It was 1979 when Rapper’s Delight was released into the airwaves marking, what most people call, beginning of Rap era. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t born yet so I have no nostalgic memories of listening to it when it came out. The first time I heard “Rapper’s Delight” was in 1997 and it was sung by Erick Sermon, Keith Murray & Redman. I was about 12 years old and ignorant to the fact that it wasn’t an original song. I remember my older brother calling me dumb for not knowing it was a re-make, like he knew everything in the world… He wasn’t born when it first premiered either.
Today, Hip-Hop music is criticized over and over again from straying so far away from its origins. I have to admit I have done some criticizing myself but being apart of this generation of hip hop I feel that I should defend the music in some way.
First of all Hip-Hop is not dead, it’s very much alive. The term Hip-Hop is commonly refers to the music of Hip-Hop. But Hip-Hop itself is not music, it’s a culture and the culture of Hip-Hop is alive all over the world. Rap is the music of Hip-Hop. So when people say, “Hip-Hop is dead” (Nas), they probably mean “Hip-Hop music is dead” or Rap is dead. Whether they’re talking about Hip-Hop or Hip-Hop music, I feel that both are alive and well although it has changed from the times of the Sugar Hill Gang.
Imagine if the rappers of 2007 sounded like the rappers of 1987, that shit would be played out. In this type of music you want hear diversity and witness creativity. That is what we have to day. The diversity we have in Rap today is truly remarkable.
In the south you have the crunkness of Lil John but you also have the ecliptic sounds of Outkast. Then there’s the lyricalness of Ludacris and Lil’ Wayne, also reppin’ the south. In the west there’s the smooth gansta sounds of Snoop Dogg, the coolness of E-40 (going dumb with his stunner shades), and The Game’s gansta rap. In the mid-west there’s the lyrical, conscience, and comedic styling’s of Lupe Fiasco, Common, and Kanye West (respectively). In the east you have Jay-Z with his veteran flows, the intellectual thugness of Nas, and the smoothness of Fabolus. Of course there are a bunch of names and styles that I left out, these are the ones that came to my head first. I also want to add that not everyone out right now is great or even good, but there’s enough diversity where you can pick your favorites.
The point I’m trying to make is that Rap is flourishing. You have all these artists in all parts of the nation doing there thing to contribute to Hip-Hop music. Even outside of the US you have artist like Kardinal Offishall who’s starting to ring bell for Toronto with his flow. Although I can appreciate old school, I’m living in the now and Rap music is definitely poppin’ now.