People have been debating for quite some time on whether Hip-Hop music is dead or not. I have been asked on numerous occasions and I always thought it wasn’t a simple yes or no answer. First of all I don’t consider music with mainstream distribution from Drake and Lil’ Wayne to be hip-hop. That statement goes without saying to most of you reading my blog but must be put out there to be very clear when I am talking about hip-hop music. I truly feel that music is a direct reflection on where society is at that time. Just do a brief look into the “hippie” movement of 70’s and the rock music that was produced in that decade. Unbelievable radical soul and rock that embodied the young people that protested with it. The 80’s that had some very fun and light R&B and pop music that was just fun to dance to and listen to; hey why not everyone had money when Reagan was around. (Even though we all know now that it is a huge reason we’re experiencing serious financial issues now, that are a whole different discussion though.) The 90’s that was transitioning into this very aggressive “Gangster Rap” genre that was talking about some very intense injustices that were going on at that time. I know I’m speaking in generalities here but just an example of look at what is going on in the world and you’ll find music doing more than imitating its surrounding. I think we must keep this in mind when making statements about current hip-hop being dead.
Reality TV that offers almost zero substance of any kind and takes in almost most cases no talent or ability to become literally defined a “star” with great financial gain and fame. Our government is filled with ignorance and more people are out of work and making less money than they ever have in their lifetimes. Education in our country has become an absolute joke. Teachers are underpaid, students have very little standards to be held accountable to and very little movement is happening to produce an environment where young people are being presented with lofty goals and being challenged. More people are worried about being sued or simply just not caring in the first place than actually providing change. It’s the system that is truly broke, hell even teachers are being punished for sending students to the office anymore because they are now a business and can’t be spending time with students who misbehave. My high school Principal, Edward Federinko, is a criminal. His title should have been called CEO of Norwin High School, not Principal. He didn’t care about anyone; he cared about money and his ego. New facilities, new equipment, new deals, higher enrollment numbers meant more money from the federal and state levels. Notice how helping young people doesn’t really fit into that goal. These same facilities are not even allowed to be used by the tax payers who helped support it.
Traditional families are now working longer hours and multiple jobs to just support the “American Dream.” More kids are growing up under the tutelage of the Jersey Shore cast then they are their own parents. Less neighborhood football games and basketball games are being played across the board that’s a fact. I can’t remember the last time I was in a car and had to slow down while the local kids moved a hockey goal off the road or stop their football play so the car can pass. That was every day when I grew up. More children than ever are growing up in the fast food drive thru’s and eating that same meal in front of the tv than seated at the dining room table with a home cooked meal and having a solid discussion on current events.
So why in the world would we expect anything different from our music outlets? It’s the same thing happening there as well. I can’t tell you over the last decade how little number of hip-hop really moved me or inspired me compared to the grand number of hip-hop that I absolutely spit at and couldn’t listen to for a second. Yes Wiz Khalifa, you’re in that group. Yes Mac Miller, you’re a weak human being. Yes a million other acts aren’t even worth naming. I really only was forced to name those two acts since I live in Pittsburgh and am forced to see a blind following that is very undeserving but does make since if you look at their fans. They are the weak kids that aren’t into anything. They are the adults who are going through midlife crisis and hate their jobs but go buy the bar out every weekend in an attempt to blow off steam. So yes shitty people will love shitty music. I hope that makes you happy. Being a whore to the music industry is nothing new but there are artists who have refused to be pimped and are absolutely flourishing because they have the vote of the strong. Immortal Technique has shown that if you have a good product and do it right, you don’t have to have major distribution behind you to be relevant. So is hip-hop music dead? No, it’s there you just have to find it and research. Which is something most people do not want to do with anything, they want it given to them, they want it now, they want it faster and they want it in excess. So yes it makes sense why our hip-hop music options are becoming more watered down than the lies our politicians feed us. You know how all that changes? By us as a society changing our standards. Only time will tell which direction it will go. As long as American Terrorists like Mitt Romney are on TV speaking, it doesn’t look promising.