As the year draws to a close and we reminisce on all the things that got us through the year, we mustn’t forget about those that annoyed us throughout 2010.
In the music world, there were quite a few trends that annoyed us, these are just the 10 most irksome.
1. “Featuring Nicki Minaj/Rick Ross”
Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross were the go-to artists in 2010 by those whose songs were too wack to be released without those precious 16 bars from Ricky or Nicki. Ross logged about 8 high profile guest appearances on other people’s tracks this year. Nicki picked up 10 features this year. It got to a point where we were having flashbacks to the great flood of Busta Rhymes guest appearances back in the early 2000s.
But at least Busta’s bars are better than Barbie’s or the Bearded Bawse’s.
2. I’m In Jail, But I Still Got 4 New Videos Out
Ok, we understand that releasing albums is an investment, and when the person at the focus of your investment gets put in jail, that can put a damper on things. Lil’ Wayne and Baby realized this early on before Lil’ Wayne went to jail earlier this year. So in anticipation of Weezy’s… uhhh.. unavailability… they shot several music videos before he went in and released them periodically throughout his sentence.
Smart move, it seemed…
But Weezy’s Rebirth album failed to catch on, and early response to the first videos from I Am Not A Human Being weren’t universally positive.
Then there was T.I.
After hastily renaming his album from King Uncaged (because the “king” was about to get caged up again) to No Mercy (because that’s what the judge showed him after letting him off easy the first time around), T.I. prepped for his jail bid by finishing up his album, recording a TV special or two, and a few videos. Initial feedback on No Mercy was less than stellar.
Maybe what these dudes should’ve done was stop rushing their art in stressful times. Take some time to reflect on how you ended up in the situation you’re in. Do your time. Come back with a vengeance. And don’t go back in (we’re looking at you T.I.)
3. Quantity Over Quality
Mixtape releases have become more common than album releases over the last year. Several artists will release one or two albums worth of material as mixtapes serving to whet a listener’s appetite for their proper album. Unfortunately, most of these mixtapes are all just the same guys rapping or singing over the same beats that everyone else is already using not to mention hearing on the radio ad nauseum.
So pardon us, Mr. Rapper, for not getting excited over your mixtape which features you rapping over “Exhibit C.”
We just don’t have time to listen to all any of them
And don’t get us started on the disappointment that occurs when your proper album drops and it pales in comparison to your mixtape.
4. Free Download Days
Yes, we’re complaining about free sh*t.
It was cool when Kanye did it. But it started looking like desperation when folks we stopped caring about years ago (hi Timbaland!) started leaking music like old faucets, especially when the bulk of the songs sound like throwaways (hi Swizz Beatz!)
5. Download My Remix Of MC Hot Rapper’s New Single That Just Dropped Yesterday!
This is a futile wish. It’ll never come true. It’ll probably get worse. This epidemic of MC Building A Name For Myself dropping a verse of whatever the hot brand new record became nearly unbearable this year as the number of rappers that started finding out how to loop up records in GarageBand or figured out how to find instrumentals on Google (Ed. note: Stop snitchin’!) began dropping their “remix” mere hours after the song first LEAKED on to the internet.
Not even official releases, or even official leaks…
We’ve heard some ridiculous things over the course of the year – rapping over tagged leaks is near the top of the list. You know who you are!
We feel that there should be at least a 1 week moratorium on remixes. Give people a chance to get used to the original song, and give the rapper plenty of time to write a decent verse rather than toss out something he wrote in 2 minutes.
6. Music Video Trailer
We’re going to let you in on a secret. Music videos are advertisements for albums. They aren’t really these grand artistic statements. They are just meant to capture your attention and make you wanna buy an album. Which is why we’re confused by the influx of trailers for music videos that crossed our desk this year.
The trailer is an ad for the music video which is an ad for the album which for most artists should be an ad for their live show.. but that’s another post for another day…
But while we’re talking about advertisements…
7. Product Placement – aka Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine’s Revenge
Product placement in music videos isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been done for years to help offset production costs for music videos, but it seemed to get overly intrusive in 2011. In the past, you may have seen Jay-Z casually sending a two-way message on a Motorola pager, but now some of the products being advertised are getting close-ups that rival those of the featured artists.
Peep any video released under the Interscope/Geffen/A&M label group and you’ve certainly spotted a pair of Beats By Dre headphones, or the HP Beats Laptop. Watching a video from a Bad Boy artist or one that has Diddy somewhere in it? Please believe that you’re gonna see lots of bottles of Ciroc being passed around.
Are we alone in being tired of being advertised to all the time??
8. Euro Pop’s Chokehold On R&B & Hip-Hop
Erykah Badu said it best. R&B & Hip-hop have become nothing but “pop techno cornball a*s music.”
While it’s been justified that this euro-pop sound that has infiltrated R&B and hip-hop helps the artists out in “international” markets (read: everywhere except the United States), it does nothing to further the artforms by making them virtually indistinguishable from every other sound on the radio.
9. Slow Club Records
Remember when the songs that got the clubs hyped were actually uptempo records? Now it seems like every club banger that gets released is in the 60-75 BPM range, which puts it in “Always & Forever” territory as opposed to “Boogie Nights.”
And let’s hope that this trend of extended portions of club records with no drums dies a quick death too.
10. Hashtag Rap
Rapping like a mentally handicapped Yoda became the new hot sh*t in 2011 as rappers began adopting the “hashtag” flow popularized by Lil Wayne and Drake.
Named after a feature on Twitter where people place “hashtags” at the end of their tweets to link them to other tweets with similar subjects. For example, if a popular Drake lyric had been posted on Twitter, it might read “I could teach you how to speak my language #rosettastone.” The hashtag, “#rosettastone,” referring to the popular language learning software.
While it was cute and fuzzy and adorable the first few times we heard it used, it quickly became unbearably irritating.
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