Yesterday I was home from work early and strolled through the channels and ran across VH1 Classic which really only deals with old music rock, all kinds of rock from what I’ve seen. So I found myself watching the documentary It Might Get Loud, which I was going to buy off of Amazon anyway because I like U2 and White Stripes. The documentary shows just how much Jack White, Jimmy Page and The Edge really love music and were so hell bent on not making pop music. With all that pushed to the side what I noticed going through the channels is Old Hip Hop has no channel rocking them on a regular basis. Now of course there is that music choice shit that will play songs not videos, but that’s it. I think Hip Hop needs a channel that would give the same love that Rock gets.
Why should that be hard? Hip Hop has a rich history and many artists, DJs, B Boys and Graffiti artists that could feel every week of the year. I mean to just explore how Hip Hop changed the landscape of the West Coast and West Coast changing hip Hop is something that should be on television. To see how Texas got in the Hip Hop culture would be great. So why hasn’t anyone tried to do this on a national level with cable? There are thousands of channels that focus on some of the corniest shit I have ever seen. Then there is music, MTV and VH1 have a few off springs that focus on one genre, even CMT has two to three other channels. There is VH1 Soul but no channel to focus on old school Hip Hop, why?
I already know the answer to be honest. One reason is Hip Hop hasn’t really become national until the late 90’s. I’ve lived in the Midwest for seven years and now I’m in Wyoming, and there are people older than me that don’t know Rakim, Kurtis Blow, who was in the group N.W.A ( no really a dude pushing 50 in KC told me he didn’t know Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were in some group called N.W.A. yes sad I know), Sir Mix A Lot pre “Baby Got Back” days, The Beastie Boys, The Fat Boys, O.C, Big Daddy Kane and many more. So to even put the channel out would be something those on both coast would love and those who actually know Hip Hop in what I call Middle America. Plus if they did do a channel like that it would have to be filled with artist out now to bring in viewers, it’s what MTV2 did with the re-launch of Yo MTV Raps!. To be fair its why there are no radio stations even dedicated to such a format. Radio stations deal with everything from soft Jazz to Metal Rock, but Old School Hip Hop, not at all.
It would be cool to see and hear Old School Hip Hop artist talk about what went into the making of classic albums, who influenced them and even cooler to see them do shows even if it’s a small venue. To hear what trouble Graffiti artists had to go through just to show off their talents. To hear about classic B Boy battles from those early days, and how popping really was transformed thanks to those on the West Coast. Hear old school DJs speak on the art of DJing and watch channel supported DJ battles. I’m not saying to do that bullshit Freestyle Friday type shit because that was a gimmick for credibility by BET that luckily caught on. To see Wild Style and other Hip Hop documentaries on one channel would be nice too. Who knows as I’m speaking about this someone is going through hell trying to sell this idea without selling out to some network for that opportunity. Trust me if done right this channel would be dope, it just has to be put out there.