Excuse this rant, but it had to be done -- for my sake at least. If Danielle can get on Beyonce for her wack lacefront weaves (link), I can do this, right? If I don't like it, I don't like it. So, let me tell myself in public why I can't get with the hype machine selling Charles Hamilton -- XXL Magazine and Fader Magazine loverboy of 2009 -- as Hip-Hop's next best thing.
1) He dates his records in future-years, like 2014, instead of using the actual year.
2) He titles his Genre anything-but-hip-hop, like "Cinematic Hallucinations" -- just call it Hip-Hop dawg, unless you're truly PREPARED to genre leap. Your music is basic Hip-Hop (nothing wrong with that per se), a beat with some lyrics, so just call it what it is. If you were a short story writer, I MIGHT appreciate it. That you're an average rapper with a nerdy mind does not make brilliance. There are plenty of nerds with rhyme books filled with quirky ideas -- it does not a rapper make.
Both of these are reason enough for me -- the fact that his lyrics are average, notwithstanding. I can't dig cats who want so bad to be above the crowd that their best bet is to project a pseudo post-modernism into their artwork. Skill is skill, gimmicks are gimmicks, and fool's gold will never fool me.
That said, on Hamilton's new mixtape, "Scorpion" and "In Case It Doesn't Work Out" are definitely some feel-good soulful tracks. I'm off to find the instrumentals.
My theory is that in all of this mixtape hype, the DJs and producers are the geniuses of the game -- using any rapper surrounded by a hype cloud to get their tracks to the ears of music listeners. My guess is that they are getting more placements and bookings than the rappers are getting record deals.
My sincere hope is that Charles Hamilton (and his ilk -- Flosstradamusis, Kid Sister, etc) is able to book venues and fill them with his fans. BUT this rant is necessary for me because -- like with Barack Obama and his marketing machine -- it is also my sincere FEAR that Charles Hamilton and his marketing machine will continue to disrupt Hip-Hop consumers' sense of high quality music. I see this as my little protest against that disruption. If it's not heard, all I can do is try and maintain my own sanity -- hopefully this rant is helpful toward that end as well.