The issues that caused the watering down of Hip-Hop can be summed up into 4 distinct categories:
- Money Before Art: Rappers have decided that money is more important than the culture. There is a lack of “Hip-Hop integrity” — being true to the core values and principles of the culture. Therefore, “artists” routinely sell their souls to make a buck. (insert vid of Bobby Shmurda cooning on a table for execs here).
- Corporate Take Over: Mainstream media outlets and record companies “manufacture” the next hit record by force-feeding it to the public. Rappers are pushed to relinquish any creative control over their projects and simply become clones. Meanwhile, the media bombards us with shitty music while having the audacity to call it “Hip-Hop”. This is perhaps the biggest shenanigan of them all. Websites, blogs, and radio stations all incorporate “Hip-Hop” into their branding, only to promote nothing but trap and mumble rap. If a kid that hasn’t been exposed to Hip-Hop listens to one of these bogus outlets, he or she will be misinformed from the beginning.
- Old Heads Are Suckas: Another major issue is that many respected members of the older generation cosign trash music. Many times, it is a weak attempt to remain relevant by glossing over the ear vomit that is being produced right now. So we shouldn’t be surprised when XYZ legendary rapper(s) jump on a trap cut with XYZ Savage. The common excuse is “let these young dudes have their lane”, which basically translates into “I might need to jump on a track someday.” And although not all of the older heads are directly endorsing the trash rap epidemic, many have chosen to ignore it altogether. That inaction is an equally disappointing piece to the problem.
- The Masses Are Sheep: The general public must also shoulder the burden. Many people have shown a willingness to be spoon-fed cringe-worthy music while simultaneously acknowledging that it’s sub-par because well, sometimes “you just want to turn up!” They simply follow along to the Mother Goose-like hooks and auto-tune lyrics as if they are flies attracted to shit. As long as there is a large group of people willing to absorb bullshit, there will always be a market for it.
There are certainly a multitude of reasons that address the sorry state of Hip-Hop affairs in 2017. But the bottom line is we ALL own a share of the responsibility and we are equally responsible for restoring it to its rightful place.