Hip Hop Before The Internet, Part 2

J-23 returns to continue last month's editorial and discussion, looking at Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch The Throne" release to re-live the excitement of being a Hip Hop fan in the 1990s.

A few weeks back I wrote about the experiences of a pre-Internet Hip Hop head, an idea that I’d been thinking about for years now. What ultimately led to actually putting the idea into words was the release of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne. The weekend before the album dropped I checked a few spots to see the general response to it. Much to my shock, a mere three days before release Tuesday and one of the most anticipated albums of the year had not yet leaked. And it never would - not early anyway. In the last 10 years when was the last time an album of significance didn’t leak online at least a day earlier? I can’t think of a single one. It then really dawned on me how absurd it had gotten since I was a kid dubbing tapes; not being able to get an album before the release date had become a cause of shock. Never mind the endless access we have now that I spoke about in Part 1, we also get to hear everything ahead of schedule. In a lot of cases, months ahead of schedule. It’s wild. All that said, I couldn’t be happier that I finally wrote that piece after reading the responses. Every writer here prepares themselves for the onslaught of negativity when they scroll down to the comments section, it’s usually inevitable whether warranted or not. All I read was people older, younger and the same age nodding in agreement and sharing their own memories. Sometimes you get trapped in your own little bubble, it was a nice reminder I wasn’t the only one who realized how much times had changed.

Jay-Z & Kanye West's Watch The Throne Relation To The Golden Days

My intention was certainly not to claim that all things were better 15 years ago. It's easy to look back nostalgically at the days of cassettes and wistfully recalling how you’d let the tape rock ‘til the tape pop. Carrying five tapes in your bag, 10 batteries, constant rewinding, fast forwarding, bad sound quality, tapes getting eaten up. Imagine iPod users today being forced to do that! There's no question that a simple click of a button to access thousands of songs in a single sitting or being able to recharge your device with solar energy isn’t a better way. Anybody who thinks otherwise is truly kidding themselves. I look back at those days with nothing but fondness, but got-damn that shit was a pain in the ass when you actually had to do it. Since I wrote that article I dug up my old Walkman and some tapes and rocked it for a few days; shit got old quick, real quick. My nostalgia gave way to practicality and convenience. I sit down in my car and it starts playing music from my iPhone through the Bluetooth, I don’t have to touch a thing. What’s fucking with that? Certainly not hitting rewind 14 times to get it to the exact spot you want.

But as I said in the last, I wouldn’t change a thing; we experienced the music much better because of those restrictions. Much like a producer who learned on analog equipment, the technology is unquestionably better today, but they couldn’t use it as well if they didn’t learn the hard way.

Memories From A '90s Hip Hop Fan

Getting back to some of your comments, I was reminded of some tricks of the cassette days that I'd nearly forgotten about:

  • Covering that one little hole on the top of a retail tape so that you could dub over it.
  • Deciding to get the cheaper 60-minute blank tapes or spring for 90 minute ones. Then, trying to squeeze on two albums onto a 90 minute tape by cutting out skits and interludes or that song you didn't like as much.
  • The risk/reward of rewinding a song or line you love knowing that it may kill your dwindling batteries. Even stopping your walkman could be risky when batteries were low, there was always the chance it wouldn’t start back up.
  • Pitching in for an album with your friends; the person who paid double kept the original and the rest dubbed it.
  • My mom wouldn’t let me play tapes in the car that had bad language so I’d make my own clean versions of albums by hitting pause when they cussed as I was dubbing. As you can imagine, some albums required hundreds of edits. It was a labor of love. To this day, my 56 year-old mom can probably recognize more golden-era rappers by voice than some of you can.  
  • Copying out the tracklists on those shiny cardboard inserts and smudging the shit of at least four or five song titles when the ink didn’t try fast enough.

One of my favorite comments from Part 1 came from Mike, who truly ran a great scheme to feed his addiction:

“I used to work at Wendy's in the '90s at the drive-thru. Whenever possible, I'd short customers 10 cents and put the dimes to the side. All the money went to my album purchases. Good times. I'm 30 in a few weeks, and I always thought I'd outgrow Hip Hop by now. But now I realize it's my Classic Rock.

