Is Hip-Hop Dead?

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Is Hip-Hop dead? That is the question I ask myself time and time again. It seems as if everybody and their moms is a rapper, or have their hand in it somehow. It seems as if the culture is for sale, and everybody’s buying. But it seems as if they are buying into it for all the wrong reasons. While I pose this question to myself I think about the part of our culture that is dead. There are about 500 labels and everybody is a CEO. Every rapper has to have their own clothing line, every rapper has their own line of energy drinks, every rapper has some kind of movie role, or some kind of shoe coming out. But lets get real people, if you are in it to get paid, then do just that. The time you are taking to do all of this other stuff, take some time out to master your craft. Don’t perpetrate like that you are in it because you love to make good music. Do it because you want to make good music. Don’t sit up there In interviews and tell the same old redundant story about how you were doing bad, and had to sell drugs, and your daddy wasn’t there, and wasn’t any food in the cabinets. Don’t pretend like what you’re doing isn’t a fad, and you are going to be here for awhile. I really don’t think that Hip-Hop is dead, I think the creative aspect of it is gone. Hip-Hop is creative, rapping is entertainment. There are still some cats out there whose creativity isn’t in question (Nas, Outkast, Common, Mos Def, Talib, dead prez, Little Brother, etc.), but then you have those that are on some straight garbage. I mean anybody can make a song, but it takes some real time and dedication to make good music. Some of these artists pride themselves for making an album in three days and then the shit sucks! Oh my God, I wonder why? I would rather an artist take their time like 7-9 months, put some effort into it, make a good album, and they might get some sales. Think about it, why would I go out and spend $14 on some rushed product, when the rapper didn’t give his 100%. Should he get 100% of the money? I guess that is why they have iTunes, you can download just 3 songs, so I guess the rapper is getting 30% of his money. That is the problem with the game now, it’s a whole lot of garbage, and a whole lot of cats is eating that shouldn’t be eating. It hurt me to hear these cats say, “I ain’t the best rapper, but I market myself well!?” WTF? I will leave said rapper nameless. See what I’m talking about? It looks like if you wanna get paid, get a job in the hip-hop industry. It’s feeding a lot of families real well. I know that this is going to sound like another angry old school rap head, but it’s not that, I am a child of the Hip-Hop era. I grew up on it from the days of “Jam On It” to the groups of today. I remember the b-boys outside breakdancing on the cardboard in the middle of the street. I remember the dookie chains, the shelltoe Adidas, the Kangol, the Gazelle shades, and the four-finger rings. Not saying what is going on today isn’t good for the culture, I am glad to see that the culture has been taken to another level, new jacks in the game doing it how they do. Maybe that is it, the game has evolved. It couldn’t be the way it was back in the day. Things have changed, maybe creativity has been replaced by mass marketing. It’s all about getting paid these days. If you ain’t getting paid, you in the game for the wrong reason. Oh if you’re just a fan of rap, and make music to make people to feel good, you won’t make it. But on the other hand, if you ‘re in it for the quick buck, and you have a good gimmick, or beef with the right people, you’ll be successful in this business. Well lets hope someone breathes new life into the game, because we need it right now. We thought Jay-Z was the answer, no. Maybe it was Nas, no. So who is up to the challenge to really carry Hip-Hop on their backs? We need a hero, we need someone to take control. Where are our leaders , matter of fact, who are our leaders?

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