A few weeks ago Drake released his extremely long awaited (yawn) debut “studio” album. I can’t say that I’m jumping out of my seat with joy because let’s face it, I’m not his intended fan base. As a 32 year old woman who enjoys listening to smooth R&B and what many consider “neo” soul (that’s another topic for another day), I am the last person (with the exception of my mom) who would purchase a Drake album. My 16 year old nephew is a fan but I’m not. In fact, as I enter my mid-thirties, I feel myself becoming a bit of a “Mainstream Pessimist”.
What is that you ask?
Well a “Mainstream Pessimist” is a person who is turned off by anything that mainstream radio plays or those who are considered the “majority” supports. My mindset is not intentional, I just can’t help myself. In the back of my mind I find myself thinking, “If everyone supports this artist, something must be wrong with them”, so I don’t give them a chance. With that in mind, many artists don’t have stand a chance with me. Sorry.
But back to my point.
With the release of this Degrassi High alums new album, everyone has something to say, whether it be good or bad (myself included). While on twitter the other day, one of my twitter friends raised an interesting point. He eluded to the fact that Drake was the savior of hip hop. Now before you say, “WTH!!” calm down. He didn’t say that he agreed, he merely stated that in the eyes of label executives, the state of hip hop is in Drake’s hands. He supported his opinion by stating, “if he failed [in sales] they would have to go back to the drawing board because they are using him to gauge how successful artists coming after him will be”.
I can’t say that I agree with him but I can’t say that I don’t. I don’t know what record executives are thinking and I don’t want to speak for them because I can’t. If I attempted to speak for them, I would have to take responsiblility for some of the subpar artists that are played on a regular basis and I cannot be held resposible for that. However, if what my twitter friend says is true, the mainstream urban music industry needs life support RIGHT NOW!!
The state of hip hop, R & B, Soul or gospel music should never be in the hands of anyone. Music is a form of expression that is used to convey a message to an artists fanbase. If anyone has control over the “state” of hip hop, it’s the fans. We are the ones who support artists by attending their live performances or buying their albums. If we don’t like what’s being played on the radio, we have a couple of options but in the meantime, don’t give up on your favorite artists and seek them out. If they love their craft like I know many of them do, they’re still making music, they just aren’t getting airplay.