I definitely feel like I appreciated albums as a whole way more back then. I like a lot of new stuff, but most albums only get a listen or two from me and then I only hear their songs through playlists. One summer, the only tape that got played in my car was [GZA's] Liquid Swords - and it never got old. It also feels like there are a lot more albums coming out today.”

Some of the DX staff is going to share their fondest memories, please keep bringing us yours.

"When 'Wu-mania' was arguably at its highest point, my older brother and I were plotting on a way to get our broke hands on a copy of Method Man's Tical album. Like many a music fiend, we came to the sad conclusion that the only solution was to part ways with a few albums by hawking them. Southern California heads may remember the retail music chain, The Warehouse, and their horrible deal to trade in five CDs for one new one. It was settled. On the night that Tical (which was arguably one of the weaker efforts from that initial Wu 'solo' catalogue) dropped, we rounded up five random CDs and made that 1.5 mile hike (if we had bus fare, we wouldn't have walked) from our crib on Obispo and 15th all the way down past Long Beach's Traffic Circle to swap those albums out. For whatever reason, the nine-member collective from Shaolin had a hold on our brains, and we wouldn't be denied. Lukewarm critical reception be damned, we played the shit out of that Tical album until the disc was scratched and the liner notes were dog eared and faded." - Omar Burgess, HipHopDX's Editor-At-Large

"The year was 1999. I was part of a small tightknit burgeoning web community known as Okayplayer guided by a fearless leader known as Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson. Around the same time The Roots received some entry level success off 'You Got Me,' they started putting together weekly shows called Black Lily at NYC's Wetlands. Jaguar Wright and the Jazzyfatnastees hosted, Scott Storch played the piano, and at any given moment, The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Mos Def and others known as Soulquarians would grace the stage and jam for hours. I didn't know what was happening with this movement, but I knew I needed to be a part of it. Black Lily was on Sunday nights, and things really didn't pop off until 1-2 AM. I was in college in New Jersey at the time with an 8 AM class on Mondays. Every Sunday night, I would head to the city at midnight and literally drive from the Wetlands to class the next morning. I got my first C in college in that class that semester, but that was a small price to pay in order to witness history in the making." - Kathy Iandoli, HipHopDX's Music Editor

"Towards the end of high school, I started catching Hip Hop shows at this venue called, The Spot. It was really a vacant hall of some kind, under one of Route 65's towering bridges in Pittsburgh. Hometown mainstay DJ Selecta, owner of Seven-Twenty Records had invited my friend and I, as dedicated teenage patrons in his store who demonstrated a purists' taste despite our age. After my lifelong friend Ryan (who owns less than five Hip Hop albums) spotted the Aretha Franklin sample in Mos Def's just-released 'Ms. Fat Booty,' Selecta invited us to see him spin at The Spot. 

To this day, the Friday nights there were amazing displays where (oft-passed over) elements of Hip Hop prevailed. Breakers and deejays reigned supreme as teen-aged kids came to brown-bag it, chill, and study each others moves in a casual celebration of Hip Hop culture. One night in particular, Selecta kept cuttin' a record with an amazing horn sample and the same sort of Reggae influence that I was really into at the time, from KRS-One, Mad Lion and Nine. I had no idea who it was, and I was too cool to dare ask. So I scribbled some of the lyrics down on a napkin, went home and chilled in the UndergroundHipHop.com Audio section until I had it. That record would eventually prove to be the Ayatollah-produced 'All Massive' by Tek (from Smif-n-Wessun). Fast forward 10 years, and I'm at Complex headquarters drinking Coronas and playing Madden with Tek and this crazy memory dawns on me. Wow, what an amazing journey it's been. And I still scribble down lyrics when somebody plays a dope record." - Jake Paine, HipHopDX's Editor-in-Chief

J-23 is HipHopDX's Editor-At-Large. He was a full-time member of the staff since 2001, and has was DX's longtime Music Editor and Marketing Director. J lives in London, Ontario.

80 Comments

  • Selecta

    Jake, Thanks for the love in the article and Jenesis magazine interview. I just stumpled upon both pieces while perusing the Jenesis site for a DJ Bonics article I was interview for. Congrats on all of your success. Glad I was able to contribute to your personal "how I fell in love with hip-hop" story. Believe it or not, I started out writing (and co-creating)a zine as well, many moons ago. A few like-minded friends started the short lived Phunk magazine in the pre-photoshop days. Fond memories of sitting in on phone conference calls and of course bucket loads of free music! Keep on.....

