Friday, January 06, 2012

Brooklyn Is Dying

Brooklyn is passé. That's not news. The exodus of the creative vanguard has been in the paper for the last few years. This borough of NYC has been the center of many talent universes. The latest to leave is rap:

Last year, Sha Stimuli, a 33-year-old Brooklyn rapper, packed up and moved to Atlanta.  He wanted to widen his audience, he says, and the South beckoned. He’s not the only one moving on.

In recent years, there is a growing sense among hip-hop heads that New York, and Brooklyn in particular, is passé. While there are still stars emerging from the borough, the action, the excitement is taking place elsewhere.

“In the last decade, New York has been left behind,” says Sha Stimuli. Although being a Brooklyn rapper may have helped his career ten years ago, today he sees it more as a disadvantage. “Me saying I’m from Brooklyn doesn’t actually help, because there is no novelty there,” he says. “People got bored of Brooklyn and New York.”

Brooklyn is proof that Spiky World is getting flatter. Talent can leave an alpha city such as Toronto and thrive in a small market such as Halifax. A city cannot thrive on hipsters alone. Portland should know.

The impact of globalization on urbanization is one of pricing people out of the most successful cities. "I have to be in New York" is replaced by "I can do this in Pittsburgh." You can DIY in Youngstown as well as Brooklyn. That's the magic sauce of the Youngstown Business Incubator. Better to freelance in the Rust Belt than Park Slope.

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