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100 Ways to Save Hip-Hop

By

Rick Ross at the BET Awards

Apparently the party favors were heavy in rotation. Rozay, Tunechi and Khaled "Hustle Hard" onstage at the BET Awards.

© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Every year, critics get together and hold a premature funeral for hip-hop. Then, people like me are forced to sit here and counter with articles on why hip-hop is just a form of entertainment and grossly misrepresented in the media and totally misunderstood by mainstream America and allathat. Well, guess what? I'm tired of playing that game. So, rather than defend the culture endlessly, I've compiled a list of 100 ways to save hip-hop. These suggestions apply to artists, DJs, journalists, record labels, and fans. Pick the ones that apply to you and behave accordingly. Here are 100 things you can do to save hip-hop.

  1. Stop playing the same 5 songs on the radio.
  2. Stop listening to radio stations that play the same 5 songs.
  3. Stop blaming Diddy.
  4. Stop Diddy.
  5. Stop dubbing every new jack "the next great" this and that.
  6. Stop charging body parts for shows.
  7. Stop fabricating feuds to sell records.
  8. Stop putting Lil Wayne on every song.
  9. Stop saying hip-hop is dead.
  10. Stop hating Kanye West for being weird.
  11. More rap battles, less fake feuds.
  12. Stop biting Jay Z's flow.
  13. Stop biting Biggie's ad libs.
  14. Stop putting boring weed carriers on your album.
  15. Stop trying to please every demographic.
  16. Stop leaking entire albums song by song.
  17. Stop making posthumous collaborations.
  18. Stop getting arrested for dumb things.
  19. Stop being homophobic.
  20. Stop blaming record labels.
  21. Stop whining about how much you miss the 90s.
  22. Stop cluttering albums with corny skits. Give Prince Paul a call, instead.
  23. Support good music with your wallet.
  24. Stop making 22-song albums with 90% filler.
  25. Stop faking the funk.
  26. Stop calling people who disagree with you "haters."
  27. Stop hating.
  28. Stop kissing ass for favors.
  29. Stop saying you miss "real" hip-hop.
  30. Stop hating Jay Z.
  31. Stop saying you're carrying ___ city on your back. That's not even possible.
  32. Stop acting too cool for school at concerts.
  33. Stop rapping about the same three topics.
  34. Stop rapping about UFOs.
  35. Stop promoting sexual violence under the guise of hood reportage.
  36. Stop defending misogyny.
  37. Stop being a Twitter groupie.
  38. Stop promoting contrarian views for the sake of being contrarian.
  39. Stop hating people who disagree with you.
  40. Stop blaming Chief Keef.
  41. Stop Chief Keef.
  42. Stop dissing dance-tastic rap. It's been around forever.
  43. Support innovative DJs.
  44. Actually make the effort to move the crowd.
  45. Stop radio payola.
  46. Stop blog payola.
  47. Push the envelope.
  48. Stop biting.
  49. Stop yelling all over mixtapes like DJ Clue.
  50. Stop blaming bloggers.
  51. Make meaningful music.
  52. Stop obsessing over airplay (or lack thereof).
  53. Stop showering undeserving veterans with blind praise.
  54. Stop sleeping on unsigned talent.
  55. Stop hopping on trends.
  56. Stop making everything a race issue.
  57. Stop being so gimmicky.
  58. Stop calling everything a concept album.
  59. Stop making Tinker Bell beats.
  60. Stop blaming skinny jeans.
  61. Stop blaming hipsters.
  62. Stop overexplaining your art.
  63. Let your music speak for itself.
  64. Stop playing everything safe.
  65. Invest in better artwork and album packaging.
  66. Stop promoting ignorance.
  67. Stop burning bridges over stupid things.
  68. Stop bragging about your SoundScan figures.
  69. Stop showing up six hours late to your own shows.
  70. Stop blaming the South.
  71. Stop putting people in boxes.
  72. Stop tossing the word "classic" around.
  73. Stop congratulating yourself on every song.
  74. Stop trying to sell the same album twice.
  75. Stop looking for the next 50 Cent.
  76. Stop hating people who color outside the lines.
  77. More rapping, less singing.
  78. Stop wasting your budget on video hos.
  79. Do tell me, how do you get in those jeans.
  80. Stop getting murdered by Eminem on your songs.
  81. Stop telling me to "bring that sh*t back!"
  82. More improvised freestyles, less written freestyles.
  83. More originality, less biting.
  84. More RZA, less Bobby Digital.
  85. More effort, less ghostwriting.
  86. More albums, less mixtapes.
  87. Stop hiding behind Auto-Tune.
  88. Stop making contrived girl songs.
  89. Stop wearing obnoxious gold chains.
  90. Stop calling everything "a movement." Civil Rights = movement; Bugatti Boys = not a movement.
  91. Stop shooting up nightclubs.
  92. Stop wearing jackets that look like LV handbags.
  93. Stop nominating idiots for Hip-Hop Honors.
  94. Stop handing out awards to the same 5 people every year.
  95. Stop sending impostors to your show (I'm looking at you, DOOM).
  96. Ban Diddy from Twitter.
  97. Stop putting baby pictures on your album cover.
  98. Be aware that the roof is not literally on fire.
  99. Retire the word "swag."
  100. Stop trying to save hip-hop. It doesn't need saving.
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