Smiff exemplifying future of the music industry

Jason Cominetto ('10)/Eastside Underground Editor

Scooter Smiff is the new Bruce Springsteen. His coalescing of various instruments from multiple genres creates a sound that reaches depths the likes of which no listener has heard before. It is unfathomable to anyone who has not heard a track off of his sampler, Head Of My Class, to understand the musicianship and intricacy that goes behind the production and sound of any of his songs.

For those of you that do not know, Scooter Smiff is a thirteen-year-old rapper who has been signed to Interscope Records. He is a prodigy among prodigies, a genius of the arts if there ever was one and arguably the greatest artist of this generation.

In all seriousness though, listening to his sampler makes me wonder the direction the music industry is heading in. Artists like Smiff have become incredibly popular and garnered national attention as of late, and I honestly do not see why. Most music by these artists are lacking a message and provide more of the same-old same-old rhythms, blending every shred of individuality any of these artists ever had into one big cocktail of low expectations that is the modern rap industry.

That’s not to say this album offers nothing new, because it does. Instead of rapping about mature themes like sex and drugs (usual fare for modern rap music), Smiff sticks to a more child-friendly point of view by rapping about school, his crushes and doing childish activities.

For example, the chorus of the title track is: “I’m the head of my class / I know you heard what I said / I don’t need a hall pass / Imma hit the gas / I’m the head of my class.” Some lines from his more serious and R&B style track, “Do It For Me,” are: “I’m so respectful I will say please / Mister do you mind if we roll the Chuck E. Cheese? / And back to my house and play Nintendo Wii? / Yes I said we / her including me.”

Let me tell you, deep stuff.

I don’t have a problem with younger artists entering a field usually dominated by people double or triple their age, but using lyrics like the ones above just seems like a form of exploitation. Instead of using his age to prove that young artists can produce meaningful music like their elders, the guys at Interscope took advantage of this kid and made another processed and monotonous piece of garbage to add to the ever-growing pile of modern rap music. If Smiff had something meaningful to say then perhaps this sampler would mean a step forward for the rap industry. Since that is not the case this sampler is a huge step back, perhaps even farther than rap has already gone.

There is more to the music than the lyrics though, and sadly that sounds just as bad as the former. Unoriginal beats and tempos are riddled across the four tracks found in this sampler. Even when Smiff changes his tone from serious to solemn, the music that plays behind him sounds generic and boring. Look up any T.I., Chris Brown, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, etc… song, and you have the beat for a track off of Smiff’s sampler.

There is one upside to this album though: it is extremely funny. It makes a great joke present for someone that likes good music, as their reactions will undoubtedly be laughter followed by curiosity. They will then probably listen halfway through the first track and crack up at the music’s hilariously awful lyrics and nod in agreement with others around them at the fact that certain people consider this original music. So while the album itself is horrendous taken seriously, there’s just something about blasting music about using a speed pass at Six Flags that cracks me up.

With the popularity of terrible rap music greatly increasing over the past few years, I can only hope that when more people hear this sampler they realize what they have been listening to all this time. This sampler hints at an album that could possibly break the spell that shallow lyrics and simple beats have put under the American populace. More realistically, Smiff will probably climb the charts and become one of the most popular artists in America. Don’t be surprised to hear “Head Of My Class” next to “Crank That,” by Soulja Boy at your next school dance.

Sigh…