CityinThree

Gone are the days where we had the socially aware Tupac's and the Biggie's whose music was not only catchy...

Gone are the days where we had the socially aware Tupac's and the Biggie's whose music was not only catchy and genuine but filled with powerful lyrics. Nowadays, we have rappers who repeat "Gucci Gang" continuously, only spewing out about a total of a minute's worth of words that are overly saturated into a 4 minute song. Gone are the days where we had artists with real swagger who would wear designer that no one could afford; now we have YouTubers with a little bit of coin mimicking every designer brand made mainstream by these "artists". There's no originality, these artists all have the same look; coloured hair often in nappy braids or dreads, tattoos all over their bodies, and obnoxious jewellery that would get you robbed in the hood. Not only are these artists carbon copies of each other but they're also all very extremely problematic with music that contains the word Nigga, heavily repeated, even though they're white; or with lyrics that rap about the sexualization of women's bodies and glorify a life of drugs and gang-banging.

My question, however, is: is it really that deep?

Throughout the history of hip-hop, we've heard the term "hip hop is dead" repeated not only by rap artists but by fans of the music genre. Is it really safe to say that though? At the end of the day, rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Jay Z, and Eminem are still dropping music. That's a short list of many and I'm really only listing rappers that are oftentimes credited for being great lyricists; if you want a list of rappers who make music that doesn't necessarily speak on social justice but that still bangs and has lyrics that make sense, look at Drake or Lil' Uzi Vert. This new era of "trash" rappers featuring the likes of Lil' Pump, Tekashi69, Trippie Red, Bhad Bhabie, Lil' Skies, and Lil' Xan to name a few, has been scrutinized and critiqued like no other by fans of hip-hop and the media. But why? Asides from being problematic rappers, when "Kooda" or "Boss" come on at the club, do you not get extra lit? Bhad Bhabie, notorious for her stint on Dr. Phil has released banger after banger on her YouTube channel, yet people can't get past the fact that she's a 15 year old white girl with an attitude and because of that, hip-hop is dead?

If you really care about social justice and your goal is to defend hip-hop music and "real" artists, take a look at your fave's rap sheet. Many of these old school rappers have been convicted of sexual assault, rape, possession of drugs with the intent to sell, assault, and more. However, are we going to bash their music and their artistry? Hell, we barely even bash them as a person. Someone's level of artistry or the quality of their craft shouldn't be determined by whether or not they're a good person. I'm not saying "Gucci Gang" is the most mentally stimulating and progressive song, or that 6ix9ine doesn't look like a bag of skittles, however, when I'm getting ready to go out and their song comes on, I definitely turn the volume up. This doesn't mean hip-hop is dead.

But wait, maybe you're upset because there are so many hard-working artists that deserve the recognition over these guys, and I'm not saying you're wrong but who's to judge? Spending all your time crying and yelling because some 16 year old rapper who's barely able to formulate a proper sentence is more famous than you isn't going to get you the recognition you claim you deserve. Bashing these rappers and demanding that their music not be played won't make you famous, it won't make you rich, and you definitely won't replace them. There's room in the industry for everyone. If you're really so upset that Lil' Xan has more clout than you, figure out his formula and apply it.

If an entire genre of music that has been fought for so hard to remain intact is dead because a few rappers that most likely won't last for longer than a couple years have emerged, then what does that have to say about the genre itself? As far as I'm concerned, my hip-hop isn't dead because Kanye is still producing tracks, Drake been releasing bangers, and the game has been opened up to newcomers such as Tee Grizzley, Ski Mask the Slump God, 21 Savage, Migos (on a larger scale, recently), and so many more. If the type of music you enjoy is a washed out Jay-Z rapping about cheating on his wife and exposing his friends and family, then go for it. I, on the other hand, will be too busy getting lit to "Hi Bich".

And no, that doesn't mean I don't know every lyric to "Brenda's Got a Baby".