no money, no honey

As like most, I am very passionate about hip hop and hip hop culture. As I listened to Self Scientific’s “The Return” it got me to think. Damn, these cats were rapping about how hip hop was getting out of control back in 1997 and here we are, and it still is out of control. Now my question is, do you “keep it real” and stay passionate about your craft wether it be producing, mc’ing, dj’ing and even art. Do you “sell out” and make that auto tune track or have that latest popular m.c. feature or stay true to yourself? Remember when Hot 97 would break records? Wu-Tang Clan, Souls Of Mischief, and Blackmoon were on regular rotation? Radio has become a “pay to play” situation. I’m not judging you if you get down with mainstream music. I had my dirty south phase, but for the most part what “they” play on the radio is not for me.  Now mind you, I’d never charge an artist for a review or feature on my blog. If I’m feeling your music I will post it.  For the most part, who the hell am I and why would you want to listen to me anyways? I’m not here to disrespect anyone or their art form. My soul purpose of The Wunderground is to inform people and let them know hip hop is not dead(I hate that statement) and it never was. Nowadays its up to you to decide what is “Hip Hop” and what is not. So artists, I ask you, do you stay the indie route or make something for the radio and or mainstream? Me? I’ll stay broke if it means me keeping my self-respect. Honestly, my soul ain’t for sale. I don’t need to be rich and famous. I love hip hop! As long as I can pay my bills and spoil my girl once in a while I’m good. I look at artist/record labels like Jedi Mind Tricks, Duckdown Records’ and Stones Throw and I say to myself, “damn they stay true to themselves and their music.” The one thing mainstream hip hop will never have over indie hip hop is loyal fans. I find with mainstream hip hop is your only as hot as your last record. Also, mainstream hip hop fans are fair weather fans like most New York Jets fans.Anyone heard the new M.I.M.S. or Ying Yang Twins record ? No, because they are irrelevant in the hip hop world now. What the hell happened to Tru Life? Just another pawn in the record industry. Dude was nice so I hope he makes it back. Either record companies are blind or just don’t they just don’t care, is that quality hip hop was once “Mainstream.” Artist were able to be true to their craft and still have “mass appeal.” Biggie, Big Pun, Ghostface Killah, and Outkast all had mainstream appeal, so records, and still were respected as “real” m.c.’s. That is not the case anymore. The indie route seems to be catching on.  Look how successful Freeway and especially Slaughterhouse did when they went the indie route? My point, loyal fans and quality hip hop. I guess the decision lies within in you. Money or respect? I just also wanted to take a minute to thank Dart Adams over at for the inspiration, Solo For Dolo, and whoever reads this. Thank you so much. Your support is much appreciated.

peace, love and dope beats,


  1. B Macy says:

    good article rekon, the independent route may not make the fast money but they still make a good penny. especially considering how major labels are not making nearly as much money as they used to.

  2. Independent as fuck and loving it…

  3. Steve R says:

    To each his own is what I say. If artistic integrity is important to you (plural), then you might just be better off disseminating your art on your own. By the grace of God, record companies are becoming less relevant, which only benefits the little guy.

    Back in the day, one virtually HAD to comply with the orders of Tommy Mattola et al. because he had the means to make professional recordings; actually have physical albums, tapes, and cd’s manufactured; have the aforementioned packaged and sent off to national record store chains; and promote the product. None of that is necessary anymore, unless one exclusively spins vinyl (until their back gives out from humping crates…oy, I’m getting old.)

    With this more limited reliance on the heavy hitters, I think in the next decade, we will see a whole new class of self-made artists who write, produce, and disseminate their own art to the extent that they can make an honest, gray-collar living. Surely, the bigs still have the advantage and make more money, but I see that dwindling over time.

    I also think that although this post pertains to hip hop, I imagine this same dialogue is happening with other, non-mainstream genres such as all of the metals (black, death, speed, etc.), nu-jazz, and others.

    At the end of the day, making a career out of your art (audio, video, photo, paint, sculpture, etc.) has got to literally be living the dream. It ain’t easy, and I have the utmost respect for those artists who put in the blood, sweat and tears to make an honest living while sticking to their playbook.

    One thing I do know about artists (personally and otherwise) is that many lack any sort of business accumen. Their shit might be hot, but a business education might just take that hot artist to the next level…or you could always hire Tommy to handle the business at the expense of your integrity.

    Any of that even make sense?

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