Tuesday, April 29, 2008

RAW VS. POLISHED!
This has been on my mind for a minute, so I thought I'd finally post about it and possibly get a little feedback. If you have been listening to music for more than five years, you should definitely be able to relate to this topic. Personally, I listen to entirely TOO MUCH music for one person, but it's my addiction and have accepted that fact. Even though the range of music flavors that I truly enjoy is all over the lyrical map, one thing is common amongst all of my favorite artists. I normally like an artists' earlier work better than their later releases. There are some exceptions to this statement, but in MOST cases the statement remains accurate. The reason why is simple. During an artists' debut they are usually pretty raw. Raw imagery, lyrics, production, etc. In the beginning they are pretty much music fans with a talent that have decided to share it with the world in hopes of making a name for themselves. The same person that made that dope music using cheap equipment in their mother's basement is normally the person you'll hear on their first album. It might be low-budget in sound quality or whatever, but it's basically raw and full of untampered experession.
If the debut album does well enough to warrant a second album it can go either way when it comes to the overall sound and expression of that project. Most times, the labels will try to get more involved in the artist's sound, song choices and overall style in hopes of making more money for the company. Artistic integrity is normally put on the shelf for more of a mainstream crossover feel in many cases. This is what I consider being polished! If this doesn't happen on the second album, it will more than likely happen if there is a third album. In some instances this can be a good thing for an artist, but in most cases it sucks for me as a fan because their original sound is usually totally revamped. Remember, this is that same sound that made fans like these artists in the first place. I don't mind growth in an artist, but if they flip to a different sound all together, fans may not like them anymore. How many artists can you think of that you loved their first album to death, but the second, third and fourth albums were hot trash?

In most cases that best albums from any artist are the first and second joints. After that it's hit or miss for the most part. I like it better when artists stay raw and unpolished personally. You can get better at your craft while staying true to your roots. Yes, be a better writer, producer, singer, etc., but remain true to your craft and avoid selling your soul for a quick buck. Otherwise, you are putting your career in serious jeopardy. When artists have gone too far left artistically and their careers have begun to suffer because their original fans have jumped ship, they eventually start trying to take it back to the good old days. No matter how much they try to bring back that debut album flavor, it never quite makes the same impact. It's almost like they trying to carbon-copy their former selves, which is worse than just remaining polished with the gimmicks. Sadly, true fans remain stuck in the past comparing everything new to that original classic that will never happen again. After a while rather than buy the newest releases, fans sometimes feel more comfortable just pulling out their old beat up and scratched album classics. It becomes like comfort food eventually, and sooner than later nothing on the new menu tastes as good as the original stuff.
You can have that over-processed and over-cooked garbage. I'm like ODB when it comes to music..."Oooow babie, I like it RAW!!"
Is it me or is 9th's sound changing a lotta bit? I am a major fan of Mr. Wondra, but I will admit that his new joint with Buckshot is not really moving me. The beats this time around are missing something. I actually expected better, but I haven't given up just yet...

1 comment:

Pipe Dreamer said...

I totally agree with you on this Nexx. Most of the newer stuff sux these days, so you have no choice but to rewind the classics.

Some artists have improved over time IMO though like Wayne, Kanye, and Fergie...lol! Nope, Fergie still sux!!