  • hexy

    **PLS SUPPORT http://twitter.com/#!/getwettt http://www.facebook.com/kwgks#!/pages/Get-Wet-Clothing-kwgeez/161378347301611

  • Maj

    Im 20. Im from West London so i cant relate to all these dope stories from the 90's (they cool to read tho) but back in 98, my dad bought me a walkman from the city for my 7th bday and my auntie bought me this RnB classics CD. It had Jay Z 'Cant Knock The Hustle' & 'Aint No Nigger' on it but i couldnt play it out load cos my mum didnt like me listening to swearing so i recorded them tunes along with other classics such as Coolio & Run DMC on to a blank tape and id listen to them every night before i slept. That one line by jigga 'You aint having it? good. Me either, lets get together and make this whole believe us huh' stuck with me ever since and i discovered the beauty of 90's hiphop albeit near the end of the decade.

  • Grim

    I'm 26. I'm from the east coast and I moved to the south in Junior high. When they were playing "I'm Bout it" by Master P I was playing "Where I'm from" by Jay-z (Jigga NOT Hova). I remember we used to have competitions on who could recite bone thugs lyrics the best lol. The Gym, the schoolbus, the lunchroom, and the football games were where hip hop lived. At the time I thought southern rap was a joke. After a while I began to enjoy it more. We used to battle, Cypher and put little punchlines about the cute girls (in hopes to get attention) You always wanted to go last so your rhymes would stick the hardest. My homeboy Von was a beast with his mouth and 2 pens he'd make the beat and I'd rip the "mic". Once ppl started bringing handheld tape recorders it was over. I couldn't wait to "flow" I was so focused on what I would say. I really hope they still do that in highschool. The Cypher helped me build friend ships from Junior high through College. South Girard to Auburn University.

  • John

    The one comment that I have in contrast to what was mentioned about the lowering of appreciation or value for new hip-hop is that given the massive increase of hip-hop artists and music made available through the enhanced means of Internet dissemination, I feel like listeners are forced to find the better sounding, quality music even more so now (regardless if they pay for it, stream it online or download it illegally). I would argue that just because hip-hop is ubiquitously available doesn't necessarily mean that fans of the music/culture are lowering their standards and levels of appreciation. In fact, I'd argue the opposite. There's so much hip-hop out there that I end up listening to a lot with great detail, generally gravitating towards the music which is more relatable and of significantly greater quality - and this leads to both old and new hip-hop artists and songs. I'm a 90's baby so I can't comment on how it used to be, but from my perspective of growing up with both hip-hop and the Internet, I don't think a lack of appreciation or value can be justified for increased diversity within the music/culture. Despite numerous hip-hop albums/mixtapes dropping this past summer, new and old projects like Kendrick's section.80, OutKasts ATLiens and The Root's How I Got Over were on constant repeat

  • Fossie

    Icy Boi is a fuckin retarded crackaddict!!

  • Fossie

    ABOVE THE LAW !!I listened to this shit more than N.W.A.!Most underrated rappers of all time !!

  • Renzo rollin

    Hip was best in the 90's fo sho. More raw, just funky beats and funky rhymes. Nowadays it's too focused on makin the people dance.

  • BeantownBreezy

    This was a time where hip hop peaked at it's greatest level and will never be duplicated and that is cuz of time and circumstance.Hiphop was pure and organic which is the opposite of the machine driven show me the money bamboozled yessir massa' can you'z get's me a record sell out my soul and sing fo' dolla massa' bullshit we have to see nowadays.The greatest classic albums are from this time period so sit back,do your history, and purchase Nas,Mobb Deep,MOP,Gangstarr,The Beatnuts,Pete Rock and CL Smooth,South Central cartel,kam,Ice Cube,Paris,Too Short,Biggie,Pac,Compton's Most wanted,Spice 1,Jay Z,Outkast,Goodie Mob,Geto ABoys,UGK,Wu Tang,OC,Show and AG,Big daddy kane,House of Pain,Cypres Hill,redman,Naughty By Nature,Queen latifah,Salt n Pepa,Artifacts,EPMD,Keith Murray,RSO and all the other greats and shut the fuck up cuz your gayass radio YMCMB bullshit is light years away from this type of hiphop.Also to all my dudes who I grew up with and sold out cuz of the times...eat a dick bitch and be true to the game.

