Hip Hop Ain't Dead, Yall Just Grew Up
The title above may come as somewhat of a surprise to some of you, given the tone of some of my posts in the past that have been critical of contemporary HH. And don't worry, I'm not going hipster on yall or anything; It's that after taking a critical look at the environment that was being created around the music, I noticed a few inconsistencies in the prevailing perspective that HH had some how gone astray in the last few years. For a look into where I'm coming from on this, please check the following points:
- To all my 30 and over east coast - Centric fans: To say that HH died when "Laffy Taffy" came out is indicative of a serious bias, as nobody said that HH died when Wrex - N- Effect came out with "Rumpshaker". Hey, they are both totally devoid of content and marketed to do one thing: Have a woman shake her @$$. When you were 15, it rocked the party; give 15 year-olds of today the same opportunities. Let's not even get to talking about Luke, who was at least as profane as the Ying Yang Twins. Back then, we didn't say it wasn't HH; it was just a different regional spin on the music.
- To all those that say that HH is being overrun by "Studio Gangsters": Yo chief, studio gangsters have been around since day uno, and that issue is more economic than everything because poor people are looking to HH as a profession more than an art form, and that fact causes people to make decisions & moves that are not in the best interest of the music. Also, let us not have short memories & forget that some very good HH was made by brothers who were not who they said they were, or who were telling the stories of other men: See NWA, Ice Cube, B.I.G., Nas. I would love for HH to be genuine and authentic, b.u.t. I have come to accept that some people are good storytellers.
- To the little homie Nas: Of all people to say that HH died! You were the so-called "savior" of the music with Illmatic. Between It Was Written & Stillmatic, you confused the hell out of everybody, and made jams like You Owe Me w/ pony man. If HH is dead, it's because you didn't give it any guidance.
- For all of my 30-&-ups, it's really about the subjective vs. the objective, as far as the ability to see the music as changing, b.u.t. still having some of the basic qualities it had when you were growing up: Imagination, projected importance, social commentary (you just have to look a little deeper), misogyny, dances, and most importantly, Black Expression. Give the corporations hell, cause they're really the ones who are trying to kill the music, and give the kids(& old men acting like kids) a break.