Hip Hop Is Dead?

Posted: April 18, 2007 in Music

Ever since I was a child, I watched a T.V. Show called Reading Rainbow. LeVar Burton was the host, and I remember a show that featured different artists of the 1980’s such as Lionel Ritchie, dancing on the ceiling. But, there were other artists that were on the show, Run-DMC. Now, I wasn’t somewhat into rap back in the day as a young cat, but the introduction into hip-hop/rap game was actually through Reading Rainbow. On the show, Run-DMC rapped about children’s books and staying in school, plus LeVar Burton commentated on how they written their own rhymes and music. And for the first time in my young life (back then) I was somewhat introduced to this type of music. Now in later years, I listened to Kool Moe Dee, Wild Wild West came to mind as well as How Ya Like Me, Now? Then 2 rappers from Philly, Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince came on the scene back in my middle school days with Parents Just Don’t Understand, Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble, Summertime and I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson. – That was a joint! Public Enemy. Fight the Power was more like a powerful anthem than a soundtrack song. Remember X-Clan when they had Funkin’ Lesson and Heed the Word of the Brother? I do! What all this means that this was my first introduction into rap. I have to admit I had some "Hammer" moments too. U can’t touch this, and Too Legit Too Quit. And yes, Vanilla Ice too, along with the feud with 3rd Bass.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this was my first listening sessions from Hip Hop. Partying and positive forms that didn’t have threats against women, men, children and others that we see today. Nas says that Hip Hop Is Dead. I say Hip Hop Is not Dead, but dead tired. I’ll say it again. DEAD TIRED! Why I am saying this? well because it’s the same stuff everyday. Over and over again you hear something that was made like what, last week? or maybe the last 10 years? Look I’m not taking anything away from the pioneers and the godfathers who made the craft in the first place. I mean, without Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, Melle Mel, Treacherous Three, LL Cool J, Sugarhill Gang, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh and yes Slick Rick, there would be no hip-hop, period! Am I sad that hip hop has gone overboard? probably but like folks in church getting redeemed or saved, hip hop must be not dead and buried, but more recommitted. Recommitted to what it supposed to be with quality creation, and creativity. Not a stale retread. Some asked what killed or is killing hip hop? Is it the media? Is it those who are against it? Is it the rappers of now?  Was it the East Coast/West Coast Civil War? Is it our baby-boomer parents? Was it Gangsta Rap? or I hate to ask, Is it us?

Many of us would say it’s the media. Maybe. But, if you add the media, the rappers of now, parents, and us, you would find your answer. I do think that some of us would take the blame of killing it, because we expect more of the music when an artist is out on the scene. Some of us blame the haters that are out there that used to listen to the music. I have a thought that maybe some of you probably feel the same way I do, stuck in the middle. No matter the age, gender, creed, class, or sexual preference. To end this sentence, since I like hip hop in all, I’ll end this blog in this form:  

I need my hip hop and rap music. More of it!  More of it to clean it’s own mess!  And even more of it to return to its former self, creativity.

 

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