Rebel Noiz

Rebel Noiz

Monday, July 14, 2014

Feature: Is Hip Hop Dead?


                                        Is Hip Hop Dead?

Many say that Hip Hop is dead, some of the current artists out there would disagree (I'm sure). It seems that Hip Hop has gone where a lot of music goes to get beaten up, left half dead, and then put on life support, the meat grinder known as the Mainstream (pop music scene). Once greed gets a hold of a genre of music, it changes forever. Ideas to pump out as much money from it like the utters of a cow, are put into place. Artists band together (the top earners) to make music not with an idea for a song, but to form a collaboration that will make the most money for the album (give it more notoriety, share fans and what not). 

The Underground...

After the Mainstream has "their way" with it, it goes back to a smaller cult following (or shall I say the underground). That is where Hip Hop can once again flourish, in my opinion. It will give Hip Hop a chance to re-find itself again (because now, Hip Hop influenced pop music sounds the same as most of the other electronically driven pop songs).  By going back to the Underground, Hip Hop can go back to being the movement that it once was; where only the artists (and MCs) that truly deserve an audience, they can find one through their hard work and skillful and meaningful lyrical play. Hip Hop used to form movements through the reality that was painted through words over a sampled beat or 808 beat. These words opened up the eyes of the world and flashed a spotlight on to the struggling urban areas and helped facilitate the strengthening of the urban infrastructure (which still struggles to find balance today). It was the platform that continued on Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of equality.

Cultural Impact...

Currently, it is not just Black Americans that enjoy some success in the music genre, whites and Latinos do as well. In this way, you might say that Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has succeeded through music. Every country in the world is now buying into the Hip Hop culture with their own version of it. In Europe, there is quite a sizable movement (I personally credit it to missing the Hip Hop movement because of the Electronica movement that swept through the region).

Hip Hop Still Exists...

It's hard not to fall in love with what Hip Hop has to offer, the earthy lyrics about our society and it's often use of samples that reflect where it got it's bearings (samples of songs from the past, especially in the beginning). The realism of the lyrics is what has drawn so many people to Hip Hop (and the ability to congregate and dance to the music through heavy tribal bass sounds). Though Hip Hop doesn't appear to be what it used to be (mostly because of the digital technology that has been developed during it's lifespan and the molding of other popular styles with it's own; to create a more mainstream sound), you can still find it on such applications like Soundcloud where creativity stays attached to it's roots (along with the still relevant artists that stay under it's umbrella to stay dry from the wet manipulation that is the major labels and media outlets). There are artists like; Rakim, Common, Mos Def, RA the Rugged Man, and KRS-One (to name a few), that still uphold the laws of old. There are also artists like Tech N9ne that refuse to give into the Mainstream to stay in complete control over their music.

So is Hip Hop Dead?

I don't think so, Hip Hop has had such an influence on our culture that it will never die. It has gone where it belongs, in the Underground, where no one has any control over it other than the artists themselves. If you think the club sounding Electronica influenced Hip Hop (I call it hip pop) is real Hip Hop, then you don't know what you are talking about. My guess is that you have never heard songs from it's grassroots. Go listen to some real Hip Hop people, expand your horizons. The Mainstream aims to keep us in a box where everything sounds the same and they do a great job at accomplishing their goal. Hip Hop is the mastery of lyrical rhythmatics that maximizes the spaces between the beat with words spoken with techniques that are unmatched by any style or genre of music. Go pick up a KRS-One or Big Daddy Kane or a Tragedy Khadafi CD and see what it is all about...

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