  • logic174

    I remember asking my boy to write the song titles in the blank cassette insert because he wrote it in with style like a tag up. I remember sneaking late night to listen to this one hip hop college radio show and that was my source for the new. Sooo many more memories to comment on.

  • jay

    I am a die had 90's hip hop fan, I grew up in it and to me, it is the best musical era ever.....but....everything evolves...I love the internet and the freedom and speed it comes with...in addition to preserving the memories, we need to also celebrate the technology and innovate...while still focusing on skill and quality...cause nowadays, if you're an artist and you dont blow up...its solely your fault...

  • Paperstacks

    Obviously it was necessary to read the whole thing considering it was not about either of those points

  • God

    LOL article is nothing new. Internet raped the album sales and thats obvious. No need to read this article of 5 pages.. Any Jay Z dint sell that much on WTT...lol shameful tbh coz Kanye ruined the songs. If it was Jay by himself it would be have been classic

  • Jamaal

    I grew up in a southern town called Clarksville, TN. Its just outside Nashville. I remember being 16 & hearing Jay-Z's line from Cant knock the Hustle saying "My pops knew exactly what he did when he made me, he tried to get a nut and he gotta nut and what." I went to a little local record store called Soundshop and gave a guy in line some money to purchase Reasonable Doubt for me as I was too young to buy it because of the Parental Guidance sticker. I let dude keep the change. What I heard in that album changed my life and cemented my love for hip hop...and I still own the original copy.

  • superswvggedout

    Pretty interesting article about the Internet's affect on the career on up and comer A$AP Rocky. http://passedpresent.blogspot.com/2011/11/aap-rocky-embodies-internet-age-rapper.html

  • Jensen

    I remember when the rewind/fast foward on cassette players would brake, i'd have to manually rewind or fast foward by sticking a pencil in the cassette holes and turning them

  • bigpat101

    Oh Yea One more thing I remember when Women for the most part didn't like rap. Now these young cats make music for the females. It used to be real, now everyone has a party song as a single. You can tell its not authentic.

    • Drexel M Warren

      hey youngin no diss but check ya history bruh- rap started in the basement parties- PARTIES and didnt have the foolish gang bangin fakery, drug dealing or hoe hopping!!!! chiggity check yaself before ya riggaty wreck yaself(research that while ya at it)

  • bigpat101

    HipHop was way better before the Internet. This year alone I've been too Atl, Flint Mi, Tenn, Dayton Ohio, Dallas Texas. Guess what all these niggas are dressing the same. I remember hittin all of these same spots even late as 02' but definitely in 98' and everybody really had they own style. Chicks would see me and be like, you definitely not from here with those creased up girbauds and soulja ree's on. Hiphop influences what we wear , and now that Hiphop is easily accessible and visible alot cats are dressing the same and calling it swag lol @ them sheep. All of a sudden everybody is a sneakerhead...

  • adrian

    Great continuation! J-23, You have fresh view on old times, and way that you decribe them is so amazing for me. You made me some thoughts about Hip Hop now- where's the unity and passion nowadays? Where are alle the hip hop spots, cyphers? And I feel like we have to bring hip hop on the streets. We have to back to roots, but in new way. Big shouts out from Poland

  • MCEIHTDJQUIKEAZYEDRDRE

    SMIF N WESSON SOUND BOY BURIOL

  • XXXXXXX

    This also reminds me of how it feels when you look forward to weekends going to a records store to check albums now a days its very accessible.

  • Whyklev

    J-23,thank you! I posted a couple times in your first article, and kept checking to see more comments and feedback. Glad to see you wrote another article. Quick question.....who is going to do tributes or covers for these artists down the road? I was at a 60's, 70's, 80's soul/motown/r&b night the other night, and I started drifting off thinking man....I wonder if hiphop will have similar nights? So tough to reproduce the same feel (or swag as the youngin's would say) in the hiphop genre. Thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    wow, a lot of people missed the point of the article.

  • So Icy Boi!

