The creative landscape is changing. Technologies like Pro Tools, the iPod, and peer-to-peer networks have become mainstream in the digital age, creating a wild frontier of sorts in music. Independent artists can reach mass audiences once forbidden to them. These technologies are fostering the rise of “semiotic democracy”—where more and more people are no longer passive consumers of mass media, but active participants in creating culture. Cops vs Lawyers, Issue 3

الخميس، كانون الثاني ٢٦، ٢٠٠٦

SHOUT Best of 2005: Steriods in Hip-Hop

By Thomas Hynes

Image is its own instrument in hip-hop. Rappers today seem more loc'ed than ever, sporting that "fresh on parole look." And as society experiments with its newest chemical fixation, so too does hip-hop take a curious look towards steroids.

Like instruments or lyrics, drugs are an important facet in the musical process. Parker, Coltrane and Cobain had their heroin. Keith Richards has literally done a ton (2000 lbs., 907.19 kg.) of cocaine. You have to fail a urinalysis to even get signed at some labels.

Hip-hop has never shied away from getting high either. You got chronic, crack rock, hare-on, blunts, chewies, woolies... Drugs are as much a part of the hip-hop lexicon as rims or babymammasmmas.

Recently, steroids have come into the spotlight—in sports. Should it come as a surprise that hip-hop has injected itself with image-enhancing drugs? Robin Leach would put it like "From LL Cool J to 50Cent to Usher, buff is the new bling-bling in rap."