Quantcast
Say what you want about Eminem, but very few cats can come for this kid in a live battle. He’s ridiculous.

HIP-HOP’S ROOTS ARE SHOWING

HITS Crossover Editor Michelle S.
On The Return Of The Rhyme
The last few years, there's been a steady cycle of commercialized rap dominating the radio airwaves, and like all "pop culture" trends, the flossy rapper has wore out his welcome with music consumers. In the streets, there is a much different vibe going down with hip-hop—a return to the roots. The Rhyme.

MC's with the most heat these days are folks with some bona-fide lyrical skill. Jay-Z. Mos Def. Common. Xzibit. Eminem. Say what you want about Eminem, but very few cats can come for this kid in a live battle. He's earned a lot of respect . Em's big impression on Dr. Dre after all, resulted from the producer hearing him just BURY three other MCs during a live freestyle on the radio at "The World Famous Wake Up Show" no easy feat. And even though "The Marshall Mathers LP" is a commercial pop landslide, it's certainly not at the expense of showcasing the artist's obvious skill as a lyricist. He's ridiculous. That is helping forge a new passion for the art of rhyming among a savvy generation of music consumers.

Dre is also producing the next album, "The Restless LP," from Loud Records artist Xzibit, which drops in September. Xzibit is already regarded as one of the most incredible new MCs in the game, but when elevated by Dre's hit-factory production, he's going to have a legitimate shot at being HUGE. And he'll be takin' real hip-hop style with him.

But probably the most encouraging sign of this trend is the ascension of Mos Def and Common, who by this time next year will be labelmates on MCA Records. Both these artists are revered as much for their positivity and social consciousness as they are for their lyrical skill. Mos Def's "Black On Both Sides" LP went down as the hip-hop must-have of last year. In the Y2G, the must-have is "Like Water For Chocolate," the blazing new album by Common. Produced by ?uestlove of The Roots, the first radio single from the album, "The Light", goes for airplay at Crossover radio on 6/13. Meanwhile, Mos Def is about to rule the airwaves too. The amazing partnership of Guru and DJ Premier from Gang Starr with Macy Gray resulted in a groundbreaking remix for "I've Commited Murder," which just came out this week. Mos Def's verse on this track is dope, and once again, Premier is coming with a beat that's gonna have heads noddin' to Macy whether they were feelin' her before or not. The shit is tight! It most definitely has the potential to get love on the street level, and at urban and rhythm radio as well—two formats that never embraced Gray before.

In the age of the Internet, there's clearly a new generation of record buyers. As skill, wit, and style creep back into the art of rhyming, it's going to raise the bar for hip-hop. The genre is too big a part of pop culture now for one crowd to replace another, but as hip-hop music comes full circle after the most commercially successful/exploitative year ever, it's going back to the roots. There's a prodigious new scene of artists on the verge of becoming the next major force in hip-hop music. REPRESENT!

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)