Will Hagle purchased polyphonic ringtones without his mother’s permission. 

Folk artists will sing about telephones and writing letters for eternity. Acoustic songs dedicated to distant lovers don’t sound quite as good if you explain that you just talked to him/her over Skype.

Hip-hop typically prefers to remain in the immediate present. Most rappers don’t write letters. They write songs called “Instagram That Hoe.”

However, with developments in technology increasing as rapidly as they do, it’s difficult to imagine a future where technological references in rap aren’t immediately outdated.

Below are a few rap albums with outdated titles and/or premises that make them difficult to revisit.  Although they played a role in music’s technology-driven future, the exponential nature of technological innovation quickly led to their irrelevance.

Trick Daddy — www.thug.com

In 2014, www.thug.com brings you to a hip-hop news site that hasn’t been updated in two years. One of the headlines at the top of the homepage is, “G.O.O.D. Music’s Album Dropin’ Soon.”

In ’98, www.thug.com was owned and operated by Trick Daddy himself. The name also served as the title of the rapper’s sophomore album. The least retrospectively embarrassing part of the album cover is the inclusion of the phrase “you are now ‘on-line,'” as if being “off-line” was ever a thing.

Trick Daddy hardly seems like a pioneering Internet artist, but think back to your Napster library. “Shut Up” was one of the first songs I can remember downloading.  Also, www.thug.com was released a year before Napster even existed.

There are rumors that www.thug.com2 (an inexplicably brilliant title) is in the works. Whether or not GoDaddy can process such a request remains to be seen. But if anyone can save us from domain name shortage, it’s Trick Daddy.

Soulja Boy — Souljaboytellem.com and iSouljaboytellem

Before www.Souljaboytellem.com linked to Soulja Boy’s verified Twitter account, it hosted his music and videos (and linked to his Myspace account). Many videos consisted of him causing mischief in a local Wal-Mart. And one of those videos contained instructions for a dance you may or may not have cranked. The site also took forever to load because it was stuffed with every HTML design trick you could conceivably Ask Jeeves how to do.

Souljaboytellem.com wasn’t even a debut album.  It was essentially a celebration of Soulja Boy attaining success and inking a deal with Interscope due to the help of his already massive fan base. The key difference from traditional artists was that those fans came from all around the world, not just a local scene. “Bapes” and “Yahhh!” were already viral hits before the Internet ad machine new what viral hits were. The updated, Interscope influenced versions seemed like an afterthought by the time a physical Soulja Boy product hit shelves.

The point is not that Soulja Boy was ever a good rapper, but that the very thing that led to his success also led to his demise.  Trick Daddy had success before the Internet, Soulja Boy was a product of it.  And longevity is difficult to attain when you spend an entire song bragging about your ability to flip your phone.

Free The Robots — Ctrl Alt Delete

As a young MC in a public “battle” chat room, an anonymous user came at me with the line “bitch I will control alt delete you.” At the time, this was one of the best bars I’d received via keyboard.  The threat of the phrase, along with its timeliness and the environment in which it was written, made for a fairly intelligent insult.

With the rise of Apple, the control-alt-delete keystroke has essentially became obsolete for all except those still doing things on an operating system that requires applications to be forcefully shut down.

In 2010, the keystroke combination was the title of this dope, ahead-of-its years album by Free The Robots (pressing control-alt-delete wasn’t exactly ubiquitous in 2010 either, but we’ll give it to the guy).

There is no analysis here, just a reminder to revisit an album that was progressive in 2010 and hasn’t lost its luster in 2014.

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