Monday, July 14, 2008

In These Times, Well, At Least To Me

As 106 & Park flickers on the TV, and I chuckle at Yung Berg's latest trifle, it occurs to me that for as much as I laugh at whatever's on 106 & Park, G-Unit & Nelly would probably kill for any sort of that success. Nelly is what, 6 singles deep now? 7, if you count the Ashanti/Akon video or whatever they're about to drop. If rapping over K-Ci & JoJo's "All My Life", doing a song with Pimp C (RIP), a pop collaboration with the red-hot Fergie (don't know why she's so popular) & Polow Da Don, a sneaker anthem with JD & the lovely Ciara & and a 4 minute E-40, Too Short, Spice 1 tribute don't get him any spins, I don't understand who's putting up the greenbacks for the Usher collaboration that leaked a few days ago, unceremoniously. It's things like these that show how fickle rap stardom really is.

A few years ago, Nelly could do no wrong. He was selling 8 million copies an album and even was able to put out two albums on the same day and have them both do big numbers. It's crazy to think that now he's leaked half his album to a populace that either is too young to remember his popular days or just doesn't care anymore. Usher actually isn't too far from the same sort of fate. How often does an artist make an album that sells 10 million copies and then stuggle to go platinum the next go round? I'm all for the sales don't have anything to do with the quality argument, but for every Here I Stand, there's a Hell Hath No Fury. People lose interest quickly.

5 years ago, the idea that Nas would be more relevant than 50 Cent would have been laughable, what with 50 in his Get Rich Or Die Tryin' stage and Nas not far from his Street's Disciple, boring production stage. Maybe we'll get a hungry 50 on this 4th solo album coming this year, with it being his final album on his Interscope deal and with him already speaking of creating music at a Dr. Dre-like pace. It almost makes one wonder if anyone will even care by the time Dr. Dre & Eminem roll out the projects that they have been secretively working on. By all accounts, it seems that the Dre album is mostly finished, but now it's a process of getting all the marquee names on it. Much like how 2001 gave us Hittman, 6-2, and Knoc'turnal, Detox promises us people like Slim Tha Mobster & Bishop Lamont. Any knowledgeable rap fan will want the album regardless of how many Snoop & Eminem rhymes it contains. But the tall Israelites think otherwise, and now, we wait. Maybe, if Nas' album attains commerical success, we will be able to hear all these albums that are being held under wraps. Maybe Saigon finds a release date somewhere.

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