The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

"Penny For Your Thoughts..."

We've recently tried to intiate ways for vistors to take a more active role in sharing their opinions and views on music by creating a
Myspace group as well as a Last.FM group.

In a recent discussion, in the Last.Fm Forum, we began a discussion of The King and an interesting side argument popped off about artists "selling out" in order to appeal to a broader fanbase or at least fans outside of their original fan base, another visitor and myself had the following discussion with varying points of contention.

The statement...

"It's pretty much a sell out in my eyes, no quality joints pop off anymore. Thats why I still and will always think no commercial is gonna be hotter than some production team swaying your views on whats going to sell...Its all about the heads that can relate to your music, not about how many club hits you can get."

The response...

"We, as listeners, create a "tension of opposites" for artists. one side is yelling 'show growth', while the other 'stay the same' which should they do?

Then you have labels that say "sex & violence sells" while an artist's heart might say "it's deeper than that".

Lastly, your lifestyle changes. Instead of getting escorted to the precinct by cops, you're getting police escorts and givin out autographs to'em.

So what should they do?

It's an argument that will remain in place for fans and artists as long as hip-hop stays in it's position of prominence.

Let's face it, the majority of us hip-hop heads love to hear Fab do that mixtape shit. While Loso's Way, Rise To Power> wasn't his best mixtape, it was some of the best work Fab has done in years, only because he reverted back to what made him hot - punchlines and talkin' shit.

But on his albums, fans of this side of the guy are always left wanting more and asking "when is Fab gonna put out an album that lives up to the shit we know he can spit about the streets?"

As someone pointed out to me recently, Fab and Clue have figured out one thing.

Those radio friendly jingles like "Baby" and "Can't Let You Go" are what sell, because they appeal to women and women are the ones who buy albums.

Big & Puff created this blueprint but kept it balanced, while cats today sometimes get it out of whack.

Personally, I feel like T.I. tried too hard to aim at the "female/partygoer" demographic for my tastes. I want to hear him speak of the "trap muzik" that makes me feel like money is taking me back a few years ago when spending the night scrambling and breaking day in some seedy location was the only way of life. Same thing with Felony Fab when we desire to hear him speak of coke by the boatloads and brags how his earrings light up clubs.

But F-A-B-O knows what sells & Styles said it best, "Bitches buy records but aggins do what bitches do..."

And it's the reason why he sells platinum, while someone like Saigon, who rhymes with mixtape swagger and Killer Mike or Ras Kass whose subject matter is not as easily digestable doesn't.

In one breath, we complain and read album reviews in magazines critcizing artists for not improving on their flow or changing up their subject matter to something outside of money, hoes and clothes.

In the next breath, we point and laugh at artists like Com, Andre 3000 and Nas who take a risk my showcasing the changes in their mentality. We throw stones at them for not doing what's real, while all the while, they're are doing what's real. But they are doing what's real...that being what's real to them.

Tension of opposites I'm teling you.

Here's the illest Nike commercial not to make it US markets.

Vince got moves son & you know we in support of it since Joe Budden is on the audio.

Play it above or click the link below...

Nike VC Commercial

Fishscale releases on Tuesday with most major retailers having it listed at a price under $7. So go show your support if you're feeling that.



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