Will Hip Hop Vinyl Ever Be Erased ?
Hip Hop Vinyl : When Vinyl Ruled
There was a time when pretty much all music was produced on vinyl. There were no compact discs. There were no iTunes. There were no Spotify.
You went the shop. You bought your vinyl record and you made sure you kept it in pristine condition. This was the music industry for decades. The first hip-hop vinyl record ? Debate rages. Some say it was Rapture by Blondie, which had success in America but was a safe and easy listening type of hip-hop. Others who want to show off their knowledge will say it was King Tim III by the Fatback band. Even some rockers will chime in and say it was The Crunge by Led Zeppelin.
However the first global hip hop vinyl smash was Rappers Delight by The Sugar Hill gang. The song and the bang bang boogie, got the ball rolling. It’s as simple as that.
Hip hop vinyl and Grandmaster Flash go hand in hand. Flash was one of the first to use vinyl via scratching and cutting and yes I know there were others and I know there will be people who will say “Grandmaster flash ain’t shit” but to all those who disagree.
Ask yourself; Why are we talking about him as a hip hop pioneer now ? Hip hop was a novelty act in the 1970’s, not like nowadays were anyone can rise to prominence if they have the right connections. Getting an unknown musical form of the ground was tough and Grand master flash was one of the first pioneers in that movement and there were many others.
Does Hip-Hop Last Legacy Last ?
Not a hip-hop artist amongst that list ? The same is true of the vinyl albums and singles charts with hip hop artists barely getting a mention.
Jeff Chang pointed out “I find it infuriating that right now it is impossible to find De La Soul’s first six albums on iTunes in the US. Major labels would never let a Jackson Browne album or an obscure new-wave band like Translator go out of print. That’s not to dis Jackson Browne or Translator, both of whom I’ve liked: it’s to make the argument that major labels place a low value on black music not currently on the pop charts.”
Other Musical Formats Have Caught Up With Vinyl
The likes of the Pioneer CDJ-2000, Rane Serato Scratch Live and other vinyl emulation software have changed the game for DJ’s. These pieces of kit are almost industry standard nowadays. They have made the job of a DJ easier, no question, but mixing and scratching on an mp3 ? Not for me. I guess that’s why in the DMC World DJ Championship they abide by three simple rules
- Two SL technics turntable
Then show us what you’ve got
The Future Of Hip Hop Vinyl
Vinyl sales have risen but hip hop vinyl sales have remained static. The problem that vinyl sales have is the problem that all music sales have, in that most people don’t want to pay for their music and who can blame them ? Access to music has never been more available on the internet, because of this dropping mixtapes on soundcloud is now the norm for most aspiring rappers and if a hip hop artist does blow up on the internet, there is a good chance that their music may well be leaked.
J-Cole, Drake and Rick Ross all had their albums leaked. However let’s not feel too bad for them, they’re doing fine. But the bottom line is that hip hop fans have to support their artists on vinyl or any other music format if they want more hot new tracks and videos from them and not just rely on digital downloads and music streaming sites.
Most hip hop songs that get mainstream play are mainly about the hook, not the lyrics, which makes most labels consistently searching for the next blow up song and thus discarding long term investment in hip hop artists. This leaves a space for old school hip hop artists and the likes of Public Enemy or KRS One and others to show them how it was done. Don’t get me wrong, hip hop like anything else moves forward and there is no going back and rightfully so, but there will always be a place for hip hop vinyl. So says the TheHipHopRecords