Dollars and Sense
Piles and piles of Benjamins by the mile
Medina Green (Mos Def) - "Bling" (mp3)
move.meant - "Good Money" (mp3)
Spacek - "Dollar" (mp3)
Thinkin' 'bout a master plan, with nothing but a promise inside my hand. Standing on the verge of achieving one 'dream' and already a scheme for the next: eff 30, let's make six fig. After all, if Atmosphere can, where's our share? Wait, before we jump on that future funk rocketship and break out the Cris, let's make sure we're clear on this.
The Billboard/Reuters article charts a comforting development: the growth of a touring circuit for undie hip hop artists. However, the piece is quick to toss out numbers without any concrete evidence on whether cats are simply livin' or straight ballin', i.e. no mention is made of tour costs, expenses, etc. Verdict? The grind continues...
An aside also raises a question: "These artists are dispelling the myth that hip-hop cannot work on the live stage, and making a surprising amount of money doing it." I'm not sure if this myth ever existed, unless they're talking about abnormally high police presence at large-scale hip hop events (and even the not-so-large-scale) and its correlation with violence, arrests and poor public perception of said events, which is neither a myth nor solely the fault of the events.
That said, times have changed since the first Fresh Fest, which was crucial in spreading the word on hip hop/Def Jam prior to hip hop's permeation of media. If anyone in hip hop will reap substantial commercial benefits from touring, it will be the undie artist (indie headz insert huzzahs here). The article correctly points out that undies are typically underrepresented on radio, etc, so touring is a logical hustle.
And certainly not the only one. While Mos continues to diversify, his old crew seems stuck in a mixtape state of mind. Too bad because Funky Fresh In the Flesh & More, Vol. 2 is some of my favorite material from MG. But what a platform to stay grounded (will it ever be the new gully?); Mos push weight? Nah, daddy push strollers.
Meanwhile back West, move.meant keeps it grease and grime-free. The talk is all grind, but they've already backed Luda; even Styles of Beyond couldn't do that. Watch their moves.
Rhyme pays. And one day we will finally be able to board ship, buckle up and let your dollar circulate...
For those with the elaborate backpacks, peep the new Blackalicious video for "Your Move." Not one of my favorite tracks, but I am still listening to this album end-to-end. Streaming in Real.