Ty, evidently a well known British rapper, has come out with some pretty daming statements.
The Independent ran a little article on this Brit-hop star who has recently become entirely unsigned. He quit Ninja Tunes and went even more indie (how you get more indie that Ninja Tunes is beyond me, I guess by literally doing it all yourself).
I must say I get a bit irritated by these self-aggrandizing rappers talking about how they’re the only true thing in hip hop. But, despite myself, I think I actually agree with some of the stuff Ty has to say.
That said, Ty is less enthusiastic about praising present-day rap music and the very UK industry he says hasn’t allowed him to gain in the mainstream. Taking veiled shots at flash-in-the pan artists, he says it’s no wonder that the genre is seen in a negative light. “It deserves the cold shoulder it’s getting because it’s not pushed forward,” he says. “And also, what people are doing as under-the-towel hip-hop is really rap music, which just focuses on the production of the music. Hip-hop is the whole thing. I think it’s deservedly in bad shape because, if you look at American mainstream hip-hop, it has no semblance of culture. It’s learning to play the xylophone to a really high level then throwing one stick away, chopping off an arm and then going, record that. It deserves to be looked upon as a minimal, negative influence, because it hasn’t owned up to the fact that it is.”
He makes some very lucid points, not the least of which is the fact that modern day ‘hip hop’ is really 90% production. Lil Wayne and T.I may think they’re amazing, but if you sit down and listen to the lyrics that quickly goes away. Long gone are the dirty street poets like 2Pac, or even the silly youthful party tracks like De La and Tribe. Instead, we get boys like Timbaland (who I deeply respect for his talent) and Pharell (who I respect less) who can throw together a beat in fruity loops in about 17 minutes and make a Gold Record just by saying they’re the men behind it.