Hip-Hop is dead (or is it?). Nas ran with this gimmick in 2006, dropped an album under that title, and mindless sheep have been repeating it ever since. At the time, who would seriously argue with Nas on the state of Hip Hop? The answer is, not many. Six years later, and you can now find Nas on the latest Nicki Minaj album. So I have to ask, did Nas even believe what he said, or was he full of shit?
It was easy for him to say at the time, that’s when Hip-Hop was really venturing in new directions. Trap music had begun it’s rise, Pop music was starting to influence Hip-Hop singles like never before, and feature whoring was at an all time high. A more appropriate phrase would be: “Hip Hop Doesn’t Sell”, or “Hip Hop Has Evolved”. Did it DIE though? Absolutely not, and the ones who continue to say it are the ones slowly bringing it down.
Eminem collaborating with Rihanna, Nas on multiple Young Money albums, Joe Budden enlisting Lil Wayne for his new single, 50 Cent making songs like “Girls Go Wild”, etc. There’s plenty more examples, way too many to list. At which point do all of those things stop becoming a coincidence, and people start realizing the genre has evolved? Support what you like, and at the end of the day you can be happy with yourself. Wishing failure on an artist you’ve never met simply because their music isn’t to your personal preferences is some bitter shit. Get off the forums and blog sites with all the angry comments. Stop tweeting at artists mad as hell that they are in a better place in life than you are, that shit is a bad look. If you think you are contributing to the genre in a good way by acting like that, rest assured, you’re not.
Now, we don’t believe that Hip-Hop is dead, but there is no debating that Hip-Hop sales have declined. There’s more than one reason as to why that is. The evolution, the internet bootlegging, fans who don’t support albums they like, etc. The evolution of mainstream Hip Hop isn’t the Hip Hop we once knew, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. Everything since the beginning of time on this earth has evolved, and hardcore Hip Hop fans seem to be the only ones who don’t understand that concept. We’re a stubborn bunch. There’s still PLENTY of traditional Hip Hop emcees out there today, and they are more accessible than ever thanks to the internet. There is really no reason to not be satisfied with the state of Hip-Hop, you have more options than ever before. You have to get over the fact that your favorite rapper might not go Platinum, or even Gold, and that’s fine. They can still build a solid fan base, do plenty of shows a year, and be much better off financially than the rest of us.
The sub-genres of Hip Hop have simply grown. Rock music might have more sub-genres than any other, and it’s a great thing. Why can’t Hip Hop have the same? There is something for everybody. You’ve got Mainstream, you’ve got Trap, you’ve got Gangster, Auto-tune, Underground, etc. I could keep going. Then you’ve got guys like Kanye West who continues to push the boundaries, and while he is definitely mainstream, you can’t put him in a box either. There’s just simply too much out there to be on the message boards complaining about how the genre is “dead” when it’s more diverse than ever. In fact, for you purists, there is more “true” (true being in quotes, because I believe the idea of “true” Hip-Hop is bullshit) Hip-Hop available to you now than ever before. Is it what currently sells the most records? No. Luckily, you have the freedom to listen to whatever you like, regardless of what is currently the most popular. If someone wants to cook to some Lil B, or fuck two bad bitches AT THE SAME DAMN TIME, let them live. A few years ago, a guy like Kendrick Lamar wouldn’t have been able to come along spitting what he does now and make a career out of it. The way the internet changed things has allowed that, so if anything you should be excited. Everybody can get a piece of the pie right now, some bigger than others, but that’s just life.
So, the next time you hear 2 Chainz or Future on your local radio station, before you run home to mash your keyboard in anger, just sit back and remember it isn’t that serious. Your time is better spent putting other people on newer artists that you DO like, rather than complaining about why you don’t like Rapper A, B, and C.
If you disagree with this post, fuck you. As always, you can hit us up on Twitter if you want to leave feedback. Until next time, y’all be easy & stay positive.