Ask A Rapper-Related Underground Mixtape DVD Show: Pitch Control TV

The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email introducingliston@gmail.com.

This Week's Rapper-Related Underground Mixtape DVD Show: Pitch Control TV

This Week's Subject(s): Mixtape DVDs; "The Drop"; Houston's elite

Ask A Rapper: We guess it might be good to explain exactly what Pitch Control TV is. Let's start with that.

Pitch Control TV: Pitch Control TV is an underground hip-hop TV series. While shot and edited professionally, the content remains raw and uncut. Pitch Control TV started in 1997 as a weekly show on KVR9, UT's student owned/operated TV station. It has since evolved into an Internet TV and Mixtape DVD series.

AAR: You know what I've been curious about? "The Drop." Every time we see someone with a camera promoting for a magazine or website or whatever, they ask anyone famous around to do a drop for them? You know what we're talking about? Like, on your DVDs you'll have, say, Lil' Flip grab the mic and be like, "Yo, this is Lil' Flip chillin' with Pitch Control TV..." and blah blah blah.

Is there any other profession besides music where that'd work? Do you think at some dentist convention somewhere in Minneapolis there's a dude walking around with a camera and dentists are grabbing the mic like, "Ay, dis dat boy Dr. Goldfarb and when I'm not working on someone's impacted molars I'm reading Dental Economics magazine"?

PCTV: Basically, the drop is where an artist cosigns a particular media outlet. It serves numerous purposes, including tying together various footage you may have of an artist with your show. It's also practical, a lot of times artists are in a rush in or out of a venue, and may not have time to do a full interview at the moment, so you get a 15-second shout-out instead. I think it's viable in many forms of reality television, although it may not be common outside of the entertainment industry. A Dental TV series may also want to display that they work with a variety of Dentists around the world, or may want to endorse new procedures or products as well - same concept.

AAR: More and more, the mixtape DVD is something we're starting to see a lot of. Why is that? Are we already to the point where it's not enough to just hear music? Does this have anything to do with people putting TVs in their cars? One time we saw a guy on 610 who had porno playing on the TVs. He was the only one in there too; just driving around listening to porn.

PCTV: I think the format basically evolved from the music video. Mainstream media outlets rarely show music videos any more and when they do, they edit out the cursing, nudity, drugs/alcohol and even certain brand names of clothing. DVDs such as Pitch Control don't have to adhere to the same restrictions, so we are free to show what we want and the consumers appreciate us for it. Watching material in your car is ideal, because you can listen to and view it passively without having to devote your undivided attention to it.

AAR: At this point, it seems like the mixtape is almost always more relevant to one's career than official albums. Do you think eventually they'll be a point in time when those two things just blend together? Like, sooner or later, are all the labels going to be obsolete?

PCTV: I don't think labels will become obsolete, although their roles may change with the development of new technology and the way media is produced and distributed. I think the mixtape is valuable because there are less boundaries and politics to deal with. It's more of a direct connection between the artist and the consumer.

AAR: Let's say you spend a fair amount of time around Houston rappers. How about you lob us what you feel to be are Pitch Control TV's top five most respected rappers in the hustle today? Nobody dead counts, because people always remember dead people with kind eyes. Out of the alive guys, who are the top five that just nobody effs with?

PCTV: Nobody is untouchable, but as far as respect and hustle goes in Houston, the pioneers such as Scarface and Bun B get their props off [the] top for having longevity in the game. After that, you've got artists such as Slim Thug and Chamillionaire, who remain commercially successful while staying true to their core fanbase. Finally, I'd say Grace of the S.U.C. who is back home after being incarcerated for 5 years. He's got the streets riding with him and his hustle is second to none.

Watch more clips from Pitch Control at www.pitchcontroltv.com.

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