Recently, on my commute home from work, I decided to tune in to local Hip Hop and R&B radio station Hot97 instead of the usual news radio or music via my iPod (which I prefer). Three to four songs in, I was asking myself, “what are they playing?” The Hip Hop playlist seemed to be missing the vibrancy of its youth. I initially played it down as the generational gap and continued to listen. A few more songs in and I began to think back to the controversy that surrounded the release of Nas’ “Hip Hop is Dead” and wondered about the state of Hip Hop.
I realized then that the reason for my fall out with Hip Hop wasn’t so much the generational gap, I simply could no longer subject myself to listening to lyrics about the gangster lifestyle, the excessive use of profanity, b**ches & h**s and the ease of the use of the ‘N’ word. Factor in the loss of energy that once made it what it was and I equate it to a soul that has been sold.
Enter Kendrick Lamar and his verse on the Big Sean track “Control.” Undoubtedly, a meager attempt at calling out his peers. Really? Kendrick is still in his infancy when it comes to Hip Hop. All hype at a time when that fire that once kindled in Hip Hop has turned into smoldering ash. What’s needed is a step back into the Hip Hop history books for some real reflection.
His calling out several rappers, to only apologize later on, is cheap and a joke. A joke on himself.
You can’t go back to the old days of Hip Hop but you can sure add some fresh firewood and rekindle that fire it once had. Check it..
I take 7 MC’s put ’em in a line
And add 7 more brothas who think they can rhyme
Well, it’ll take 7 more before I go for mine
Now that’s 21 MC’s ate up at the same time
-Rakim, My Melody
Jr. will say peace…