    Weezy F Baby outsold dis camelface. da internet dont support old ass camels like Gay-Z. lol YOUNG MONEY WE DA BEST! swag *skateboardin*

  • So Icy Boi!

    fuck Gay-Z. hip hop wuz wack before da internet. real talk. Gucci da GOAT. swag

  • Anonymous

    And before you had to make that connect to actually find the music or some good mxtape selection. Looking back that was a good thing, because then you've built up a social circle for many causes relating to anything. I guess the love of music was more apparently obvious befor it was made free

  • KING

    I remember waiting to friday night so the radio could play exclusive hip-hop, Im from (louisville, ky) so we didn't hear it during the week, well this song Dead Presidents, would come on and I didn't even know who Jay-Z was, I just knew that song was tight and I would wait by the radio wit my cassett tape waiting to record it...#good ol days

  • dockevoc

    I remember hitting up the mom and pop music spot and walking up to the counter with 4 cd's (my weeks's paycheck from bagging groceries) and the clerk reading off the artists and looking at me like 'damn kid you know you ain't right'...he said "Ren, Cube, Dre and Rakim"...probably the defining moment of my hip hop life, along with the day I graduated basic training in 1995 and bought Me Against the World, Tical and The Diary (arguably the the 3 darkest masterpieces of hip hop) all on tape...golden era, baby!!

  • Johnny Blaze

    Mann, that was the worst when you had a long bus ride or sumthin and you realized you had low batteries right at the beginning haha. Before the innanet age in music, you listened to the album so many times you liked it even if you didn't like it at first. I can only imagine how I would feel about todays music if I gave it more than a few listens before I delete it.

  • Serdal

    Jay Rock give's me that golden era gangsta feel and ofcourse kendrick.

  • Philly

    Great article, this brings me back. I remember having illmatic and the first chronic in both slots on my boom box and goin back and forth between east coast and west coast 2 completely different sounds, I find with an ipod I skip around alot, I like taking dutch rides just lettin a album play out skits and all.

  • Eric Djefn Narciandi

    I started my early mixtape career making pause tapes with a double deck tape deck. This was before I could afford turntables. I tried my best to recreate the magic of turntables by pausing the recording tape and bringing back the playing tape to simulate cuts, wheel backs, loops and other record tricks. It actually worked pretty damn good! I took a step further when I rigged another tape deck and was able to to try to even do blends! I thank god I lived that era. Seems we appreciated the music more than. Not to say the kids don't now but since it was harder to produce there were less releases so you appreciated every single one. Even the records you hated you took a good listen to before you determined you weren't feeling it.

  • Adrian Andre

    Really? Jay-Z existed before the internet?

  • 9has

    dope read. I'm 20 and it I remember telling a friend that I had just "downloaded the new eminem cd", a day after I had heard "My Name Is", I had to be 9-10 years old. I burnt a few cd's for some close friends and their moms hated me for weeks

    • WTF!?!?!?!?!

      bigpat101 = Arsonal from GrindTime

    • bigpat101

      I feel you i corrupted so many of my cousins and kids that ride the bus. This kids momma got on the bus waving around this Soulja Slim tape i had dubbed for her son saying she didn't want whoever made it for her song to make him anymore ( dude didn't snitch).. I made him the Mystikal the next week though lol S/O to WuTang (Ghostface), Jay=Z , OutKast, Lil Flip, Fat Patt Cashmoney and i can't forget Master P and the whole No Limit movement. Before the internet I got to be that exclusive nigga forreal though. I'm 27 now though

    • bigpat101

      I feel you i corrupted so many of my cousins and kids that ride the bus. This kids momma got on the bus waving around this Soulja Slim tape i had dubbed for her son saying she didn't want whoever made it for her song to make him anymore ( dude didn't snitch).. I made him the Mystikal the next week though lol S/O to WuTang (Ghostface), Jay=Z , OutKast, Lil Flip, Fat Patt Cashmoney forget Master P and the whole No Limit movement oh anad I can'. Before the internet I got to be that exclusive nigga forreal though. I'm 27 now though

  • old head

    the best way to open yourself up to new music is to read the album credits for the samples used then go look up that artist and listen to the song that was sampled to see how the producer reworked the song.by doing this you will appreciate all types of music.ill give you one example nas song "THIEFS THEME" uses a sample from the song "IN DA GADDA DA VIDA" perfomed by the group iron butterfly.the song's title was originally "In the Garden of Eden" but at one point in the course of rehearsing and recording, singer Doug Ingle became intoxicated and slurred the words, creating the mondegreen that stuck as the title.

