    1. Yeah, but I'm noy going anywhere. Yet.

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  20. I can imagine how tedious this style of review-writing can get. Kudos for keeping it up for so long, and for coming back after those breaks. I've been doing some hip-hop blogging lately at slayniggas.tumblr.com, but I'll be starting a better site with a top-level domain soon. Once I do I'll get at you about submitting some of my reviews.

    I have the same frustration you have with new hip-hop. I know good shit is out there but it's hard to find since I'm always strapped for time. But I've learned to side-step that frustration a bit by skipping everything that bores or annoys me. No more listening to the rest of an album when the first 3 tracks were trash.

    You're pretty spot-on with why hip-hop sucks now. But I think one other fundamental reason is that what we like just isn't in style anymore. It makes sense that this is the case, because we're anywhere from 5-35 years older than the market that everyone targets.

    The issue I see is that there aren't enough music discovery avenues that cater to my taste. The good music is buried by noise. To the extent that this site reviews new music, it's definitely one of those good avenues. And the reviews of old music are cool too because they may show me an album I missed the first time around.

    While I'm talking about your blog, let me give you some praise for being (sometimes brutally) honest in your criticism. Too many sites are just rubber-stamps that don't provide any real opinions.

    Keep up the good work!

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  21. Derek ClaptonFebruary 14, 2013

    Praise be to Max for slaving through the shit so we don't have to (but often do anyway)!

    Here's to six more.

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    1. I'm hoping it doesn't take six more years to finish my ongoing project, but we'll see where this goes.

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  22. Hear hear. Congrats, and keep up the good work.

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  23. So let me get this straight: you don't really want to add new names to your project because you want to complete the discographies of the rappers you've already been discussing for a while now, and then your recent posts consist of bullshit rappers that absolutely NOBODY cares about like Jamal?

    Makes sense.

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    1. It's still my blog, so I reserve the right to deviate from the ongoing project at any point, especially if I believe something will either draw comments (such as Jamal, who had been heavily requested and only has one album out anyway, so he doesn't really impact the project) or page hits (such as Earl Sweatshirt), because this is still a website that needs traffic, after all. I don't plan on doing it much, but I guarantee it'll still happen.

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  24. It is amazing to see how much this site has grown both in terms of readership and content. Your style has improved immensely, and since you always claim that this is about the writing more than anything you should specifically be proud of that aspect. The first review I read of yours was Mobb Deep's Infamy which had that hilarious screenplay intro. It is good to see your screenwriting skills have adapted to another medium so well. I may send a fourth reader review soon.

    - Mike

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad that there are still readers that appreciate the outright silly stuff on here. I really have to get back to that at some point.

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  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtHb0ALkFzo

    Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - "The Rise of the Ghostface Killah"

    And all faith is restored.

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    1. I second this. Sounds like RZA's strings.. nasty

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    2. Promising, but I'm still taking a wait-and-see approach

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  26. Love the blog and have been reading for the last few years. As someone who I think is around your same age bracket, I agree with you on today's rap. There is very little to get excited about - although I am holding out hope for the Czarface album. I have found myself going back and finding releases from back in the early to mid 90s that I missed. Because you know back then we actually had to buy physical albums to listen to and there were only so many CDs my limited money could buy - slightly more if I just went with the cassette or hit up Best Buy on the day it came out - 9.99 cd/6.99 cassette. Or have a friend who bought that we could dub it onto a blank tape at high speed that made it sound like the Chipmunks as it was recording. I would suggest going back, even if you werent going to write about them, and finding some of those albums that you may have remembered seeing on the shelf but never got around to buying. There are some really good albums out there from some short lived groups - Rough House Survivors, Capital Tax, The Bums, Trendz of Culture, Hard 2 Obtain, Da King and I, Dred Scott to name a few.

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    1. I may have to do just that, if only to restore my faith in the genre.

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  27. Stop being such a whiney 'B'. Anyway, I've been meaning to review Cassidey's "I'm a Hustla" album for you.

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    1. We're all holding our breath over here.

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  28. If I were on adderall I'd comment on some things you said, but I have to say everything you mentioned was pretty spot on. A good hip hop release seems to come once every blue moon (literally), so its tough out there, but rap is moving in an interesting direction in my opinion. Not the mainstream stuff, but there is this new genre floating around called Cloud Rap that has a pretty cool sound. I just think RZA needs to start producing more shit and save us all honestly. I don't think you need to fill out every artists catalog, but you can of course if you feel compelled. As a reader what I'd really like to see is you reviewing albums that you really like so I can find more good music because you have a strong taste for hip-hop, but maybe that's not what you want to do. And that probably wouldn't work on a gut reaction post cause who knows if you like the album if you don't even listen to it. Anyways, thanks for this great blog. I've been reading it for about 2 years now and your writing never fails to disappoint. If I ever want to buy an album on this blog I'll definitely do it through your links. Thanks Max.

