Hip Hop is Dead

“I met this girl when I was ten years old and what I love most she had so much soul”-Common. I want to step out the realm of sports for a second. I want to talk about what once was my second love. Hip Hop. Which is not just music, but a whole culture. Now, Hip Hop is not dying business wise or popularity wise. The original concepts of Hip Hop are dying. The quote I chose to begin this post really speaks to me. I first discovered Hip Hop when I was 10 and fell in love with the clever lyrics, the beats that you had no choice but to dance to, and the message. I fell in love with the fun culture of hip hop. There are 5 main components that Hip Hop is made out of: Mcing (rapping), Break Dancing, Graffiti art, Djing, and Beatboxing. The first one slowly but surely destroyed this once positive culture.

Back when Hip Hop was starting out in the streets of New York, it created  a way for young Black youth to express themselves. The expression was in a positive way. Despite many opinions, nothing about Hip Hop used to be negative. Especially in its early days. You had Artists like Run DMC, Eric B and Rakim, EPMD, Public Enemy, KRS-ONE, Big Daddy Kane, Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5, and of course Kool Herc, who is credited with inventing Hip Hop. All these artists came out with positive messages. Each one tried up uplift the Black community.  You had songs like “Fight the Power,” “Rapper’s Delight,” “Don’t sweat the Technique.”  Just to name a few. You also had the emergence of female mc’s. Mc Lyte and Queen Latifah were great role models for the female youth. It was fun, it was entertaining, and it all contained a positive message at the same time.

The 90s was a new and exciting time for the culture. Hip Hop started expanding all over the map. The West Coast gave us gangsta rap. N.W.A, Tupac, Snoop Dogg. The message was very different, but there was still a message. Gangsta rap told stories of what was going on in the Black community. Down south rap came around which gave Hip Hop a whole new sound… a whole new way of looking at the culture. It was very soulful. Artists like Outkast, UGK and Scarface created a whole new way to make Hip Hop music. East Coast rap was better than ever; the 90s gave us the birth of Nas, Jay-z, Biggie Smalls, Common, Wu-Tang Clan, The Roots, DMX, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli. All these artists had a distinctive style, and had their own little way of reporting what was going  on in the streets. Hip Hop was becoming global. It expanded out of the Black community. Everyone was listening to Hip Hop. But the message changed drastically. For the most part the message stopped being positive and started getting violent, but at least there was a message.

I can’t even call rap today Hip Hop. I can call it Trash. Is there even a message being portrayed in these songs?  The love for the culture has left these artists. Songs don’t  mean anything anymore. Artists today just put a bunch of words together that go with a catchy beat. I don’t even think they know what they’re saying. I started to lose my faith in Hip Hop probably in 2008. My faith was completely lost in 2009. There’s one line in particular I remember hearing that almost single-handedly killed Hip Hop for me. That line came from Lil Wayne in the Keri Hilson song “Turning me on.” The line goes “Baby I’m the shit and that’s the only thing you smell around.” I heard that and immediately turned off my radio. Not changed the station; I turned it off completely. Did he really just say that? Baby I’m the shit and that’s the only thing you smell around. Wow. What a message to be sending. You’re the shit and you smell like shit. Did you hear that kids? Don’t worry about taking baths… it’s cool to smell like shit now. Ok maybe my lost faith goes a lot deeper than that. There’s no structure in these songs. It’s either selling drugs, misogyny, or rappers talking about how rich they are. Which I guess goes with selling drugs. These artists now are being heard in new ways. They have a chance to spread a positive message not only in the Black community, but the White community, the Asian community, and the Latino community. They’re using their voice for evil. They’re making it seem cool to sell drugs, to carry guns. They make it sound cool to go to prison. There needs to be a change. Hip Hop is more popular than ever, and it’s so sad that lyrics had to be dumbed down in order for that to happen.

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One Response

  1. the music scene has changed so much

  2. I wonder if good music will ever return

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