    • bigpat101

      Thats what I do real talk. It also gives you alot more creativity when choosing your own samples if producing is your thing.

  • imstupidandwriteforHHDX

    "In the last 10 years when was the last time an album of significance didnt leak online at least a day earlier? I cant think of a single one."...Watch the Throne did...his picture is 2 inches above you

  • MoeKnowsBest

    Hey Jake Paine! I was the main promoter of underground Hip Hop events in Pittsburgh and the owner of The Spot. It is nice to know all the effort I put into the Hip Hop scene had so much influence. I have so many fond memories of back then and I am glad you share the same. Moe

  • chill

    lets try something new.how about we respect each other and if you dont have anything to add to the convo then dont comment at all.

  • Howard St. Chi-Town

    Techonolgy did not make hiphop better, it made it worser. Digital recording workstations or softwares, like Pro Tools, are the reason why hiphop lost its natural sound and edge. Anolog captures the natual-warmth whats being recorded, digital softwares kills all of that and creates a cheaper and harder sound. Also with with digital recording software, accessibility to make music (and recording it) is easier, hence more shitty artist and shitty albums. Plus now we compress are music (MP3, ACC, etc), the music sounds much more weaker and cheaper. Listening to hiphop albums on a Ipod (especially albums from the 80's and 90's)... the music sounds weak, cheap, and very unfulfilling. Dr Dre with his "Beats by Dre" headphones, trys to slove this issuse; successful or not, atleast someone heard are cry.

    • Howard St. Chi-Town

      Sorry my friend, you just agree with me; "recording to tape is the purest recording"...LOL! Thank you for proving my point...LOL!

    • ^^^^@HOWARD

      haha i really don't know y I am replying back and even try to prove a point because its clear u have no clue, 1. Anolog is spelled Analog, 2. in order to track(record) on analog u need sum type of program to record it(protools) unless your talking about recording to tape which is a whole other conversation, because yes recording to tape is the purest recording as long as the tape machine is in good shape, but just because u use outboard gear doesn't really make a big difference, they have plugins of the exact outboard gear that work just as fine, also u said saying bit rate is simplistic hahahaha I bet u have no clue what Bit RATE is and y its so important, I was just replying to your post because u said Pro Tools was what makes the music garbage and that is totally false, like I said u probably listen to MP3s and thats y the music sounds shitty is because it looses all the dynamic range, let me ask u sumthin what do u think analog is?

    • XXXXXX

      So you saying Dre's the choronic sound shit?? I think your very reliable---- NOT

    • @Real Talk

      Nigga you ain't no audio engineer, every professional-AE knows that Pro-tools is bullshit compared to Anolog; every great artist to the producer and engineers, attest to this. I'm not young, you stupidfuck... been coppin hiphop since it was on cassette, vinyl, then the CD; of course I know difference between the sound/quality of a CD and a MP3. Everything that you said was on some simplistic shit, like when you mention the "Bits"...LOL! Everybody knows compression or discarding leads to loss quality...LOL! And most of the great hiphop albums were recorded on anolog, thats just a fact; if you considered all the great hiphop albums came from the 80's and the mid-90's. And today, digital is now manipulating the anolog-sound, thats win for us anolog-heads but its still not the same.

    • truth^

      i couldn't agree more with the person above... im 16, and im a home producer, but i have turnatbles, 12" records, and the whole wu-tang, methmod man, raekwon, etc, nas, eminem, dr dre, all the good shit in CD, and i still go out and purchase cds from good new artists like The Game, and such. I no music is much more accessible now, whihc is why so many albums drop so quickly and shitty people come into play, but if you think about it, those shitty producers never make it anywhere, the people who make it are the ones who can do the job well or create something new no one's ever heard. Pro Tools is really old, and its of great quality, even with digital MIDI. You can still mix analog and everything. Make some research before posting BS like that, becuz proffessional artists use Pro Tools and other programs and mix it proffessionally and bounce it at very good quality.

