Monday, August 27, 2007


Homestar Runner: Real Hip Hop

I'm not really sure why this surprises me, you'd think I'd have had my hip hop hopes dashed upon the jagged shore of commercial entertainment enough times to stop expecting anything else. But for some reason, I actually thought, since ?uestlove is involved, that Vh1's "The Score" competition might actually turn out to be something cool.

Just as a quick recap, the Score was a competition where producers from all over the country uploaded 60 second snippets of tracks. They could contain no samples and no vocals. The 3 finalists were to be selected by a "panel of experts" which probably means a bunch of Vh1 interns who said they like rap. Then the winner would be selected by a voting system and would win a studio session with ?uestlove to tweak the song. The song would then be used as the theme for VH1's Hip Hop Honors event.

Although the vast majority of the work posted, about 8000 tracks in all, ranged from severe wackness to just posting RZA beats and claiming they made them (and every person's bio claiming that they were "revolutionizing the game"), I actually heard some decent and even extremely impressive tracks. The kind of stuff that let me know I didn't stand a chance of winning because they were the ones who would win... Which was cool because the tracks were great.

Oh well. Instead THESE GUYS are the finalists. I'm not trying to hate here, I'm really not, but these tracks suck. I truly fail to see any reason these songs should be finalists. Am I wrong? These tracks are wack, right?
Everyone on the message boards there was suspicious when VH1 started sending out emails and phone calls to the 25 semi-finalists TWENTY MINUTES after the competition closed. Considering that in 20 minutes they couldn't have possibly listened to all the songs that were submitted right at the deadline. It's pretty suspicious and I'm almost positive that they didn't even consider reviewing tracks that didn't have high play counts (which people jacked up by playing their own tracks over and over) and comment counts (which people also jacked up by commenting on their own shit). I'm also 85% sure the drums in the third track are sampled but since the only way they apparently enforced the sampling rule was by ASKING "are there any samples?" I guess I can't expect much. There's also a lot of discussion on the boards about the fact that 2 of the 3 finalists are white. I don't know how I feel, but it certainly doesn't seem right given the VAST majority of the entries were from black artists.

This isn't me wishing I was a finalist btw, it's me furious that bland, poorly made, completely un-musical beats ALL of the exact same style and feel were picked when there were a large number of excellent choices of a huge variety of styles and genres. Instead they picked the most generic sounding stuff I've ever heard, and it sends a message to people that "this is what good hip hop sounds like."

Sorry to everyone in the competition who deserved better. I usually don't think abstaining from voting makes a statement, but I'm not voting in this BS competition.


Ryan said...

Yeah man those are whack. Fuck VH1 anyway. Those beats are a sample of why 90% of mainstream sucks.

Awkward Silence said...

Thanks man, I'm glad you agree!