By Chris Yuscavage
In case you've gotten caught up in the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, here's a friendly reminder from RapFix: 2010 is almost over!
That's right. In less than one week, we'll be ripping our 2010 Rosa Acosta calendars off the wall — what? Don't judge us! — and ringing in another new year that'll (hopefully!) be just as good, if not even better than this year. From the emergence of Drake and the newfound fame of Nicki Minaj to the reappearance of Eminem and the wild and wacky world of Kanye West, we've got to admit that 2010 was one of the better years in recent memory in terms of hip-hop music.
But that's not to say that everything was on point this year. Because while we certainly enjoyed most of what went on with rap music, there are a number of things that we hope rappers leave behind when the Snooki-ball drops on New Year's Eve. If the rappers out there are still looking to get us a gift, do a little addition by subtraction and make us happy by leaving these 10 trends behind in 2010. Thanks in advance!
1. Releasing your songs on specific days of the week
Why It Needs To Go: Because everyone isn't Kanye West! Initially, the G.O.O.D. Music founder created "G.O.O.D. Friday" to build up anticipation for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by dropping one new track every week. But other rappers soon latched onto the trend and before we knew it, we had "Mood Muzik Mondays" courtesy of Joe Budden, "Wu Wednesdays" courtesy of RZA and "Blue Fridays" courtesy of Lloyd Banks. Um, guys: Enough is enough! The point of the Rosa Acosta calendar is to look at her, not the busy schedule we've been to endure to keep up with every ... single ... new ... rap ... song dropping throughout the week.
2. Starting "beefs" with your fellow rappers on Twitter
Why It Needs To Go: Sigh. Have we really reached a time and place in hip-hop history where it's OK for the long-running feud between 50 Cent and Ja Rule to spill over onto Twitter? Well ... have we?!? If so, cancel our Twitter handle ASAP. Because back when Biggie asked, "What's beef?" we're pretty sure the answer he was looking for didn't come with a hashtag.
3. Sending your fans letters from jail
Why It Needs To Go: Lil Wayne using his time at Riker's Island to reconnect with his fans was acceptable. Sweet even. But now T.I.'s followed suit and written a handful of letters from behind bars to his fans and one thing seems clear: This trend is gonna continue if we don't put a stop to it now. So, listen up. If you're a rapper and you go to jail, please don't start a blog about it. And don't write letters about how much you miss your fans. Let's put that energy toward staying out of jail.
4. Blaming poor sales figures on your album being "under shipped" by your label
Why It Needs To Go: So, your album didn't do the numbers you thought it would. And now you're a Trending Topic on Twitter because of it. Tough luck. But rather than taking to the tweets or releasing a blog blaming your label for your poor sales, why not ask yourself if you did everything to make your album a hit? Why not — gasp — take some of the responsibility for your poor sales? In other words, why don't you stop making excuses? Just stop using the term "under shipped," please. It sounds ridiculous, especially when we just saw a stack of your albums at Best Buy.
5. Hopping on the same song as every other MC to get a mention on the rap blogs
Why It Needs To Go: Unless you're trying to help us answer that age-old question, "How many 'Black & Yellow' remixes does one rap fan need to hear before he throws his iPod out the window?" we suggest you stay away from rapping over Wiz Khalifa's instrumental. And any other instrumental that more than three other rappers have already used. Seriously. There are THOUSANDS of rap beats out there. Why rap over the same one?
6. Releasing a "trailer" for your new music video
Why It Needs To Go: Music videos are, at best — what — four or five minutes long? Do we really need a 30-second "trailer" to get us in the mood to watch it? Just put it out already.
7. Getting tattoos on your face
Why It Needs To Go: Tattoos on your forearms and sleeves to cover your biceps — that was cool. Then, you started tatting up your backs and your stomachs and your chests — and that was cool. Then, you moved your way up to your necks — and even that was cool (though, admittedly, a little creepy). But now? Well, you're putting ink all over your grill. You do realize you're gonna look ridiculous when you're 70 sporting a rap crew logo on your mug, right?
8. Sleeping with — even just allegedly — women who makes viral videos about her sexual encounters
Why It Needs To Go: We like to know everything about our favorite rap artists. Well, almost everything. So, your favorite food, favorite movie and favorite song? Cool. But your bedroom behavior and your sexting style? Keep those details behind closed doors by sharing them with classy ladies who'll promise to keep quiet.
9. Recording songs that incorporate well-known samples that are a little too well-known
Why It Needs To Go: No, we're not talking about throwing a Rick Ross line onto the hook of a song or remaking a classic hip-hop anthem or incorporating Busta Rhymes's "Rrrrrroaw, rrrrrrroaw, like a dungeon dragon!" from the classic A Tribe Called Quest posse cut "Scenario" onto your new song. We're talking about Just Blaze jacking Haddaway's "What Is Love?" for Eminem's "No Love" and Will.I.Am lifting The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" for Nicki Minaj's "Check It Out." We're coming dangerously close to people who aren't familiar with hip-hop making the "rappers are so uncreative!" arguments that plagued Puff Daddy (and the fam!) in the late 1990s and early 2000s. So borrow at your own risk.
10. Any use of the word "swag," including, but certainly not limited to, swagger, swagga, swagtastic, swaggerific, "Pretty Boy Swag" and ... oh, you get the point, right?
Why It Needs To Go: We put this on our Christmas list in 2007. And 2008. And 2009. And ... oh, come on, Santa! If we had one wish (no Ray J) this holiday season, it would be this: Please bag swag!
What other rap-related trends do you want to see left in 2010? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!