Is the Blogosphere Ruining the Discussion of Music? Just Ask Q-Tip.

The folks over at HipHopRuckus have some excerpts from Q-Tip's upcoming interview with SPIN magazine, and he has a pretty interesting (possibly polarizing) take on music blogs. Tip, I implore you to drop by SoulBounce 'cause you ain't seen nothing yet, my brother!

"I think it's a shame, because everyone becomes a critic. You see something at the bottom of everything that says, 'What's your comment?' And everyone has to offer their opinion and comment... To me, that drains the art. All of a sudden, the imagination just passes. Whereas predating the internet and predating videos, you had an active imagination. You would hear sounds and then get mental pictures of what these sounds felt like to you. It engaged you and made you more invested in it. It made you want to get tickets to the show, buy the album, put the poster on the wall. Now it's sensory overload."

For the most part, Q-Tip has nothing to worry about since people tend to like him, at least around these parts. Also, it's part of our general mandate that I burn you with a hotcomb if you say anything bad about Q-Tip. There is, however, room for discussion about his assertion. On one hand, all of these artists need to suck it up, because no one's exempt or free from this user-generated version of the web where opinions are as high in abundance as a**holes and every a**hole has an opinion. But how many times have you rolled your eyes at some commenter on some blog who called something "wack" just to be the resident contrarian and truculent sassy-pants with no fair basis or worthwhile perspective? I have to hand it to our regulars here at SB, you guys know "wack" when you hear it, and have a pretty good grasp on quality music. Most of you.


10 Responses

  1. I like Q-tips music (well most of it, his voice can be aggravating as hell and when is this cat gonna hit puberty? I mean daaaamn) but on the real I am sick of artist blaming everyone but themselves for their albums not selling. For the most part true fans support their favorite artist and what do they do? kick out shit brick albums (Mos Def) good music will least I use to believe that till no chin lil weezy sold 2 mill:)

    I am sad to report that frequent SoulBounce commenter "stoneyisland" was the unfortunate victim of a random drive-by hotcomb-singeing. More @ 10.

  3. First off, I love Tip. Tribe, by far, is my favorite hip hop group. That being said, I humbly disagree with the Abstract Poetic on this one. The internet did not all of a sudden make everyone a critic. True music connoisseurs have always had strong opinions about what was hot and what was wack. The internet has taken very local, small conversations and put them on an international billboard.
    Tip should be celebrating the chance to comuicate globally with his fanatics and supporters. If someone has some constructive criticism, that should be welcomed also. We know what he can do. As his fans, we know what we want to hear. A little feedback, plus or minus, never hurt anybody. The fact that it's for all the world to see is just the times we find ourselves....So, Tip, my man, loosen up, have some fun, and please, stop crying wolf and actually release something this time, please!!!??!! There are thousands of fiends worldwide in need of another hit.

  4. I think one thing the internet has done is given artists (in whatever medium) instant feedback on their work. And... they tend not to like that.
    Fans have always had side-eye worthy comments -- artists for the most part didn't hear them (or as many of them). Music debate maybe was confined to local barbershops or the front porch -- not the web where everyone sees it and can add on.
    Plus, today's generation is more cynical and less dazzled by "celebrity". Just about anyone gets on TV now (reality shows)... it's not so magical.
    Just about everyone's an MC / Beatmaker... whatever. You're not so special.
    The "cult of celebrity" is changing.

  5. He's right though! A lot of comments are critiques without analysis. I was over at Oprah's website for the, "A New Earth" webinars and posts (a really good book and concept), but a lot of people, who obviously never read the book, started posting asinine comments (many who claim to be christian). These "comments" are the ones that get attention and stifle open discussion and creativity.
    To me, don't leave a comment if you are not familiar with that artist's body of work. It is a lot I don't comment on here because I am not familiar with that particular artist's work. It's like television: Everyone's An Expert....With no credentials.

  6. I've been a fan of Kamaal / Q-Tip since the ATCQ days and, although I feel his sentiment (about too many comments draining the art), the beautiful thing is that creativity is an unlimited supply if (artists) truly search within themselves and not cater to the "hot demographic."
    On the other hand, the comments on music blogs is simply a digital representation of what's been said in barber shops, beauty salons, living rooms and basement parties for decades.

  7. Personally, I think these artists need to stop worrying about what folks on the Internet are saying about them and their music. Complaining isn't going to change a thing, so they need not waste their time doing it. Even when their points are valid, it just seems like they're whining.
    The world will continue to change, so there is no need to keep dwelling the past about what was. Just step your game up to what is, and keep it moving...

  8. I think he's got a point...this internet thing has gotten out of hand in some ways...when I check my e-mail in the morning and have thirty-two mixtapes from forty-one different emcees(gotta count collabos y'all), no matter how much I want to listen to them all and form an educated opinion--I can't. Add in myspace pages, blogs, youtube interviews, and most music released isn't about music's about performer persona. Which leaves no room for imagination, which removes the personal connection to art that makes it so powerful.
    I'd rather hear two dope songs featured on Soulbounce than five thousand okay songs hyped up via other internet means. (Do I get a cookie for saying that? Chocolate chip peanut butter please...)
    All that to say, Q-Tip, baby, where you BEEN? Can't wait for that new album...

  9. To a certain extent he has a valid point. Many peoples comments and views are based on one listen or something else outside of the music. For the most part many CD reviews are written by people in a rush who don't take the time to really enjoy a body of work.
    And there are many reviews out there that are written by people who did not actually listen to the song or CD in question. Sad enough some music is judge like movies, by how much it sold within its first week.
    Q-Tip is not complaining he's reflecting on the experience of listening and how we interact with the music.

  10. Most artists are just pissed because these random commentators now have a much more public forum to vent than was available in the pre-blog era. And most people do NOT have enough of a critical knowledge of music history to be able to speak intelligently about what they like and don't like. But that's the world we're living in.
    nOva, I'm still chuckling at the fact that you used the phrase "truculent sassy-pants." LMBAO


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