Has The Smartphone Ruined The Live Show?

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It’s hard to really define the perception vs the reality when it comes to prospering financially in hip-hop. One minute we are told “rap doesn’t sell” next minute a rapper has a platinum single or album. We get told “rappers are really broke” but then we hear and read things like “I get 30 racks a show” or “I’m 100 racks for a feature”. It’s all case by case and honestly confusing. The best mantra to live by no matter what, is “support what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

Speaking of support, the next thing that I can see taking a bigger hit is the live show. This year 3 of the biggest and most important hip-hop shows happened virtually at the same time this year. Drake and Future, Kanye West’s Saint Pablo Tour and Puff Daddy and The Family’s Bad Boy Reunion Tour. The tours are major moments in hip-hop that are taking place and although I haven’t been to 1 show live, I felt like I seen them all within the first 5 dates. Why? Because Facebook, IG and Snapchat somehow, someway have every surprise moment captured on smartphones around the country. Then it made me feel like I didn’t miss much or need to buy a ticket in the next city.

I understand the excitement and this is the era of the “captured moment” whether it’s positive or negative, but for me it kind of kills the anticipation and the moment created, when it’s easily accessible. As a person who had a chance to see live shows before social media and technology became a necessity in our lives, I remember leaving concerts, speaking with concert goers and telling friends and family about my experience and getting the “Damn! I knew I should have went” as a response. Now, you can tell somebody about your experience and you are probably going to get “Yeah I seen that all over Instagram when I took my break at work” or “Yeah I was watching on Periscope”. It seems like the world truly sees and lives the moments whether they spend money to see it in real time or if it trends on their favorite social media platform. That’s got to be making these ticket prices so higher and why so many artist are on 1 bill and some tours are mini festivals in the summer.

I wonder if the captured moment is effecting hip-hop shows like it effects comedy shows. On one hand it seems like people may stop coming to shows, but then it appears that some people may come just to record their own moment for themselves in their city. I can’t imagine either scenario being ideal for the artist or the venue.

Now, I will say, the extreme positive is all of the backstage moments caught at shows. To see “Murder Inc.” The group [Jay Z, Ja Rule, DMX] at a concert all in one room getting along and reminiscing was still a “dang I wish I was there” moment. That’s something you can only see if you’re an insider and those moments no matter how we get them will remain epic. I like to see artist that I am a fan of hanging with their peers and showing love as well as getting love when their not in work mode and being fans and supporters like us.

Is the Smartphone ruining the live show? Have you attended less concerts this year because you know the best part is on social media? Are you the type to record a whole show and put it up on Instagram and Facebook?

Do you know how to enjoy a concert in 2016? Serious question. Many people are trying to tweet, and take pics and add hashtags and captions that they may not know how to anymore.

Shout to whoever caught that quick flash of the kitty of the Legendary Diva Faith Evans. The culture appreciates you.

One thought on “Has The Smartphone Ruined The Live Show?

  1. Smartphones have definitely had an effect, and it’s nice to see some of the moments that i miss when i cant make a show, but nothing could replace the feeling of being there live. I’m a concert junkie tho i know not everyone is into it as me. The adventure getting there is sometimes as memorable as the performance. I won tix & meet n greet with Royce in Boston back in June and it was an experience that could not be duplicated. Spent 5 days trying to get someone to make the 3 hour drive with me, finally convinced my brother to go the day before. Then he’s late getting down and we make that 3hr trip in 2.5 hours cause the email said i HAD to be there by 6. Only to be told when i arrive to be downstairs @7pm…..wtf. Back to the car for more party favors, was feeling pretty good already from the ride down. Go back around 645 and walked right in the room and Royce n Vishis were doing a full volume set for Periscope in a completely empty venue (475cap). Legit like 6-8 people milling around doing shit so we stood off to one side and watched a good 20-25min performance. Then had the meet n greet, openers, Grafh, Royce, talked to Grafh after the show, and then the trek home. And just like you said, i was indunated with”Aw, man! I shoulda gones” and “Thats dope!” The concert culture isnt dying, but its definitely is changing.


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