While C2tE isn't so pretentious as to claim Nostradamus-like props, based on past experience, we've got a pretty strong feeling about how 2008 is gonna go down. Peep into the crystal ball at what awaits urban pop culture over the next twelve months.
Next Big National Hip-Hop Trend: Posthumous Rap Tours
With major label sales down the toilet, and mainstream rap in particular far below levels of years prior, there's at least one market segment left that still moves units by the bucketload: albums by dead rappers. And with concert ticket sales also in the dumps, it's easy to see a possible solution to both dilemmas, especially considering rap's fascination with the morbid. The sick thing is, some people would actually pay to see the coffins of Tupac, Biggie, Pimp C, Mac Dre, or ODB hoisted onstage at an arena while their music is pumped through gargantuan speakers. Even sicker, that concert might be better than some of the, er, lifeless shows being booked these days at big venues.
Election-Year Prediction #1: Edwards Goes Redneck
Hillary's got Bill and Barbra Streisand. Obama's got Oprah and Common. There's nothing left for John Edwards to do but cater to the Dirty South demographic if he wants to stand a chance in '08. That's why we think he'll reach out to Kid Rock, Cowboy Troy, and Soulja Boy for a new theme song, "Why Can't I Cast My Ballot at Wal-Mart?" He'll also pull up at campaign stops in an RV with 22-inch rims bumping UGK/Lynyrd Skynyrd mash-ups, brew his own moonshine-laced energy drink, release a crunk album under the name Lil' John-Boy, and promise to pardon Michael Vick.
Election-Year Prediction #2: Obama Gets Gangsta
Refuting oft-cited claims (mostly by white people) that he's not "black" enough, Barack Obama will start dressing like Frank Lucas at the Ali fight (fedora, fur coat, cufflinks) and refer to Senator Clinton in televised debates as "that old-ass cave bitch." Press conference questions will be answered with the catch-all phrase, "what it do, pimpin'?"; reporters who misquote him will suffer retaliatory drive-bys. If elected, Obama will celebrate by doing doughnuts in a Buick Regal in front of the Washington Monument.
Next Big Network TV Show: Baby Mamas
From Moesha to Girlfriends, African-American-themed TV programming tends to the stereotypical. This new BET show about four single black women who work at a nail shop in the 'hood is no different. Originally titled Sex in the Inner City, it's best described as Desperate Housewives meets Hot Ghetto Mess. Look for cameos by Dave Chappelle (as Jerome the crackhead), 50 Cent (as the neighborhood "G"), and Tyler Perry (as Grandma Jones).
Next Big Reality Show: "Hip-Hop's Top Cops"
In this new Fox series, hidden cameras take viewers behind the scenes of secretive federal task forces assigned to investigate millionaire rappers suspected of criminal activity. The setup is the setup: caches of assault weapons are provided by bodyguards, high-profile murder investigations remain unsolved despite multiple witnesses and credible evidence, platinum money clips are analyzed for traces of cocaine residue, and latex-gloved Transportation Security Administration officials gleefully conduct cavity searches at airports.
Next Big Cable TV Show: "Snitches"
If you liked HBO's The Wire, you'll dig this gritty, hip series about the life and times of confidential informants in San Francisco's Bayview. Follow the action as the C.I.'s essentially get paid by for using and selling crack while committing murders and robberies without fear of prosecution, as long as they help the Feds build a case. Season Two details what happens when the case falls apart due to lack of witness credibility and/or prosecutorial misconduct.
Next Big Hollywood Trend: Pre-War Movies
Now that Redacted has broken the taboo of depicting a currently active war, the film industry will jump on this new trend by making movies about international conflicts that haven't yet happened. Among 2008's big summer blockbusters: Iran So Far Away, a musical about Black Ops advance teams and CIA agent provocateurs in modern-day Persia; Middle-Eastern Promises, an ultra-violent David Cronenberg thriller about suicide bombers in Syria; Don't Cry for Me, Venezuela, another musical, starring Carlos Mencia as Hugo Chavez; Habitat for Inhumanity, a comedy about American private security contractors abroad; and Being Kim Jong Il, a biopic starring Margaret Cho as North Korea's cryptic leader.
Next Big Bay Area Music Trend: Hyphy Folk-Rock
Next year will see the biggest locally originated musical movements of the past few years — hyphy rap, stoner rock, and freak-folk — combining like a schizophrenic Voltron. (That's kinda what Flipsyde already does, except with Latin influences.) Thus, we have High on Purple's incredibly loud, Gothic odes to corner-store-bought cigars; Keak Vandersneak's unintelligible, yet hauntingly beautiful, acoustic 'hood anthems; Mistah B.A.N.hart's surrealistic sideshow soundtracks; Grilltallica's mix of turf-cat clichés and overly long instrumental passages; and BART Ridaz, featuring 3xKrazy's B.A. and Honeycut's Bart Davenport trading vocals over chopped sample loops of commuter trains at rush hour.
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