A few months ago I was reading an article in the news paper titled “Hip Hop is dead” My first thought was what the heck could this author be talking about; I listen to it on the radio all the time. As I continued on I began to realize what point the author was trying to make. You see to answer this question you’ll have to understand that hip hop and rap music are two sides of the same coin. They are same in the way that both possess bass filled rhythmic instrumentals, but they’re quite different, See I always thought that rap and hip hop was the same until I read that article, let me explain. Rap music is what you listen to on the radio and what you see in the music videos, you know the guys with the truck load of jewelry, the half dressed women and the flashy cars. Hip Hop music is the kind of music that has a meaning and actually uplifts the spirit and mind, Motivational music. Not just about going to the clubs and exotic drugs.
More often than not when you turn on the Radio or Television you will hear Rap music, but no where to be found is Hip Hop music. It’s hard to believe that the likes of KRS One, Wu Tang clan, Mos-Def, Talib kweli and Common can release an album and not one of their songs would be in the regular rotation. Who could ever believe trend setters could fall victim to trend followers. People who chose to go against the grain and say the Unsaid; I guess that kind of music isn’t mainstream or commercial enough. I’m sorry to say it but most of the Rap music I hear nowadays sounds exactly the same, the same recycle raps, the same I’m a gangster, the same I’m a Hustler, The same ole bull.
What happened to intelligence in Hip Hop/ Rap Music? Why is that all you need is a bassy drum track, a repetitive chorus, and some really simple nursery school rhymes and you’re the best thing since wonder bread. Man I miss the Biggie and Pac days, the days when I could listen to an album and say to myself. “did you hear what he just said”. Now when I listen it’s as if you already know the next word that’s going to be said. What’s absent is creativity, instead of looking for the next trend, it seems that everyone is looking for the next him (the next that guy) “The one that instead of pendant of “iced out” Jesus, should have a portable toilet attached to his gold chain” don’t get me wrong there are some artist that’s saying something meaningful (Kanye West for one) but just not a lot of them.
So to answer the question is hip hop really dead, I say no, it’s just been hiding, waiting for the opportunity to show what it’s capable of. So until that day I’ll hang up my MIC and reach out through spoken word.