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The Future In Beats

I don’t agree with every prediction Sgt. Tibs over at GoWhereHipHop makes for the year in hip-hop, but it’s certainly an intriguing list. Where I think he’s wrong:1) Gucci Mane’s probably not going anywhere. Having a significant hit (with critical acclaim, even! Though I’m not in love with it) with Big Boi will be good for Gucci’s cred. The State vs. Radric Davis is selling well, giving him publicity that will carry through at least part of his prison sentence. He may be gone temporarily, but it’s not permanent.2) I’m not sure Kanye’s going to be back huge this year. As I’ve written, I think dude is overextended and needs a break. And I’m not sure where his next source of artistic inspiration is going to be — although he apparently plans to channel Maya Angelou, which does not have me super-excited. If he does a lot of “me against the world” stuff, I’m not sure how compelling it’s going to look to a lot of people who think he’s turned into a prima donna. He’s not fresh off the kind of breakup that fueled 808s & Heartbreak. And there isn’t a grand narrative like the one that dominated his three previous albums. So we’ll see.That said, I’ll be excited if two of his predictions, digital sales reaching the level of physical album sales, and the rise and reinvigoration of the hip-hop blogosphere prove true. What I’d really like to see is quality hip-hop coverage move into prestige publications, who really ought to be ready, by this point, to acknowledge the primacy of hip-hop in our cultural conversation. I’m sick of token pieces, no matter how wonderful they are.

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