HIP HOP IS ALIVE AND WELL!!!
Recently there has been an outcry concerning the state of Hop Hop. Eykah Badu and Scarface have been rather vocal concerning the dumbing down of hip hop culture. The integrity of the Hip Hop culture is being questioned and challenged as most rappers are opting to please major corporations rather than to cultivate their craft as lyricists. Popular hip hop is more concerned about product placement as these artists are little more than spokesman for big name brands. No doubt the culture has evolved a great deal from the days where skill mattered. However we must be careful with ostracizing the culture as a whole, as there are still talented artists making great artistic songs. I often walk into a barbershop and hear people say things like "hip hop is trash". I often ask the question, have you heard music from the plethora of underground hip hop artists like Joey Badass, Big Kritt, Ab-Soul or Dee 1? Music that is not played on commercial radio? After asking the question I'm usually greeted with blank stares or people saying "they aren't better than the 90's era MC's". In reality, it's unfair to compare these modern MC's to other eras as current day MC's experiences are completely different from those of the 90's.
Creative and innovative hip hop used to be played on commercial radio, but times have changed. Looking for creative hip hop is not as easy as it was in the 80's and 90's. Those who condemn the culture for its focus on materialism and misogynistic views have a duty to support artist who take pride in their art. The spirit of Hip Hop is very much alive and well. A question I pose is - did the hip hop fans of yesterday get lazy? Turning on the radio and hearing good hip hop years ago has become an archaic way of finding out about new and creative artists. Times have changed, as must the medium that feeds us great musical expression. I challenge those who wish to consume what they call good hip hop to seek out local and underground talent. I'm sure there are several artist locally who are creating music that sounds like a breath of fresh air to your ears. Repost their music on your social media networks, buy their CD's and go to their shows. It's a reciprocal relationship, you need their creative art, as they need your support!!
BY RICHARD RAW
Richard Raw uses music as an engine for social change!!