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Hip Hop Featuring Everyone
I am by no means a super fan of hip hop, or am I someone who hates hip hop so I guess I reside somewhere in the middle. Something that has always bothered me is how the majority of hip hop artists can’t have an entire record without featuring somebody.
I think there is a time and a place for every artist to collaborate with another. Say if an artist meets another artist and they find themselves composing music together because something clicked between the two and they felt they could make something special, I get that. However, it seems like in most hip hop music the artist is sitting in the studio working on their beat and they’re thinking “who is hot right now?”, “who can we get to feature on this track?”. The next thing you know, there are 12 tracks on the record and 11 of them are featuring somebody. It’s no longer a record by said artist, but it’s a various artist record under the nameplate of a specific artist. I just typed “Jay-Z” into Google because obviously he is probably one of the most recognizable hip hop artists, and the first record that came up in the search was the “Blueprint 3” record. Check this out:
There are 15 tracks on this record, and only 4 of them don’t feature anyone. This begs the question, was this a chance meeting between Jay-Z and these other artists so they decided to collaborate? or is it that all these artists were super hot at the time and to have them collaborate would guarantee the album to hit the top of the charts and generate massive sales?
My question is, does this take the art out of these artists? I personally would put a lot more stock into an artist if they would only feature other artists if the song called for it and they felt that a collaboration was by chance and not to generate money and fame. The fact that it’s so common for hip hop artists to feature somebody on nearly every song has made the genre become fairly dull. If a massive hip hop artist decided to put out a record without featuring anybody, it would probably be the most marketable piece of music the hip hop world has ever seen.