Friday, May 22

What's Gonna Happen When They Take Hip Hop Off Life Support?

Maybe I’m a dinosaur? A fossil from a time when music once meant something? It seems like the further we get into the twenty-first century; the more hip hop seems to be deteriorating into something further from what it was meant to be. I understand that these artists (and for some, I use the term extremely loosely) have to eat, so their work also serves as a means to putting food on their table; and I respect that. But who let all these swaggin, dougie-ing, Rick Bobby dancing cats into the game? A great MC is like a rare artifact these days. I know we’ve got Talib Kweli, Wyclef, OutKast, Mos Def, and a few others who have managed to survive this new coming of age, but when they leave…what will be left of hip hop? Will I be forced to listen to classics on my ipod and reminisce upon a time when artists had a first priority to give us a glimpse into their thoughts or experiences, and not jig about how they Superman’d that ho? Will things ever go back to the way they were? Could someone please tell me its gonna get better? Please?


  1. I've been wishing and hoping that things will get better. Still no change yet. So I just listen to the classics now hoping that the new "talent" will learn.

  2. SUCKA MC's. Thats all I got to say. Really Soulja Boy?? So mad right now. They don't make music like they used to:( Breaks my heart.
    I guess us old folks really have no other choice but our ipods. Great post!

  3. hahahahaha!! it is a shame because I will be honest and say I really do like Turn my Swag On. You are very right..I don't know whats going to happen. Gotta comment the Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Common types though for not falling and failing to the peer pressure of WHACK hip-hop!!!!

  4. as time goes on, our taste change. this normally leads to venerating those things that we appreciated as in our youth. this leads to looking to the past and wishing it could be the present. In the 90s, parents told their children how music was "real" back when Marvin Gaye and Al Green were singing and that the singers of the 90s had nothing to sing about or only sing about sex, when the truth is, music has always been about the same things: love, sex, magic.

    I am a fan of hip hop, but lets not pretend that it was invented as a means to advance us as a people or an artistic medium. It came about as a means to enliven parties. it evolved to both political and gangsta varieties that attempted to tell the stories of us as a people, and has now returned to bravado and party music. and lets be honest, even the best hip hop artists succumb to the game and fail to keep it real in order to sell their albums. Hip hop has changed, but so have we. Hip hop was meant to be enjoyed by the young and must be driven by that population.

    while you are listening to your ipod just remember to talk out your earphones so you dont yell at the kids on your yard

  5. 1) Hip hop is not dying. It's just in its hair metal phase. There is an incredible amount of quality hip hop that is made every year. Just because the major label dope dealers don't slang it on the radio station street corners or in the music video projects doesn't mean that it's not out there.

    2) El Guapo said:
    "I am a fan of hip hop, but lets not pretend that it was invented as a means to advance us as a people or an artistic medium. It came about as a means to enliven parties."

    This is only partially correct. Yes, part of the reason that it formed was as a means to enliven parties. However, to limit hip hop's birth to that, or to say that dismisses it's validity as art is shortsighted at best, and showcasing a gross misunderstanding of hip hop's genesis at worst.

    Hip hop also came about as a way of creative expression (that sounds like "art" to me) in forms ranging from vocal (emceeing), physical (b-boying) and optical (graf writing), all in addition to the musical aspects. It also served as an alternative to gang violence, since it allowed competition between various crews without having to include violence (this is the origin of battling).

    At its core, hip hop has always been creative art and when everything else washes away, that is what it always will be.

  6. El Guapo: As far as historians know, painting was originally developed as a means of record keeping. Does that mean that its development into an art form is any less credible?

    Omagus: I saw records being sold at a store the other day. Does that mean the technology isn't obsolete? There will always be starving artists, but the definition of a genre is determined by the music it puts out. I'm sorry my friend, but the wall between hip hop and pop has been blurred. And honestly, it looks like hip hop is losing more and more ground, as pop pushes further.

  7. JD,

    You'll have to clarify what you mean by this last comment. Are you equating creative hip hop with vinyl records?

  8. I'm just saying that hip hop's definition as a genre is changing. My point with that analogy is that just because something is present, does not mean it is the primary means. Don't get me wrong, I believe there will always be hip hop artists, but as time progresses, how will the genre itself be defined? And if you look at most other genres, it seems they have all gone through this process.

  9. Ok, I gotcha.

    The biggest flaw I see with that logic is that it allows hip hop to be defined by people who are not involved with hip hop. Or people who ARE involved with hip hop but only in a business sense with no understanding of the art or culture.

    I look at it like this: if hip hop were to stop being profitable tomorrow, hip hop as defined by the corporate masses would cease to exist. However, rappers and b-boys in the underground would still meet up to battle one another. DJs would still dig for new music. Graf writers would still compare their burners.

    That's what I mean by hip hop at it's core.