THE CURRENT STATE OF RAP

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Submitted Date 02/28/2019
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While I’m all for pushing boundaries and pushing the genre forward, some artists just need to stick to what they do best. And that’s not to say it isn’t ok for artists to experiment with their sound but we’ve seen artist try to branch into other genres and it didn’t go over too well. We, as consumers, also need to understand that not every artist is meant for conscious/lyrical rap just like not every artist is meant for mainstream popularity or “swag rap”. While mainstream, is just that, mainstream and in your face 24/7, sometimes you have to dig deep to find those special talents and I would say most consumers are just too lazy to do the work. Everything is readily available at the tips of their fingers so I don’t blame them. I’m 24 so I believe I’m somewhere in the middle of the generational gap.

Some might say “rap is dead” and “this generation killed hip hop”, I would respond by saying that rap/hip hop is the #1 genre of music right now so clearly they’re doing something right. “Kids these days are glorifying drug use”, “they’re proud junkies”, I agree with both of those statements but the culture of drug use is starting to change for the better. More artists are coming out and stating that they’re quitting their drug of choice. Not only that, we can’t act like artists, and producers alike, haven’t been snorting coke or smoking crack since the 70’s. Stop acting like all of this is brand new or it’s this new concept. Some of the new generation, without the prior generations help, uses their craft as a reflection of what’s going on in their community and as a way to escape that community.

Now while there is this surge of mainstream rap, that doesn’t mean lyrical/conscious rappers stopped existing. There’s even lyrical rappers in the upcoming generation. Joey Bada$$, Joyner Lucas, Vince Staples, J.I.D., Reason, Cozz, YBN Cordae, Mick Jenkins, Saba, Dave East, and Tierra Whack all exist and they are fairly young in the game. Rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Wale, Lupe Fiasco, Pusha T, Meek Mill have still been making great music. Lyrical/conscious rap didn’t go anywhere. I think the biggest problem we have in hip up culture is that most people aren’t open minded and willing to give the newer generations music a real chance.

The pendulum will eventually swing from “swag rap” and back to lyrical rap. The newer and older generation could come together, the younger generation would be able to teach the older generations new techniques and skilled while the older generation would be able to help the younger avoid the mistakes and hurdles they faced. While some think it’s over for rap and that the younger generation doesn’t care about the culture, I believe the genre will be in good hands soon enough.

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  • We, as consumers, also need to understand that not every artist is meant for conscious/lyrical rap just like not every artist is meant for mainstream popularity or “swag rap”.
    I had to learn this myself, even though I kind of already knew that. I judged rappers that do the mumble rap as garbage. But, then I realized some of my favorite rappers (conscious rappers) jump into swag rapping sometimes, and I thought of the songs sometimes I do like by artist I'm not a fan of, but like a song of. So, now I'm able to appreciate that it depends on the mood, everything is for a certain situation.

    • Jalen Coy 3 weeks ago

      I had to learn the lesson too. I think everyone will have to at some point, at least I hope lol. I don’t think you have to give every new project that comes out a chance but you should give someone them an opportunity. You don’t find good music that way, just like with your other comment. I also agree that it depends on the mood. My favorite songs/artist changes often with a few constants since music in itself is subjective, it’s the nature of the beast.

  • While I’m all for pushing boundaries and pushing the genre forward, some artists just need to stick to what they do best.
    Exactly, everything is not for everybody. "Some might say “rap is dead” and 'this generation killed hip hop'," ^^ My comment for this is, you're not looking hard enough. It's so much great music out here, but people don't look for it. It's not that hard to find either if you try to search. Mainstream music is not all the music in the world. It's like they say, "a diamond in the rough." "Rappers like Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Wale, Lupe Fiasco, Pusha T, Meek Mill have still been making great music. Lyrical/conscious rap didn’t go anywhere. I think the biggest problem we have in hip up culture is that most people aren’t open minded and willing to give the newer generations music a real chance." ^^ All of this! "The newer and older generation could come together, the younger generation would be able to teach the older generations new techniques and skilled while the older generation would be able to help the younger avoid the mistakes and hurdles they faced. While some think it’s over for rap and that the younger generation doesn’t care about the culture, I believe the genre will be in good hands soon enough." ^^ You said it all!

  • Tomas Chough 3 weeks ago

    I think it's important to listen to everything, even if we think we might not like it. Culture, people and music change all the time. That's the beauty of music too. Artist are constantly trying to evolve and try new things. I think there will always be conscious music and not so much. It's just a matter of what the artist wants to talk about. Also, nowadays we can find anything we want to listen to on the Internet if we look for it. There are a million more options than ever. Thanks for sharing!