Thursday, February 18, 2010
Do You Know That Freeway x Jake One's The Stimulus Package Is Dope?
As much as I'm on the internet scouring for content for work stuff, sometimes I assume that everybody else on the web is doing the same thing I am. Seeing as how everybody is on twitter sharing information and all. So, sometimes you might not see a certain video or song on this site. Admittedly, I just wont post some things because hell, I assume that since its already up on some of the bigger sites, ya'll have already seen it. Why beat a dead horse ya'know.
Especially seeing as how the Hip Hop blog world is slowly turning into what Hip Hop radio has become. Remember when they used to play the shit out of Nelly years ago? And how you'd switch from one station to the other hoping to avoid the song. Only to hear the other station playing it at the same time, just finishing playing it or about to play it again themselves. That's what I mean. You go on one site and see the exact same thing on another, almost in the same order. Not throwing shots, just making an observation.
That said, when this video showcasing the packaging for Freeway and producer Jake One's new album hit the web a couple weeks ago. I saw it on all the larger sites and just assumed that everybody saw it...
I mean, it stood out, it looked cool and I saw hella comments and tweets about it. So I opted not to post it, assuming that most like-minded individuals and professional peers had seen it already. I was wrong.
I also kinda assumed that most folks had heard the leaks that came out over the last few weeks. I mean, Freeway isn't wack. Have his last couple of projects been the shit? No. But he's still damn good at what he does. Everybody seems to love him still. He isn't a new jack, people know him. So yeah, I assumed that we all knew what he was up to and planned on checking this new album out whether through downloading or buying. I was wrong again.
I know I'm starting to ramble, so let me get to the point. I went out and bought this album on Tuesday, and the shit is dope as hell. For real. Of course still operating under my assumptions, I was going around telling a few folks about the music and the packaging...thinking they were going to reply "oh yeah, that shit dope. I saw/heard it the other day" But most of them was like "oh for real? He got a new album? Oh word, that's the packaging? Dope!"
Why is that? Now I ain't sitting here acting like Freeway is some super duper megastar that we are all supposed to be aware of 24/7. I'm simply wondering why so many people who I know like good music, appreciate presentation and even profess to be Freeway fans don't know a damn thing about this project?
Is it the label, Rhymesayers?
Now I can't front, out of the 23 artist listed on their website, I've only heard of seven. So, yeah, they have a certain brand of music they push for the most part and know who their audience is, or think is. That said, did they promote this album only to people who buy music by the rest of their artist? Did they bother reaching out to people who really liked Freeway's club and radio hits from year's past? Did they bother reaching out to DJs who might've had Freeway on their shows/mixtape during his Roc-A-Fella days? Are they establishing a presence or plan on doing shows in cities that played Freeway's music years ago? Or like I said earlier...did they just boost awareness to areas and people who are fans of the other artist on the label? I mean, they must have had at least some intentions on appealing to the "masses" since the album has features from Birdman and Bun B. All I'm saying is, cats in Atlanta and the South period mess with Freeway. Hell, he used to be here all the time, I think he lived here for a minute. But I haven't seen a poster, flyer, mention of this album anywhere. Maybe I'm just not in the right places.
Is it DJ's/Radio?
I don't want to assume whats going on in other markets. I can only speak for my own. But, I haven't heard any of the Freeway songs on the radio here, and I really don't expect to. Hell, the suckiness of Atlanta radio is a given at this point. They always claim to "support their own" but these muthafuckas don't even play Big Boi...but yeah, that's another story. But yeah, same questions arise here. Freeway ain't wack but have DJs/Radio been turned away over the unstable circumstances surrounding his music of late? Did they really support his music whenever it came out...or were they simply responding to the umpteen calls and emails they might have been receiving from a Roc-A-Fella representative reminding them of their guy. Calls and emails that might have ceased after he left the label.
Is it the fans?
"Fan" is a loose term nowadays. I know folks that haven't bought an album from their favorite artist in years but still considers themselves a fan of their music. Admittedly, I can be one of these people too. I mean, I get music mailed and emailed to me pretty often. Sometimes, it will be a CD from someone that I am a fan of. And hey, I ain't rich. So shied, if a free copy of the CD shows up in the mail...I'm not gonna be compelled to buy it because hell, I got it now. I figure the least I can do is tell my friends about it and hope they go get it. Or purchase tickets to their show when/if they come to town. Or if I wind up in the show free, supply some media coverage on this site or via another media channel that I have access too. But yeah, the fans. I've never been one of the types that bought into the whole "Hip Hop is dead" or "all the music sucks" philosophy. Some fans just need to get off their ass and start seeking stuff out. Don't wait on the radio, TV or Kanye *cough, cough, snicker* to tell you if something is dope. Go out to shows. Ask friends. Click around on the internet. Do something. That said, when I shared my thoughts about this album with some people, alot of their reaction was "oh wow. I love Freeway...I didn't even know he had a new album out." Now, a phrase like that can be blamed equally on the three entities I named. Did the label bother reaching out to 30-something African American females who liked "Roc The Mic," "Flipside" and "What We Do?" Is the radio station letting people know "hey this dude who we used to play quite often years ago and still sometimes during our live remotes has a new album out!" Are the fans that "love" Freeway bothering to keep up with him, even if he's not in your face as much as he used to be? Just questions shawty.
But yeah...I'ma go ahead and wrap this up. This album must have really struck a nerve to have me writing about it like this. But yeah. Go check out this album, for real. The shit is jamming. Dope beats, dope lyrics, well written and executed songs. My only gripe is that not all of the beats knock in the ride as much as I'd like them too. But that's just the Southerner in me. I can't really expect for a rapper from Philadelphia and a producer from Seattle to turn in an album that's gonna beat the trunk up like UGK or something. But, I got my radio tuned up right, so the album still sounds great when you're riding. Plus, at least cop it for the packaging man. That shit is dope as hell. Its on sell at Best Buy for $9.99 right now.