It’s hard to put the finger on what’s been missing in the sound coming out of New York the last years. Of course, the scene has stagnated creatively more and more, ever since the peak in the nineties. Everybody’s emulating Premier, Just Blaze, Jay-Z, Biggie, adding nothing. Look at this single from one of the city’s most trustworthy hardcore representatives. Or let one of the original architects speak:
(…) first of all, music’s gotten mad stale. It’s gotten, everything has become a regurgitaion of something else. Hip hop has just taken records… now hip hop is taking records from the ‘80s and looping records and just putting their spin on it. The only records that are pretty interesting are some of the down south records. But they get monotonous after a while.
But if we look at the releases that’s been really, really, really worthwhile… like Blaq Poet, Cormega, and now, Roc Marciano… it’s still the same formula. Nothing new. Except they’re still hungry. Still getting better. And they’re not hating on the south. (Remember: Cormega recorded with Lil Wayne two decades past.)
Now, let the man whose album I’m reviewing have the last word:
A lotta cats on the underground don’t really dig mainstream cats – I ain’t mad at them niggas! I feel like some of them niggas are talented, man. Just doin’ different styles of music. Word up. I fuck with some southern niggas too! I fuck with Jeezy and cats like that. I fuck around with that stuff. I like that street shit. Some people don’t understand street culture – some music ain’t about just hip-hop – some music is just some street shit, and you gotta respect it for what it is. People in the hood connecting with it, ‘cos there’s something there. (…)
To be honest – no. I like what I like, so nobodies really changing my mind. I’m stubborn as it, I’m doin’ what I want to do. My shit is my shit. If you listen to my album – who else got that? You can’t get that from nobody but me! That’s my shit and I’m stayin’ on my shit. I’ll fuck with other people on collaborations, but my music? I’m at a point right now, I want to hone it and get better and better at it. I don’t want to start rapping over techno beats and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m experimenting’ Fuck experimenting, man! Do what you do and get better at what you do.