UGK‘s Bun B recently spoke on the status of hip-hop in today’s music sales slump and which Texas emcee could help ignite his homestate’s popularity.
While not naming anyone specific, Bun claimed only a select few rappers were still profiting from hip-hop.
“I wonder if people who ask Southern artists [about their past streaks also] ask West coast artists or Midwest artists or New York artists that, because all those regions are falling off,” Bun said in an interview. “Hip-Hop, in general, doesn’t have the demand power it used to in any region. We had a good run in Houston, but every region’s in trouble. There are really only six people making money off rap music. Everybody knows that…I definitely think that Z-Ro is on the brink of becoming a national superstar. It’s pretty much up to him to decide whether he goes as far as he wants to go. The only thing holding Z-Ro back is Z-Ro.” (Vibe)
Former Murder Inc. frontman Ja Rule also said hip-hop was in a state of emergency late last month.
“We fighting against other genres,” Rule declared in an interview. “We fightin’ against motherf*ckin’ rock. We fightin’ against pop. We fightin’ against these other genres of music. We need to be together as a whole and not separating ourselves between West and East and South. I think New York is making a strong comeback right now. I think we doin’ our thing, we got Maino, we got Red Cafe. I think New York is making a surgence. I got my acts outta New York, I’m coming with a crazy album right now. But you know as a whole, it’s not about New York…it’s about hip-hop. We all in this together. So when I think about it, that’s really my feelings on the situation.” (57th Ave)
Jadakiss has said the quality of music from New York was previously on the decline up until recently.
“New York took a hit when everybody started getting money,” Kiss said in an interview. “Everybody was doing alright in record sales. Everybody had some success but then the ego started playing a part. From then, nobody wanted to do songs with each other. N*ggas were on some, ‘I’m not f*cking with that n*gga. I’m not doing that!’ That hurt everybody in a whole and everybody stopped dropping albums. Then wherever, the South, the West came, linked up, and collected that money for certain amount of years. I just feel like this is going to give everybody some sense of inspiration to come. you got Fab[olous] coming. You got more north artists that’s gon’ come back. you know Red [Cafe] is doing his thing. Maino is doing his thing. This gon’ give everybody motivation to put music out, so then, nobody has to sit down and complain.” (Hip Hop Game)
Rap mogul Irv Gotti recently blamed the shady dealings of the music industry with their alleged reliance on what’s popular at the moment as contributing to hip-hop’s unstable status.
“See, the music business is d*ck riders for the better part,” Gotti said in an interview. “I understand that it’s logic, I accept it but they’re d*ck riders. So they want a Dream beat right now or they want a Polow Da Don or whatever like that. They d*ck riders. And I know and I can say that with the utmost confidence because they d*ck rode me for a large time and I wacked ‘em in the head. Murder Inc. got all the hits, everyone’s calling me. The illest sh*t I ever did was I made someone pay me $50,000 just to get on the phone. I was an a**hole at the highest level. I said, ‘Yo listen man, send me $50k and I’ll get on the phone, if not f*ck outta here yo,’ I was an a**hole at the highest, yo, a quarter, you heard me, $250,000, I ain’t stutter,’ click. He sent that paper.” (MTV)