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Face it: Kanye West a Big Influence on Hip-Hop

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by Jacques "Jooks" Morel

Kanye West went AWOL for six months, came back in a furor, capped a marketing campaign (I’ll explain in a few), and then dropped a classic album. Legendary stuff right? Let’s not hear that from a Kanye fan though, let us hear that from the music industry. Pay attention to trends. Since we are in such a lucky position to have the internet for many things (aside from the greatest thing…porn), we can actively study the trends and releases on blogs, news sites, and TV (but who watches music television anymore?)

The one way to decide if an artist is doing illustrious work is to see how many other emcees mimic his actions. One clear example is how many “diss” records were released against “top” rappers after 50 Cent buried Ja Rule. This trend still happens today - I do not need to name examples *cough* every Jay Z diss in the past 4 years*

Below you will find three distinct reasons why Kanye’s run this year were not only ratified by his own hard work, but by the simultaneous hard work of other artists. (I’m going to list them, since I know you all have an issue with reading long discourses)

1 – The Rise of Amber Rose

Remember that time when we had no idea what Amber Rose’s voice sounded like? When all she was a bald figure head and stored in the jerk tank for pleasure without the internet (holla if you fuxks with me). After Kanye left her, she has now become a growing apple of the industry (indirectly succeeding in her Vagenda) and notably the head actress in Fabolous’ latest video – “You Be Killin’ Em”. Out of nowhere she has become a major star…riding the coattails of the late couple’s break up. Also, after we found out the voice behind “Yeezy Taught Me” was Amber – it all made sense.

2 – G.O.O.D Friday Releases

Every artist in the game witnessed Kanye West, an A-List rapper, dropping classic music on a weekly basis – without any recompense for holding back tracks for his album (many of the tracks on "MBDTF" were released!) This then caused Timbaland, RZA, Lloyd Banks and many more artists to then have their own “days” as well. This marketing technique did not prove as fruitful for them as it did for West, however it shows that again the industry is forced to use Kanye’s sloppy seconds. 

Releasing music on a weekly/daily basis is not new (Mickey Factz was the last one to do it right) however Kanye closed the door on that marketing campaign. Now, any artist that does this will be seen as trying to copy Kanye. 

3 – Artwork

The G.O.O.D Friday artwork was mimicked by every internet rapper under the sun. The large lettering with dead/nude/hot models in the background was an internet staple for a long time (and it still is). Now everyone is into abstract paintings and different art – causing the expanding of an entire genre’s tastes. 

Now that you have had your head messed up with the truth, I will give one prediction as to how the industry will follow Kanye again in 2011.

"MBDTF" taught the industry that in order to produce great music it has to be epic. Stadium music or go home. B.o.B did this, and T.I. used to do this (no on "No Mercy" however) Jay Z does this…the list of artists goes on. Kanye set the bar so high that in order to make it to the top you must make bold statements. 

Which is why the above is all…in bold. 



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