jay-z_575If you had not yet heard, the Oprah effect is very real. Oprah is the daytime diva, who controls masses of minds from her cute little couch. With more authority in most of our lives than our own parents, CNBC has dedicated an entire hour of programming to review what major companies go through to get their product on Oprah’s show. Just the mere mention of a brand has sent many upstart and established companies from obscurity to celebrity. There is no greater gain for a business than an Oprah endorsement. Instead of who has more money, God or Oprah, a better question is who has more influence?

Yet, when it comes to hip-hop, a central and sole voice of authority has been severely lacking. Following Friday’s release of Jay-Z’s newest track, D.O.A. (Death of Autotune), the Jigga Man once again took the industry on his own shoulders. Credibility is everything in hip-hop. These days Jay-Z is the only viable artist out there whose credit is good and long standing. As announced by Mr. Cee and Funkmaster Flex when they premiered D.O.A. to the world, auto tune in music is an issue that the hip-hop community has been beyond derelict in addressing.

“Stop using auto tune as a crutch and get back to rapping.” — Jay-Z


Jay-Z has requested that music get away from the likes of Lil Wayne’s Lollipop, Kanye’s 808’s and Heart Break, and the phenomenal body of work provided to us from the uber-talented T-Pain- while still acknowledging that without auto tune, these songs had great melody at the roots. He told Hot 97, this track was all in the interest of “moving hip-hop forward.”

Thank you Jay-Z. It’s sad that in order for hip-hop to move forward, it needed to be said that rappers needed to start rapping. Hip-hop has long been wandering in the desert. My hope is Jay-Z is the Moses who will lead us back to a quality of musicality that has been all but dead. Auto tune being the noose around the neck of hip-hop just waiting to strangle out any remaining signs of its true existence as it flails for dear life. For real lovers of the culture and the music such as myself, I can’t take another 40 years of this BS.

What remains to be seen is if this clarion call will be taken seriously within the industry. The other thing about hip-hop that is so undeniably unfortunate is the industry is built on trend. When Jay-Z said jerseys were wack, EVERYONE started rocking button ups. Hip-hop is also a very male dominated, egotistical arena, which means some clown is bound to challenge Hov in the name of promoting his own career and to also justify the falsified musical success he has achieved by robotic vocal assistance. Jay-Z is shining a spotlight on what most of us have known or thought for years: If you can truly rap you don’t need any vocal modifications. In the beginning it sounded pretty cool, but dammit, enough is enough.

If a true Jay-Z effect were to take hold of the industry, this could be the tipping point we have all been waiting for. More so, as the lead track from Jay-Z’s eagerly awaited Blueprint 3, this album without a doubt will set the tone for what the corporate heavies will be demanding other artists get in line with. Because as we all know, if it’s hot, music companies, will manufacture it, market it, and shove it down our throats. Props to you Jigga, for stating the obvious; once again you’ve stepped in as hip-hop’s savior. If Oprah had any respect for hip-hop, she would know that she owes you a favor.

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  • Love Jay, just had to put that out there.

    T-Pain really IS talented and one of the few acts to debut in the past five years who has had real influence on music. A lot of folks have come and gone and left us with nothing. Even if T-Pain falls off, he has left us with auto-tune.

    Anyway, Jay isn’t say anything that music bloggers and fans haven’t been saying for years. Only CERTAIN people can get away with auto-tune, the rest have not proven they have talent OUTSIDE of auto-tune. This is the huge difference. Kanye gets a pass because he made three solid albums without auto-tune. Same with Wayne.

    But the rest of these knock-kneed clowns are using it to get a hit because it’s catchy and they crash and burn like they rightfully should.

    In two years it will be something else.

  • Goldangel

    *spraying CHICKENHEADBEGONE® at that Rashida critter*, next…

    “You who have through out your post commented on Jay-Z’s look should not be worried about name calling.”

    *I* stuck to the subject (Jay Z) and called HIM ugly etc. *You*, on the other hand Clnmike, came with the name-calling at *ME* because you didn’t like my opinions but could not disprove them. Grow up! This ain’t the ghetto so how difficult could it be for you to distinguish between the two in a debate?

    “Who said Oprah owed him anything? In fact how did you read this article and find away to turn it into a man vs woman issue at all?”

    Geez, how obtuse can you be? If you can’t read and lack the intelligence to follow along, then stay ya ass out the game but, had you read and comprehended the opening joint, you’d have noted this lil tidbit at the end of Nichol’s article….“If Oprah had any respect for hip-hop, she would know that she owes you [Jay Z] a favor.”

    “You show me were men are supporting him or take your own advice”.

    Aaaaaaw whatsa matta, likkle Mikey-Wikey? Can’t prove your claim that “women are the ones running out to support R. Kelly not men”? Boy, bye!

    “The only thing you have proven here is that the bitch word wont be retired anytime soon.”

    I agree! It won’t be retired because it will be needed to describe wimpy punk ass males who ride Jay Z’s nutsack like fairies and – when they get angry, all else fails and they can’t control a situation – like to call females out their names! That’s the ticket but thank you, Clnmike, for displaying a prime example of why I never dated black American men, don’t find the majority of them attractive, and look forward to the day the lot of em are all locked up for life in a maximum security prison on a remote island somewhere.

    *I am joking, so no one should trip*

  • *I am joking, so no one should trip*

    Lol, no patner aint no joke here, just you showing your true colors.