Hip-Hop used to be solely based on the beat. Free-style is no longer alive and originality is dead. Reliance on social media and old rapper’s ideas and words cause the new generation of Hip-Hop to not only suffer, but lack originality in total. This is killing the chance of music to expand and create something new. Old school Hip-Hop rappers took any chance they could to try something new or be original. Current day Hip-Hop needs to learn from the past, but not copy the past.
Social Media killed the beat.
Social media has changed Rap today greatly. What rappers say, their lyrics meaning, and what we see them as; will always be judged in an instant. This affects the originality of artists and how they act. Not only are the artists affected, but so are the fans listening and viewing these rappers.
In the 90’s no rappers were so greatly influenced by the social media as they are today. The music was simply about the music. There were no filters, what you saw is what you got. Rappers didn’t have to worry about being ridiculed on their latest music, post constantly about what their next move was, or worry about immature fights and “twitter beef”.
The “twitter beef” between Drake and Meek Mills is nothing compared to the rivalry between Tupac and Biggie. Social media has impacted our culture and lives so much that simply “calling someone out on the internet”, can turn into madness. The rappers in the 90’s had bigger problems then a little “diss” from someone on the computer. Even Tupac’s “diss track” , Hit em’ up, ended up being a very popular and still listened to song today.
Rap Genius, Idiot Fans
People used to listen, share, and use actual human interaction to discuss what a rapper meant by his or her words. Now all people have to do is type the song into Rap Genius and word by word, each sentence explains what the rapper’s lyrics mean. Social media has taken away our imaginations and those imaginations driving Hip Hop as well.
MTV: What does that stand for again?
MTV is supposed to stand for Music Television. It is quite strange how every time I turn on the TV, all I see are reality television shows and other forms of complete nonsense. In the past, when a new music video debuted, it was the first thing everyone talked about. Nowadays, they seem to be a lot less important and, if they are viewed, you will most likely see them on YouTube instead of on MTV.
Hip Hop needs to learn from Taylor Swift
As many people complain how Taylor Swift doesn’t allow her music to be downloaded on Spotify, it is the best thing she did for her music. When is the last time you went to a store and bought an album? Most of us rely solely on illegal downloads, YouTube, or even the few who buy it on iTunes. The difference between Hip Hop and music then and now is that everyone used to have full respect for the artist and their music. Waiting on lines to buy the artists new released album and blasting it on the way home from the store, used to be the tradition of many people. Nowadays, artists are lucky if their fans even bother paying for their albums.
Who said it first?
Nowadays we see the reoccurring use of past rappers lyrics and the use of copying the past, instead of regenerating the future. Past lyrics, style, and beats are being used in our current day and this is one of the top reasons New school Hip-Hop does not have the originality and talent Old school Hip-Hop did.
Free style is rare in our society. All the rappers used to need was a beat. Or as Biggie, just needed a corner and a crowd to rap to.
Many rappers such as Tupac, Nas, Eminem, Wutang Clan, NWA, and many others only had their talent and that was it. They didn’t have the technology and resources we have today and that is why everything was so original.
Nowadays, the rappers aren’t original or cannot even come up with their own ideas. A prime example of lyrical laziness is 2Chainz’s “she got a big booty, so I call her big booty.” This just shows how many popular contemporary artists have no talent. Although there are a few who are talented, is the talent all theirs? Drake, for one, has taken lyrics from Bob Marley. For example, Drake said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain” and also used Wutang Clans “C.R.E.A.M”. in one of his chorus’ of C.R.E.A.M. Cake. Even Jay-Z has been around for a years and with 19 won Grammy’s proves he is talented, is not as original as we think. Jay-Z stole Biggie’s lyrics 11 different times and this just proves how unoriginal artists are becoming. He stole lyrics word for word from Biggie’s “Kick in the Door” by saying “Y’all reign on top was shorter than leprechaun’s.” J. Cole also took word for word lyrics from Biggie in his album Born Sinners. Stealing of lyrics from the original rap artists from decades ago is a constant thing in our society today.
Which Barbie is real?
A perfect example of how new Hip-hop is so unoriginal is the topic Of Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim. Lil’ Kim being one of the most popular woman rappers has always had her label of the “Black Barbie dressed in Bulgari; I’m trying to leave in someone’s Ferrari.” It was quite strange how years later there was another, “Barbie you might have seen me on MTV in the Ferrari.”
RAPPERS EXPRESSED THEMSELVES
NWA’s song “Express yourself” focused on how the constraints put on rappers, through censorship, denied them the right of free expression. They want to express their lyrical ability and provide a message to their audience. Ironically they did not curse on this track, but they still got there feelings across. It used to be extremely hard for rappers and groups to get their music played on airwaves. Today, it is the complete opposite. Artists can put their music, whether it is good or bad, on websites such as YouTube or MySpace in an instant. Instead of this helping the music industry, it makes it much harder to find expressive and original music. Back in the 90’s, rap for a period of time wasn’t even considered music. Rappers always had to put out the best music and prove how this was a form and successful kind of music. Rappers such as Riff Raff or T-Wayne are prime examples of how the “rap game” has gone completely wrong. There was no thing known as “bad rap” because they needed to prove that rap was even music. There used to be only good Hip-Hop and that only, nowadays bad Hip-Hop is polluting the air waves and it can’t be stopped.
Rappers also used there words not only to prove that Hip-Hop was indeed music, but to spread positivity. After being diagnosed with AIDS, Eazy-E went out and tested with individuals and campaigned for people to go get checked, talked about what it meant and how it affected me, how it’s important to the community.”.
Nas’ lyrics to “I know I can” are a prime example of how inspirational rappers used to be. Giving listeners a sense that they can be what they want by saying, “If I work hard at it I’ll be where I wanna be. Be b-boys and girls listen up You can be anything in the world, in God we trust An architect, doctor, maybe an actress But nothing comes easy it takes much practice“.
Rappers would use their individuality and voice to connect with others and speak up.
If Rapper’s nowadays would express themselves and stop copying from the past, then maybe a whole new rap generation could come about. Until then the we will be stuck in the same cycle and as Biggie said there would be “no other kings in this rap thing, they siblings, nothin but my children!”