Many say that the Hip-Hop industry is being besieged by untalented artists who need
their mics cut off.“Hip-Hop is Dead” rapper Nas is aiming to do
just that. The Queens legend has partnered with several other artists
and music equipment company Elgato to develop recording hardware that
automatically shuts off if certain lines are uttered.
“We’re deadin’ the wack s**t,” Nas triumphantly declared at the lowkey press
conference. Relatively few media outlets were at the event, and no
music publications attended.
Elgato’s equipment and software will be available at half the price of competing
products, making it a worthwhile investment for those who believe in
their lyrical ability. The software will use audial wave technology
to detect whether an artist uttered something from a constantly
updated database of overused lines and “keep you on point,” as
Hip-Hop veteran Ice-T said.
“There’s a certain level of unoriginality that’s sickening in the game,”
rapper/media personality Joe Budden noted at the conference in a
bizarre rant. “Every song someone’s ‘ballin’ like a Laker.’ or
talkin’ to a ‘bad b***h.’ Oh, you blowin’ money homie? Well, you blew
it on a microphone that won’t record your bulls**t.” Budden was
later escorted from the venue because journalists felt threatened by
There was a hands-on presentation of the product that the media was invited to.
An Elgato representative turned on the standard condenser microphone,
then went through an introductory setup. The software opened a menu
that asked, “what are you reciting your lyrics from?” There were
three choices: “from phone,” “from paper,” and “I don’t
write.” When the representative clicked “I don’t write,” the
box then asked, “are you Sean “Jay-Z” Carter?” The
representative selected “no,” and the program shutdown.
After resetting and getting the dialogue to work properly, the representative went to
Hip-Hop website Noisey and recited lyrics to some of the songs posted
on the site. After the representative recited the line, “chain cost
a house,” the microphone blinked and the software flashed a “Get
It Together!” warning.
When he uttered the line “bad b***h on my dick,” the microphone made a clicking
noise, and an error message on the computer program simply read: “nah
After a 20 minute shutdown, the representative was then offered the chance to recite a
minute of material to turn the technology back on. His lyrics didn’t
get a warning, and he was allowed to continue his session.
The software is designed “for lyricists only,” as Hip-Hop rapper Rakim noted.
There is a drawback, as industry insiders have noted many artists
will be able to get by the microphone’s restrictions by going the
route of Desiigner and Young Thug and rhyming in a completely
unintelligible manner. “This might actually make things worse,”
one industry source hypothesized.
groundbreaking technology at play, the press conference received
minimal coverage. When queried on the dearth of Hip-Hop media, Ice-T
surmised, “I don’t think these outlets that cover trash want
artists to know there’s technology like this out there. People will
buy just because of the names involved, not knowing that it’s not
made for them.”
The software is set
to be released to the general public by September, “right in time
for trash MCs to realize their lyrics are weak and focus on school,”