    • ^^^^^REAL TALK

      Nigga im a recording engineer and after reading what you posted your tripping. Like the article clearly states yea the old times were cool but the new technology is better. Pro Tools renders files way beyond mp3, wav24bit is even better than the standard CD which is 16bit, mp3 are for ipod and itunes download because its such a small file thats why mp3 sounds shitty. Pro Tools has nothing to do with that, also a good mic is needed, now having worked with digital and analog 99% no average person would know the difference, if u don't like mp3s buy the fuckin album instead of downloading it.Protools been around since 1991 how many great cds from all genres were made from 1991 to the present.Like I said u my friend download to much free music because if u bought the actual Album(CD) u would not have stated what u just posted.Remember 16bit 44.1kHz is cd standard

  • dj nemesis

    i remember when youd watch a music video or hear a song on the radio and anticiapte the shit out of the album,an when it came out it delivered!,now you have no anticipation an it never delivers...unless its freddie gibbs haha

  • Bodey Jaymes

    things i miss: 2 disc albums. NOBODY has that much good material to release at one time anymore. Big K.R.I.T. & Kendrick are a "golden era" fan's dream in this shitty digital age.

    • bigpat101

      He's Talking about mainstream artist that may can actually change the music landscape. Bottom line that Little Brother shit ain't gone make it, (Honestly I love that shit Its only room for one Lupe apparantly). But Krit, and Kendrick Lamar kind of disguise themselves as being commercial rappers but there is alot more to the both of them.

    • Feedback

      You need to do your homework! 9th Wonder's JAMLA label is a damn hit factory! They put out 25 albums this year alone! If any label is holding down the golden era sound/culture of hip hop, JAMLA is the one and the king!

  • QuietShutYourMouth

    You should post your first article on retrojunk.com It'd fit perfectly there. Good stuff

  • Alana Lowe

    my buddy's sister-in-law made $236040 so far just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site NuttyRich.c0m

  • T-Dubb AKA Royal T

    OK, I am sorry but WTT DID leak. it didn't leak 2 weeks ahead of time (like most albums), but it still leaked like 5 days before.

    • the real is back

      no it didnt leak. it came out at midnight monday on itunes. then the physical copy came out that thursday or friday. if u are referrin to it bein available after it was already out on itunes then you are wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Before the internet JAYZ was a bitch ass nigga!! Since the internet JAYZ is a Freemason/Satanic bitch ass nigga!

  • old head

    rap music has lost that organic feel to it. now it's about your image and not the words.

    • m

      fags support swag, fuck em

    • ^^^^^^REAL TALK

      Man mothafuckas u niggas is not keeping up with time, yea not all rappers of today are even close to being great but fuck deal with it, i bet all of u have a new iphone or smart phone, i don't see none of u walking around with a pager and a old as cingular phone with a big ass antenna. Bet u all prefer HD Tvs instead of watching those big box blurry TVs, U kno what Im saying even compare Dres 2001 to Dres Chronic, a totally different sound Dres 2001 had such a newer sound then the chronic but yet that is one of hip hops most classics album of all time. When It comes to lyrics explain to me who in the old era was lyrical that no one in todays age cant match, cuz Lupe can spit with the best of them Jay Z, J.Cole, Kanye West, Eminem, Andre 3000, Nas, Kendrick, Lil Wayne (Carter2 Era, todays day ill admit he fell off) but theres a lot of lyrical rappers u guys just cant adapt to what this day in age sound is, every kid now a days all talk about swag, u have black kids with FRO HAWKS and tight Jeans and bright colors, earrings on they lip so guess what these rappers are gonna appeal to them cuz thats what sells, why did the Nas album with Damon Marley sell under 200k first week but Lil wayne sell a milli its first week, kids support SWAG not lyrics, So all u can do is just listen to the old albums because that era will never resurface.

    • old head

      ok thanks i will check it out

    • Chitown

      @old head, That Kendrick Lamarr Section 80 cd is pretty close. It damn near sounds like it could have been made in the 90's. Other then that, it's a bad time for anyone who cares about lyrics.

    • Rick James

      I feel you on that old head. Shit is only getting worse and there's few artists we can say a maintaining the organic hip hop sound. We can only hope our grandchildren learn from the mistakes of the current gen.

    • AP

      unless your listening to Section 80