The current year is 2015. Rap music has a heavy drug induced culture and in some cases gender lines have been broken. The new guys in the game have taken the phrase “Doing Me” to a level that may be culture shock or just plain odd to some and once again the resurgence of the phrase “Hip-Hop is dead” is beginning to get louder. There is 1 difference though. The uninterested and disgruntled aren’t blaming an entire city like they did 10 years ago. They are now just blaming the artist by name and have taken the regional bias out of it. I think we can actually thank social media for that.
I remember this same type of conversation happening in 2005. The culprit was “Snap Music” and the naive stance was “everyone in Atlanta was to blame” from the outside looking in. For those of you that may have been too young or just plain forgot, Snap Music was a basic melody and 808 sound fueled by the “snapping fingers” sound effect. The songs weren’t really about the display of great rapping or songwriting, they were just party songs in which young men and women could “Lean and Rock” while snapping there fingers. Problem is, you probably only knew that if you lived in Atlanta.
The biggest songs to come from Snap Music in 2005 nationally were:
D4L “Laffy Taffy” and “Do It Like Me”
Dem Franchise Boyz “I Think They Like Me” remix with Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow and “Lean Wit It Rock Wit It” [Also Popular for “White Tee”]
Lil Jon feat E-40 and Sean Paul of The Youngbloodz “Snap Yo Fingers”
Purple Ribbon All-Stars “Kryptonite” [Yes, that was a snap song. Don’t be fooled]
Outside of ATL, “Hip-Hop Is Dead” was the new “Word To The Mutha” and it was definitely thought that “This wack ish is going to kill hip-hop” in reference to Snap Music specifically. Remember, at this time Young Jeezy was an acquired taste and brand new, Ludacris took a short detour and tried to get DTP cracking and T.I wasn’t quite T.I yet even though “Urban Legend” was a huge success for him. It was even a point where the threat of violence was a possibility if you were caught leaning and rocking.
Now that moment was in 2006, which was one of the pivotal moments of Snap Music’s national demise, but lets talk reality.
If you lived in Atlanta, you knew Snap Music had a lane. Outside of the songs that climbed the Billboard charts, Snap Music was predominantly heard in clubs. I remember going to Vegas Nights and seeing a lot of people coming to the spot, itching for a Snap joint to come on, so they can bust out their routines. Frats, Sorors, Ni**as from the block, virtually everybody from every walk of life had a snap routine. Did I have a routine? No. However, if a young lady were to approach me for a dance or 5, I was not going to not do the damn dance. I’ve have leaned and rocked up a sweat for the purpose of getting a phone number and am a better man for it.
Outside of the DJ’s that were obviously from NY and playing the ish out of Jay-Z, if your night scene didn’t have Lil Jon and The Eastside Boyz, Lil Scrappy, Trillville, Bohagon, D4L, Dem Franchise Boys, The Purple Ribbon All Stars, Jeezy and Maceo, your scene was trash!
Some of you just said “Who the hell is Maceo!?” I’ll tell you this; He’s not from De La Soul. Maceo was unquestionably the guy that ran the “Local Atlanta Music Scene” in 2005. “Nextel Chirp” was one of the biggest songs of 2005 in ATL and for some reason it never hit nationally. This record was on terrestrial radio and was beating all the Snap Songs, DTP Songs and Jeezy songs for top slots on the countdown. Maceo was the type of local artist a lot of local artist swear they are or swear they would be if they “got an opportunity”. However, I bet you they haven’t really grind like Maceo did. Regular Club, Strip Club, every DJ, everybody knew this joint and knew him and there was no official video, in 2005. “Straight Out Da Pot” is an ATL Classic album and I think the only video he put out was for “Hoe Sit Down” and that made it national but didn’t pop like it was supposed to.
That’s not snap music and that was the record that ran ish the entire summer of 2005 in Atlanta.
Much like today, a lot of “fans” are making things bigger than what it is. Snap music was never going to ruin or kill hip-hop. It was honestly never meant to go mainstream. If you don’t know Blockhead, “Poole Palace [Do It]” or Hood Rich Clique “Bunny Hop” or if you don’t know Fabo “Spaceships on Bankhead”, you are already speaking ignorantly on how cultish Snap Music was and how it was never meant for the masses. Origin and success wise Snap Music was what Hyphy was in 2006 and what Drill Music was in 2012. A “new sound” to the nation that was a subculture or party lifestyle to a certain pocket on the earth, that some label execs said “I wonder if we can make money off this?”
Hip-Hop culture should be a little different when you visit or get exposed to certain cities and lifestyles. There’s nothing wrong with that. A lot of people come from cities with no subculture of the hip-hop culture and that honestly is why it’s hard to break through. There isn’t that new twist on the old favorite. How was Snap Music specifically going to ruin hip-hop when it maybe produced 6 hit singles and 3 of them were by established artist out of ATL that were smart enough to catch the wave for 1 song?
I say all the time; hip-hop is fine. There hasn’t been 1 year when I have said “I don’t think hip-hop is gonna make it” and I’ve definitely never said “Hip-Hop is dead” even though I think that is a pretty good Nas album.
Am I worried for hip-hop today? No. I worry more about the parents who don’t have a watchful eye on their children and let them run recklessly through life cause they haven’t established the separation of real life and entertainment in their own homes. That meme of Jeezy and his son is stupid! Jeezy didn’t tell your kids Trap or Die. YOUR kids shouldn’t have been listening to him in the first place. This era is dangerous, but much like 92-97, that danger will pass. Just hang on and stick to your script. Support what you love instead of bashing what you hate.
And now for a song that actually use to get me hype when I heard it come on.