Man I'm so sick and tired of hearing people whine over the internet and how it has killed record sales, tv, and oh yes hip hop. I think this attitude comes from people who aren't informed. Let's think about it. Technology changes and it changes the playing field. Some new technology flops and some takes the world in new directions. For instance, 8 tracks died out to cassette tapes. I'm sure people complained but I bet those were people who despies change. But if you compare and contrast the 8 track tape with a cassette tape you'll notice many benefits from cassettes that weren't available from 8 tracks.
The internet is another such advance in technology that has changed the world for the better. In fact, the internet is just a new method of doing what people have been doing all along; sharing. Back in the day if a friend copped the latest album what did we use to do? We'd ask to borrow the tape and then we'd make a duplicate. That is what people did. Some kept the duplicate and didn't buy the same album and some did. This is exactly what is going on today. So the action hasn't changed only the medium. So why is everyone so upset at the medium? The internet by itself does nothing; takes nothing, gives nothing until someone provides the action.
The internet can not, and should not be to blame for hip hops short comings or death as some people believe. It also shouldn't be to blame for plummeting record sales. What needs to be blamed is the reluctance of people to adapt to change and their failure to stay in the know with new technology.
Companies need to stop their crying and implement new methods of using the internet so they can start tapping into that resource using it to make new sales in a new way.
People who think the internet killed hip hop need to wake up out of their long slumber because what the internet has done is shift the power from the greedy ass labels and put it into the starving artists hands. Just think how many talented acts never got signed or were signed but got dropped because of some corporate person who probably never liked hip hop music in the first place decided they weren't good enough or people didn't like them anymore? Or how about the cats who didn't get signed because they refused to refer to their people as niggas and bitches? What about the people with positive messages who were turned away from deals because they were told that won't sell? These people now have the opportunity to let their music be heard; to the global hip hop community. Old school hip hop heads who put out hits but got shafted in regards to their pay and ownership of their creative works can now take full control of their music by owning their music and controlling all of their money. The point is the internet has been the cause of life to hip hop. The life is a new life of freedom. That's right everyone has a myspace page and a lot of people have records they advertise on the internet, but one thing about hip hop is the wack is always wack thus they don't stand out. Good music and talented artist always shine through the crowd of individuvals that are wack. If anything the internet even improves the listening experience for the listener. Just think if you had 20 cds to go through instead of taking 20 CDs putting them in your cd player, writing down the songs you like and the acts you like, now you can go through 20 acts faster. Download the music or play it online on sites such as myspace and simply click play and forward to advance to the next track. In the time it would take for a person to load open a cd case and load up another cd, a person could go through a good amount of tracks to find one that stands out.
For a long time we've heard that positive hip hop won't sell, and artists with deals have be forced to make negative music because someone else was calling the shots. In this day and age of advanced techology, the aspiring artist can now control their destiny by controlling their music. With a global audience, we can finally take back our art form and express ourselves how WE want and not how someone else feels we should. We now possess the technology to produce our own records with the highest quality at a fraction of what major studios charge. We can control our own distribution, and best of all OWN out music solely and control all our finances. What does this mean? It means the chains on hip hop have been broken and now a new breath of life has filled hip hop's lungs and we can finally hear what a freed hip hop sounds like. So if anything, the internet isn't responsible for the death of hip hop music it is responsible for the new lease on life it has.