hip hop music

December 18, 2006

How Hip-Hoppers Forget Their History

In yesterday's times, via nah right:

For Rap Pioneers, Paydays Are Measured in Pocket Change

...Sales of vintage rap discs are sluggish or nonexistent. For the week ending Nov. 12, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Public Enemy’s landmark 1988 album “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” sold 400 copies. LL Cool J’s 1987 album “Bigger and Deffer” (home of one of his biggest hits, “I Need Love”) sold half that amount. Run-D.M.C.’s “Raising Hell,” which includes the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with Aerosmith on a remake of “Walk This Way,” moved only 100 units...

I can't tell you how depressing that is to read. Replace "Bigger and Deffer" with "Sign of the Times" and you've got the three most important albums of my life right there (and now I'm afraid to even ask how many people still know SOTT). How do we explain the abandonment of our musical history, while classic rock can still move units decades later? What is it about NWA and the Beastie Boys that makes them the exceptions?

I'm also wondering where is the dividing line, in a world where even backpack hero Lupe Fiasco says "I've never owned a Tribe album and I never will," how old is too old? How much does, say, Illmatic or Cuban Linx sell now?

Posted by jsmooth995 at December 18, 2006 12:20 PM

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