Hip hop has been on the rocks for years. Thin ice is an understatement for the foundation in which rappers are placing their music these days. While there have been some revitalizing moments, as a whole, we still can't help but wonder where the future of hip hop lies.
Almost a year after the infamous verse from rapper Kendrick Lamar, where did you expect hip hop to be? After blatantly mentioning some of the biggest names in rap music, fans expected an ultimate shift in the hip hop atmosphere. We anxiously awaited brutal retaliation with fierce beats in the background. While we received a few responses, none measured up to the verse Kendrick put on Big Sean's, "Control."
From the verse, Kendrick almost begged for retaliation from his musical opponents. "I'm usually homeboys with the same niggas I'm rhyming with, But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is."
With lines like that, fans became desperate for an intense battle of lyrics. Much to our chagrin, it was as if nothing had been said. Old school rappers like Q Tip praised the young artist for his attempt at breathing life into what is slowly becoming a dead art. Whether or not artists chose to directly respond is irrelevant. It is the simple fact that rappers didn't take this slap in the face and use it as the fuel to drive their next single. If a blatant mention by one of hip hop's newest faces doesn't motivate you, then what will?
Now, almost a year later, we are surrounded by music about drinking in the club, and bringing home the baddest light skin chick you can find. For every solid piece of music, there are a hundred pieces of crap that muffle any remnants of talent that may be found on a track. True fans refuse to accept defeat, constantly searching for the soul that still remains. What happened? We expected better. We wanted things to go back to the way they were when "The Basement" was at large, and AJ and Free still sat on the red couch. Now, a man who doesn't even write his own music is expected to be the face of a music-based television show, how does that work? (Sorry, Shad.)
While there are still some remaining musical gems, there is too much talent out there for us to be forced to listen to garbage more often than not. The radio should be riddled with forceful rhymes, instead it's bass-filled beats to stifle the lack of skill on every track. From Wale's time being wasted on heartfelt Instagram posts, to J. Cole's lack of new music, what are these artists doing?
Underground music used to be the faint heartbeat that was keeping hip hop alive, and it is getting weaker by the day. Artists' urge for fame is overshadowing their need for music, and it severely detrimental to the culture of hip hop.
Hip hop is not just a genre of music, it is a way of life, a culture. The more it depreciates, the less we have to be a part of.
Honestly, it may be time for another verse, Kendrick. They didn't hear you the first time.