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Would You Go to Hip-Hop's Funeral?

It didn't invent anything; it reinvented everything.  Hip Hop, birthed in New York in the '80s, grew up with the mindset of liberated expression and nurtured by the culture; it grasps for its last breaths on its deathbed inthe thirteenth year of the millennium. Long lived hip hop, an '80s baby in its last days. Would you go to its funeral?

Introduced by rap to a new generation, it thrived with so much potential in its youth and even more energy in its prime. It hadn't owned the same respect as blues and jazz but its substance was valid and its influence great. It has bred some of the greatest, as did they the genre.  Afrika Bambatta, Melle Mel, Doug E. Fresh, and Run DMC, some of the forefathers of hip-hop in its original state formed a blueprint for hip-hop that may be outdated, according to the new residents of this generation; for the new self-proclaimed hip-hop artists have evicted the guidelines, substance, and genuine love for the game.

Hip-Hop no longer receives the loyalty it knew, commercialized and sacrificed for temporary hype, what gave our culture legitimate life musically now searches for justification.

It lays there, almost lifeless. would you go to hip-hop's funeral? 

Who is responsible for this deterioration? To isolate an individual in the realm of blame is unjust; however, to highlight an era seems fair, and a little more credible.

Hip-Hop is trying to survive in an era where trends reign supreme. Its residents focus on “club bangers” and seasonal hits. The failed realization is trends come and go. Once the trend is gone, the relevancy also goes. “Club bangers” survive off of extraordinary beats and catchy hooks –leaving producers with credibility and the artist with just what was offered, a seasonal hit, with seasonal buzz.

Expecting more respect from those that it birthed, hip-hop searches high and low for support, for someone to get it back on its feet. 

Its residents neglect the basic and most important element on which it was built – storytelling. To epitomize hip-hop, a picture must be painted, a story must be told. Hip-hop’s Zenith is rapidly declining, hip-hop told stories of humility, positivity, hope, relatibility, and all things realistic. Hip hop was always the perfect verse over a tight beat. in 2013, it only know nonsense. The beat is tight, the verse is a lot of words that equal nothing more than a mental patient;s nursery rhyme.

Who in-fact represents hip-hop? An Emcee represents hip-hop. An emcee possesses a special set of skills in which set him/her apart from the classification of a rapper. Too many people are mistakenly correlating rappers with hip-hop thus causing the declination severity of its reign.

Hip-hop lies there sick and is currently in the process of suing for libelous statements being made. 

MTV released its 2013 top ten MC list which was comprised of the following:
#10 Meek Mill
#9 Future
#8 A$AP Rocky
#7 Kanye West
#6 Big Sean
#5 Drake
#4 Nas
#3 Rick Ross
#2 2 Chainz
#1 Kendrick Lamar

The list is the essence of ignorance and incorrect correlation. If emcees represent hip-hop and the list of top emcees of 2013 don’t include more than 5 and a half credible emcees, it is safe to say hip-hop is dead. Or is it? 

The state of hip-hop today is not a healthy one. Hip-hop went from lyrics like “We gotta make a change…It’s time for us as a people to start makin’ some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do to survive,” recited by Tupac in 1992 to “Rack city b*&#%, rack rack city b*&#% Rack city b*&#%, rack rack city b*&#% 10’s, 10’s, 10’s 20’s and them 50’s b*&#%,” recited by Tyga in 2012. The substance abuse is at a high point, leaving hip-hop in critical condition. We went from significant issues in society, in politics, and community to strip clubs, money, cars, and clothes. Who’s the best, and who has the most. The neglect of the listeners is apparent.

Hip-hop is in critical condition, thus placing it on life support. There may still be hope for hip-hop.
The industry still houses a number of emcees; the reception of their art is intercepted by the misconstrued concept of what hip-hop is, namely Wale Folarin, Kendrick Lamar, and a more seasoned contributor, Nas, just to name a few. They are the oasis rejuvenating hip-hop and relieving it from the lower substantial contributors. Keeping it alive and offering their contributions, no matter what a list says, twitter, or even an ignorant sports announcer. Hip-hop is given hope by its faithful residents still producing some sense of the art.


“Hip-hop is the same, but it was a little more socially conscious back then. Like, now, they talk about material things, they did back then, but now its extreme… Tupac is my favorite rapper of all time and Wale is my favorite rapper right now,” Said Mierra Isaac, a hip-hop connoisseur from Philadelphia, Pa.  “Wale because he is the reason I started listening to newer music and newer artists because there was something that I saw in him that I didn’t see in the other artists. I can identify with wale. We share the same thing, humility.  He’s an artist and he puts out emotion to get it back.”

Hip-hop artists knew that their personality and status were on the line. Every time his pen hits the paper, he is going to be judged for knowledge, for flavor, style, presentation as well as his gift of wordplay. The same does not hold true today. Today’s lyrics embody no substance, the consciousness of credibility and validity has dropped.

Because hip-hop was introduced by rap as a sub-genre, it is not fair to blame the artists for the fall of hip-hop because rap still has a major existence and relevancy. It is as simple as if you aren't a hip-hop artist, that's what you aren't  A few different factors play in to the "is hip-hop dead" epidemic. Mainly rap is producing too many artists and letting them believe they have what it takes to contribute to hip-hop.

The sad part is a lot of these artists are totally blasphemous and really disrespectful. Forgetting that someone made a way for them, they adopted the mentality of belittling and challenging those that came before them. You can't know where you're going until you know, understand and embrace where you came from.

Wale said in an interview that he wasn't going to boast about the content of his album, but let the album boast for itself. He said he isn't going to say there are X amount of club bangers and X amount of songs for the ladies. He expressed his views on how the rest of the world views his impact on music. He said he was focused more on giving the people some thing that will last a substantial amount of time. Wale is one of the few giving life to hip-hop, trying to wean it from life support to be back in full affect. He see's the picture and is more focused on being well off as opposed to well known, more concerned with gaining respect than attention. Makes statements and paints pictures, faces issues and expresses himself through the music.

Seeing as how Wale was not listed on the top 10 emcee list, a lot can be said about the current state of hip-hop. Is it the fans/media or is it the artists? is it the watered down imitations of what hip-hop was or is this a misconstrued topic?

It just isn't likely that hip-hop will reach the same heights it's previously reached, or make the same impact it has made. It lacks potential to arise the same feelings, opinions, and support. The genre cant survive under the conditions 2013 is presenting it.

At the end of it all, Hip-hop is missing Humility, teamwork, musicianship, storytelling, adequate social commentary, valid political thought, originality, and fun.

As hip-hop lays on life support, searching for relief of prestidigitation of those who parade in its name and misrepresent its definition, time passes slowly, day-by-day more enthusiasm and energy is slipping away from the very thing that gave life to its culture --hip-hop.
Would you go to its funeral?

-Channy


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