“It’s to catchy now, don’t make no damn sense”
“50 cent ain’t as hungry as he use to be”
“Another dance again, I haven’t finish learning the stanky leg yet”
“What happened to lyrics? Why does it sound like nursery rhymes now”
You have heard them all, quotes and phrases, back and forth about how hip-hop is not what it use to be. Well no sh#t Sherlock. See, Imma get at you Neo-soul back in the day asses!! Take this phrase from Dane Cook, “with all that puke you are spewing, take a gander at your own ass!” You all know damn well you catch yourselves singing with your kids or younger siblings all the hits that you claim to hate. Pushing your Rav4 doing the speed limit before you drop them off to school singing “hop up out of bed, put my swag on, take a look in the mirror said whats up, Yeeeaaaah! – hold up….what the hell, I hate this song!” and as soon as you drop them off, you make sure that they are out of sight, then crank of the volume on Waka Flocka and Roscoe Dash singing that part of the song everybody likes, “Girl, drop it to the flo, I love the way yo booty GOOOOOOOOO!” Don’t deny it, you know who you are.
The climate of Hip-Hop will always change, and from recent history, I think we can all agree that human kind is afraid of the word. Some love it, some hate it, some stop listening to it only to catch themselves rapping songs on their way to work. The state of Hip-Hop is far from dead. Its alleged demise at the hands of current artist is something that should be thrown out the window. Like it or not, these young men and women are Hip Hop. People are getting at Nicki Minaj over the whole barbie image and her sexual explicit lyrics. Well I remember back in the day when alot of girls where calling themselves the “Queen Bitch” because of Lil Kim, and the “Baddest Bitch” because of Trina, whose lyrics are also sexually explicit. So why all the hate? CHANGE, that’s why. Some people say Lil Wayne is messing up what Hip Hop stands for. Talking that blood game, all that gangsta ish he doesn’t really live, nonsense autotune and crossover rock ish that he is on. Whether he is blood or not, gangster or not, Wayne has cut a wound into Hip Hop that not many have achieved in their careers. The scar from it is more of a proud war medal than it is something you want to cover up. He is Hip Hop because he speaks his mind, he gives his music his soul and heart the way countless others have done before him.
Blind eyes could look at me and see the truth
Wonder if Stevie do? But I’m gonna leave it to
God, not Beaver, neither you
Cause I’m gonna murder, “Y” kill “O” and even “U”
Man, I got Summer hatin’ on me cause I’m hotter then the Sun
Got Spring hatin’ on me cause I ain’t never sprung
Winter hatin’ on me cause I’m colder than you all
And I will never, I will never, I will never fall”
Let’s not kid ourselves here, back then when NWA was poppin, the violent nature in their lyrics were just as bad as today. A lot of people blamed the violent nature of our youth on the lyrics of artist. Not to sound preachy, and maybe this will be a the topic of my next article, but parents need to finally take some responsibility. We have seen throughout the history of Hip Hop that the blame and responsibilities of parenthood are unknowingly put on the shoulders of artist. If hip hop is changing, then this needs to change as well.
In conclusion, I feel that the spirit of Hip-Hop still burns with the intensity of a Phoenix. Flying from city to city, hood to hood, block to block. Absorbing the culture, the struggles and triumphs of the artist who choose to report it. No matter if you are an old school fan or a Gucci Mane junky, hip hop is our pastime, our clearing of head music, our feel good-blast it through the factory speakers-with the windows rolled down-music. The record execs got a hold of it, and determined what comes out by the amount it makes, and shelves everything that won’t in their eyes bring profit. Yet, the great thing about Hip-Hop is that the labels can’t control it all. Artist are becoming more business savvy, negotiating and ultimately having creative control over what they put out. Independent artist are starting their own labels, just to avoid their music suffering a corporate takeover. Soulja Boy, believe it or not, has done something that many of his peers on not doing to preserve his legacy. He has invested his money and image in different markets, from clothing to video games. Doing what Hip Hop is most notoriously known for, being influential on everything it touches. Hip-Hop is alive!!!!! And it ain’t going nowhere.
If you missed Part 1 and 2, the links are below.
This article is Dedicated to the Loving Memory of Kethely Dubreus. A fallen angel that was a inspiration to us all, who God gave newly healed wings to fly back home. You will be missed.
Born and raised on the island streets of New Providence, Bahamas; H. Sylver grew up in a Haitian household that nurtured his love for music and theatrical performances, spoken word poetry, and writing. This passion gained him a spot on Island/Def Jam's Street Team, where he became an ambassador for hip hop, promoting artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Jeezy, Nas, Rick Ross, and many more. He has great insight and analysis of the current music scene, providing written reports on trending news, and original think pieces. He currently resides in Baltimore Maryland with his family, and is currently writing his first novel.