Hip Hop is Dead: Here’s Why

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I am a big Hip Hop fan and have been listening to it for more than ten years. Born in the Dominican Republic but raised in the Bronx I have been listening to Hip Hop practically all of my life. Growing up in the “Boogie Down Bronx” and listening to Hip Hop I have witnessed the changes that this genre has gone through. Sometimes I wonder whether Hip Hop is going soft, and whether it is losing its spark. When thinking of this all I can think of Nas’ Hip Hop is Dead and how much truth there is in that song, as well as how Nas foresaw what was coming.

No longer do we have the great big pioneers of Hip Hop like Tupac, Biggie, Big Pun, Afrika Bambaataa; who all brought something to shape and influence Hip Hop. What happened to the MC Lytes’? The Lauren Hills? I’m getting sick of tired of hearing the same topics being rapped about in these Hip Hop songs; money, drugs, and woman. Do I really need to have five rap songs in my phone singing about money, cars and getting girls? The only thing making it different is a tweak here and there in the beat. Where is the heart, pain and soul that connected us to what the rappers were going through back in the day? Back when rappers rapped about their upbringing and how it affected them, and why they are the way that they are.

While it’s nice to hear rappers rap about their achievements how about we also include things that make us think? I want to feel the pain and connect with you, growing up in the Bronx I know what it’s like. Connect to your neighbors about what’s like growing up in the urban community; make those that don’t live in the urban community gaze into your world. Rap about the struggles, the racism that is still alive and well today and make a change. How about you stop rapping about how many Bugatti’s you have and instead shine some attention to the community that you were able to get out of alive.

So my suggestion to the new up and coming rappers: Step your game up. Learn from the greats. Don’t just make a quick beat mixed with some pop here and there to make a quick buck because that won’t last. What does last? The greats like Dear Mama by Tupac, RUN DMC’s It’s Tricky, Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, MC Lyte’s Paper Thin, and Boogie Down Productions’ South Bronx (BX stand up!) These were the Hip Hop classics that made us think and reflect, some of them made us get up dance but were also lyrically unique from anything else out at the time. These are classics that are still played today. How many singles from today can you really say you’ll be singing in twenty years? You can find a few here and there but the singles from back in the days will still outnumber those that you can find.

I could go on and on about the Hip Hop classics from back in the day but you would be reading this article the whole day. The Hip Hop from now is fun for the moment but it can never compare to Hip Hop from the 80’s and early 90’s because there was more substance. Yeah today’s Hip Hop has catchy dance moves and slang, but how about using Hip Hop as a way to bring to light the struggles of the Urban community at the same time by making us think, reflect and act? In my humble opinion, Hip Hop can be used a great tool to move the Urban Community forward and should be used as such.

Laysha Duran | News Cult