Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Weezy* Effect

Is what Weezy* has been doing for over two years a sign of the times? Weezy* has made jumping on remixes and dozens of industry beats as well as his own production a standard for a rapper’s resume. Is this what artists, developed or not, are supposed to do?

Hell fucking no! I don’t know where he got the idea that it would be plausible but seemingly it has worked for him. In this span he has gone from the Lil’ Wayne we once knew as teenagers to the new Weezy* that everybody either hates or loves. He became "it" by putting his name in your mouth by invading your every listening option. If Puff invented the remix, then Weezy* reinvented the remix on other people’s remixes. The diligence, if that’s the right word, that Weezy* has demonstrated is note worthy in two ways: he’s still making money and the public still regards him. Check for a rapper who released an album in the early 2000’s. Can you find someone who is still relevant?

His age and label situation are huge factors but his business plan is working. During 2006, his reign over the underground/mixtape circuit hit on all levels. He became listenable. And his "diligence"—he has tried. Most of his songs were decent and it seemed he was building an actual buzz or a reputation. As 2007 rolled around, he thought the status quo would do just fine. The tape that seemed to catapult him into recognition was his The Drought 3 double disc. Listening to it, I came to the realization that he had run his course. All of his isms had become annoyingly apparent and the reasons for his hotness were wrong. His helping hand verses from this year have all been sub-par.

His bodacious claims of "Best Rapper Alive" are unfounded but he has improved. While it’s easy for anyone to talk reckless, him going at Jay-Z and Clipse late last year proved today’s new rational: they don’t give a fuck. The Internet’s power has now been seen. Weezy* took his music to the preverbial "streets" and the forums. These sometimes, and recently, thin bars—the quantity—have garnered him success and he’s still standing tall.

The problem that occurs with the Weezy* formula is if this grind actually translates into success. Or does it create an attention deficit disorder for today's listeners? If he doesn’t release something every few months, will people still give him the time of day? He’s had so much material over the past two years floating around that if there’s a dry period, what will happen? If he preps an album, will he have to release another mixtape beforehand? Will an album be enough? As for success, it’s evident that he’s made chips on guest appearances these years but will this grind garner him acclaim? I don’t have that answer. The best thing I can say is now he has everyone’s ears; everyone is waiting—to denounce him or crown him. If The Carter 3 does come out this year, which it won’t, will he draw numbers coming from an internet and younger fan base?

Enter Crooked I. He’s taken a page out of Weezy*’s book and made a name for himself. Reading up on him a little, I’ve found out he’s been out a long time. Think Suge Knight and Death Row days. I don’t know what he used to sound like because I’ve never heard him before a few months ago. His weekly flows—now at Week 27—have given me some hope for the West. I jumped in at week 16 or so and I can’t hate on any of the flows to date. Some are weaker than others no doubt but as a whole they’ve been strong regardless of the beat. While he’s far from Weezy*’s place in line Crooked’s weekly bars have given him a name and strengthened his foothold. He’s not doing this for money rather for his upcoming album. Now, will his diligence come through to save him? Will he run himself out of material like Papoose?

I’ll say Weezy*’s flame will burn out fairly soon, especially after his Carter 3 comes out. If he could just stick to quality over quantity, he’d have my vote for best rapper right now. I fear that Crook’s weekly thing will start to unravel and or just grow annoying soon too. I have yet to hear an original song from him and depending on his situation, who knows how long his album hits the street. It’s one thing to introduce yourself to the world through your grind. But it’s another thing to continue to shove your name down mouths after your medium’s wheels fall off. Once you’ve made your point and gained recognition it’s probably best to not ride that wave too long before the tsunami you created inundates you and drowns you—just look at Papoose.

The Weezy* effect seems to have pushed the limits. As Joe Budden said on one of his YouTube videos recently, "I can’t be hot every minute." Fans now expect every rapper to jump on any beat and/or mixtape. Joey’s not a good example (probably the worst) because he comes out every leap year but why do we expect rappers to drop material like it’s nothing? This grind is watering down rap music. Quantity won’t always help either; to get heard, you have to have somewhat of a name. If Big Little came out with 3 hot mixtapes in 6 months and he dropped some gems, would he get notice? Trae and Scrappy released some flows over industry beats recently and they worsened their status with me. I definitely did not need to hear established artists over "I Get Money" with a pre-written verse that doesn’t really mesh with the beat. Just come hard every 12 to 15 months and in the mean time… GO AWAY!


At 9:10 PM, Anonymous fresh said...

I remember Crooked I from way back in the day, but was never really impressed with him. I'll have to check out some of the stuff he's been putting out recently.

As for Weezy, I only like about 1 out of 10 tracks that he puts out (mixtape or album) so in a way it's a good thing he's so prolific. Take the best 10 songs from his last 4 or 5 releases, and you get a dope album.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger The Major said...

Yeah Crook deserves to be heard... as for Weezy* he does wreck himself on quantity control


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