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Old 10-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Groups or Solo Acts...?

So, today our school radio station was having a fairly intelligent conversation about why there seems to be fewer and fewer rap groups, compared to solo rappers. They essentially boiled it down to there is a lack of interest in the musical aspect in rap, compared to the lyrics now. In some ways, I think that is right. Think about it... name 10 popular, relevant solo rapper today. Easy. Name 5 popular, relevant rap groups today... much harder.

That might make some sense. I have always given the music and beats as much, sometimes more attention, that the lyrics. My favorite raps artists are all groups (Dalek, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, The Roots, Company Flow). So, there may be some credence to that point.

I do think there is also another factor for this trend, and that is the attitude of the genre in recent years. There is a belief that all people rap about today is bitches, cars, money, bling, bitches, baby mamas and bitches. When the lyrics are about such material and possessive things (i.e. what I have and what you don't have), the group format is impossible. That's just one way I see it. Granted it's not a black and white issue, but it more often than not feels that way.

What do you think and do you have a preference for groups, solo acts, or you don't care/notice either way.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think being in a group has much correlation with how good the music is. There are good groups out there and there are good solo acts out there. I probably like Ghostface more than I like Wu Tang collectively, and Odd Future only have one true collective effort, and it's still not as good as their other stuff. Solo rappers have main producers as well, such as the Curren$y and Ski Beatz duo on Pilot Talk.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Electrophonic Tonic View Post
So, today our school radio station was having a fairly intelligent conversation about why there seems to be fewer and fewer rap groups, compared to solo rappers. They essentially boiled it down to there is a lack of interest in the musical aspect in rap, compared to the lyrics now. In some ways, I think that is right. Think about it... name 10 popular, relevant solo rapper today. Easy. Name 5 popular, relevant rap groups today... much harder.
I don't necessarily know if this is true. The biggest names in hip hop from the 90's were both solo artists-tupac and biggie-as well as grandmaster flash, ll cool j, nas, etc. I think it's always been the same consistency more or less. They'res a lot more marketability in solo artists, which is why i think you seen that more on the radio/music videos.


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When the lyrics are about such material and possessive things (i.e. what I have and what you don't have), the group format is impossible.
I don't really understand this viewpoint. They'res plenty of songs with mainstream rap artists collaborating on tracks with simple subject matter, usually about ass. They manage to make a chorus and multiple verses...I might just be misinterpreting you.

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What do you think and do you have a preference for groups, solo acts, or you don't care/notice either way.
I don't have a preference. It's all a collective effort anyway, with multiple producers and guest appearances being standard for rap albums.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think the words or meanings really make such a huge difference, but I'd agree that I like groups simply because it provides variety within the song. Assuming they're good and not just throwing songs together.
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Old 10-30-2011, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Prefer solo acts because the songs just have more meanings for me.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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makes no difference to me either way

i listen to Wu as a group as well as to solo members

though i have more group efforts in my collection, i tend to enjoy solo stuff like Jay-Z and Nas more
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't necessarily know if this is true. The biggest names in hip hop from the 90's were both solo artists-tupac and biggie-as well as grandmaster flash, ll cool j, nas, etc. I think it's always been the same consistency more or less. They'res a lot more marketability in solo artists, which is why i think you seen that more on the radio/music videos.
I think there may have been more groups than soloists in the 80s (Run DMC, Public Enemy, Salt n Pepa, NWA, Beastie Boys, Fat Boys, etc.) but I definitely agree with you about the 90s. Especially among the super poppy crowd I think it was mostly solo performers like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Personally though a lot of the "hip hop" in today's society is an embarrassment to hip hop.

Seems more like autotuning and rhythm are more important than meaning and soul nowadays.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally though a lot of the "hip hop" in today's society is an embarrassment to hip hop.

Seems more like autotuning and rhythm are more important than meaning and soul nowadays.
I think your getting hip hop and pop music mixed. It seems like right now we have a really huge dance resurgence on mainstream radio, which is why the staples of hip hop(social conscious lyrics or whatever) are non-existant when only looking there.

Because of its form, hip hop is an easy genre to make incredibly simplistic and juvenile music, so i would agree that much of what your basing your opinion on is an embarrassment, no doubt.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by matious View Post
I don't necessarily know if this is true. The biggest names in hip hop from the 90's were both solo artists-tupac and biggie-as well as grandmaster flash, ll cool j, nas, etc. I think it's always been the same consistency more or less. They'res a lot more marketability in solo artists, which is why i think you seen that more on the radio/music videos.
This is a error on me. The conversation was about more solo artists TODAY than back in the 80's and 90's. I thought I said that, but I guess not. So you are totally right, and I agree.
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