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    1. I'm not finishing every artist's catalog just because their name is in the sidebar, but I plan on doing most of them. Unless I suddenly change my mind, but I'm mainly doing it so that I can refocus my efforts on the site.

      Thanks for reading!

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  29. you're like the bloggers version of the angry rapper

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  30. I salute what you do Max...continue to share music that YOU love.

    Peace

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  31. Just dropping a comment to show some appreciation. Love reading the blog, always good for a laugh.

    Thanks!

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  32. Thanks for your work, Max, I really enjoy it. Since about 2008 and still. I think it counts and you must do that Das EFX reviews, man!

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  33. I found this site out in 2010 while searching on Google and I haven't look backed since; the humor contained in the reviews and the "take no shit" attitude is one that defines the site and one that keeps me going back and the fact that he's so open, the fact that anybody can willingly contribute is a good thing.

    I do agree with the fact that there isn't much discussion though; many comments seem to be request or praises. If there were people who would actually respond than yeah, I'd create a conversation. It just seems fun to diss out who's verse is better or who's a better producer or the inner workings of a track and since getting a WuTang-Corp.com account is nearly impossible, this should be the place to find dicussion; alas it's not.

    I'm not going to leave the site regardless, I'm going to contribute every way that I can... and Hip-Hop, watch out because I will provide a positive contribution to you.

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    1. we should take notice of this man's comment people...myself included

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    2. I do wish there was a bit more discussion; hopefully, this will change a little moving forward.

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  34. Congrats man! You are one of the few blogs that came out around the same time I started writing that is still going, that in itself is a major feat. I also know EXACTLY what you are talking about, hence why I've basically been on a two year "hiatus" from blogging. I often find myself totally abandoning the hip hop genre for a month or two each year, just to clear my mind of it. I also no longer listen to ONLY hip hop for long stretches at a time. I usually have a day during the week that I explore other areas of music and that helps.

    As far what you've done with this site, it's truly amazing the dedication that you have for it and the quality it's become. I've watched you grow from day one and like someone else already mentioned in the comments, you've grown considerably in the terms of quality. Keep it up man, it's great to see and you deserve all the success that you've had with it.

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    1. Thank you, sir! I appreciate the support.

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  35. Well done on keeping it up for so long to begin with man. i've been reading your blog for about 4 years and absolutely love it- and I don't even read blogs! It's interesting, informative and fucking funny as hell. Your writing is really, really excellent, along with being original, distinctive and sticks in the mind, to the point where I find myself unwittingly using some of your phrases (Wu-tang z-teamers being axed from tracks for forgetting to dip Rza's blunts in honey)when thinking about artists. I often (maybe usually!!) disagree with your opinion but have a great read while doing so. So a massive well done and thanks.

    I was thinking that maybe an interesting side project/experiment and way to get the comments section going could be to run a post where readers vote for you to re-review one album. Not to question your glorious infallibility, and your opinions sometimes differing to general consensus is part of what makes this blog so good, but it sems so much of the comments section is anger regarding how you liked something people hate (Kingdom come!! What the fuck were you thinking!?) and shat all over something that most people love (Doggystyle,Daily Operation, Warriorz). Perhaps it could be an entertaining project if the readers demand you revisit an album. Particularly if you consider that we often accuse you of being in a bad mood at the time of listening when you don'tlike something we do,or that you often admit to being burned out or sick of hip hop just after giving something a terrible review! Anyways, just a thought. keep up the good work!

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  36. Special request for 2013- Cappadonna Hits!

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  37. Don't be fooled people, there is no such thing as real Hip-Hop! If you don't like the new shit then don't listen at all..simple as that. Complaining about it wont change a damn thing. Now that's real

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    1. hopefully people are giving newer rappers a try first before they just write them off. Btw, Asap Rocky >>

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  38. Didn't you mean you dont care for Gang Starr's Daily Operation? I'm pretty sure it's that album that you're on about

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  39. completely irrelevant, but Max have you heard the song "Ego Tripping Out" by Marvin Gaye where he raps for about half of the song? The lyrics and flow aren't great by themselves, but as a song i thought it worked really well.

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  40. AnonymousJuly 17, 2013

    Not requesting a review, but I have heard good things about this group iMayday!. I think they are pretty good, perhaps you might like them. Stream of their most recent album: http://www.djbooth.net/index/albums/review/mayday-believers-lp
    Their previous album is supposed to better. Just thought I would recommend.

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