What ever happened to hip hop battles? I can remember when there would be battles incorporated in every other talent show, and every showcase had some sort of contest between Dj's and, or M.C.'s. Singers battled as well. A show of talent above and beyond the talent show itself. Artists used to want to be different. They wanted to stand out. There were actual stage show's and routines. Crowd participation and surprises. I would be lying to myself if i said i did not miss those days. Today's performers are more concerned with promoting their mix tape than promoting their brand as a performer. How did the older gentlemen put it, "putting the carriage before the horse". It is the belief of this reporter, you don't tell folks at a live show that you will give them a taste of whats on the tape. Give the people your all and they will buy your tape as a memento of the evening. I, along with the millions ( and millions ) of the true believing hip hop fans have come to see a performance of the highest degree. Anything less would be an insult to the hip hop community as a whole. If we want fans to come and see our live sets should we not make them want to come back? If we play the same venue or the same city more than once, we switch up the stage show to give the fans a reason to come and see us again. Give them more than what they came for. A treat if you will. I can remember seeing The Soul Squad perform in Manchester N.H. mid 90's. They opened for Naughty by Nature when Naughty was promoting the hip hop hooray track. The Soul Squad opened with a prerecorded video of them getting ready for the nights show. The way they shot it and the way the Dj laid the track with the video. Had the crowd bugging out. It was pure dope. After the performance, Naughty waited an hour and change for the buzz to die down before coming out to perform themselves. Those were the days. Bring back the stage show. Bring back the quality performance. Bring back the reason for people to come out to see you.