In My Opinion: Is Hip-Hop Dead?

26 Jun

In 2006, one of the best rappers to have ever lived made a bold statement. Nas’ album title claimed Hip-Hop was dead.

Now Nas might have been throwing out a controversial statement just to drum up excitement and push album sales, but after a year full of “snap music” singles, I couldn’t blame him. No matter how catchy “Laffy Taffy” and “Snap Yo Fingers” were, they did nothing to prove to outsiders that Hip-Hop was anything more than simple, trashy lyrics that glorify women and somehow, spawn a dance.

And that’s the killer problem.

Some Hip-Hop just can’t be defended. Sometimes there’s just nothing there but a catchy hook and a dance to go with it. Chris Rock said it best on the Never Scared tour “It’s hard to defend I’ve got hoe’s in different area codes”. Re-wind almost 20 years, and we had A Tribe Called Quest’s “Check The Rhime”. A Hip-Hop classic. The production. Those horns. Q-Tip’s “Okay, if knowledge is the key then just show me the lock”. Damn. But regardless of this, I don’t think Hip-Hop ever really died. It might have been diluted as it got more popular, because more people picking up a mic could only mean more shit leaking through.

But in the same year that “Laffy Taffy” and Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” both reached number 1, Chicago MC Lupe Fiasco dropped Food & Liquor which would go on to be nominated for 4 grammy’s, winning 1. The pulse might have been low, but the heart was definitely still beating.

Fast forward to present and Hip-Hop is looking healthy. 2010 gave us Kanye West’s masterpiece “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and a promising self titled EP from Odd Future’s Earl Sweat. In 2011, Shady Records signed 4 of the most talented MCs ever to unite under one group. Slaughterhouse. And J. Cole dropped Sideline Story.

Now just over half way into 2012, we’ve already seen the truly EPIC Watch the Throne tour, the explosion of promising new fem-cees, namely Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks, promising newbies like Joey BadA$$ and great releases from Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill and Rick Ross. Not to mention the upcoming collab album from GOOD music, as well as the team’s (including Pusha T & Big Sean) solo releases.

No. Hip-Hop is definitely not dead. In fact, I’d say it was looking better now than it has for years.

Have your say in the comments.

@KillCole

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