Hip Hop Needs To Start Over

  1. Fade

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    At least I hope! This won't be a "Hip Hop today sucks, old school is the best" type of article, instead it's about which direction Hip Hop is headed. Some say that everything eventually comes back into style and I strongly believe that the same can hold true for Hip Hop. We've seen it go through many stages over the past few decades, and it's at the point now where a change is greatly needed.

    Today's Issues

    The main problem with today's music is that it's all very similar, with not much variety to speak of. To be honest, I don't listen to much of today's music because nothing really connects with me, unlike the music of years past. I try to listen to as much new stuff as I can but the end result is that I end up not bothering keeping any of it in my collection.

    Why it's all so similar is because of a few things, such as the record industry getting involved and making Hip Hop so mainstream that everyone just follows suit. It's also because a lot of today's artists just can't be bothered to think outside the box. I'm not just talking about mainstream artists either because there's lots of underground acts that all sound the same as well. If you listen to the 90's music, the same can be said for them as well. That whole 90's sound caught on really quick with gutter drums, bass, and looping horns. The reason why the 90's stuff was so popular is because it just sounded so good!

    Old School Issues

    Even back into the 1980's, Hip Hop was dominated by artists that sounded similar. It's actually like that for any genre of music, but in the 80's, the music was the same with not much variety. You had groups like Run DMC and Public Enemy that had their own style, but there were lots of others that followed suit. Take for example, Public Enemy. They brought in the militant style of music, which was then branched off into acts like Professor Griff, Sista Souljah, then onto X-Clan, and many more.

    Where the old school groups were very similar had to definitely be the West Coast. Once NWA came out and saw huge success, it seemed like there was a flurry of new acts overnight that started rapping about violence and they followed NWA's formula. Was it a coincidence? Of course not. It's probably human nature to follow others, with only a few of us being real leaders and trendsetters.

    Old vs. New

    What has to be the main difference between the old school and today's artists is the lyrics. The music is vastly different of course, but I find that the lyrics are where today's music really falls short. Take for example, this track:



    Now take a listen to this:



    What's the difference? If you don't know then I feel sorry for you! It's a no-brainer because as you can hear, the lyrics simply can't be compared. There are artists today that shine with their lyrics and are definitely on point, but the majority are rapping about nonsense.

    The Solution

    I'm a strong believer that Hip Hop's content should be anything related to the streets, not champagne and cars. Hip Hop has to connect with the listener, and when someone is rapping about how much jewellery they have or how they fly from city to city in their private jet - I can't relate. It's purely fantasy Rap that can only be enjoyed by those that don't want to hear about reality. In a sense, it's like checking your favorite news website - would you rather hit up TMZ or CNN? For most, those two can't be compared because TMZ is laughable, whereas CNN is real news.

    Hip Hop's message has disappeared over the years but it needs to come back. The underground seems to be the only sub-genre of Hip Hop that can save it, but even then it's highly doubtful. Matter of fact, there shouldn't be underground Hip Hop! There used to be different types of Rap music such as funny, militant, and east/west coasts, but they were all underneath the same banner - Hip Hop.

    I say forget the fancy lyrics, forget the champagne, money, and cars, and forget the lyrics that are so cryptic, fans can't decipher them without a degree. Bring back regular music and regular lyrics and just make good music that everyone can enjoy. Break down the barriers between sub-genres and make Hip Hop what it should be again - dope.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
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  2. Ozmosis

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    Everything blends together these days and sounds similar like you said. When Kendrick Lamar songs come on If you didnt already know, you would have no Idea he was from the west coast. I miss the days where within 5 seconds of hearing the beat you new where the artist was from before they said a word.
     
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  3. Fade

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    Word. Same thing for the vocals. In the past you would know right away who it is. I think it just boils down to the fact that there's too many artists.
     
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  4. Sucio

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    4 years later:

    Hip-hop became too corporate. When it began to be extremely profitable, those who have zero interest in the culture became those in charge..

    In the age of streaming music and digitally purchasing songs instead of albums, the focus became to make a few hit songs...

    The artists' focus became remaining relevant in the era of "fast food music". Artists have very little longevity, today, so they're going to ride any wave that keeps the money coming in.

    Notice everything is pointing towards solely money. When Uzi Vert went to the radio station and said he wasn't gonna rap on a Premo beat, saying he was a rockstar should be all you need to know about where the focus is for these artists. Ebro talked about bars, but these dudes aren't about bars..
     
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  5. TjombaBeats

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    It's just when i was doing the sounddesign study we would have teachers who really had all kinds of skills like playing instruments and so on. Nowadays like you said there is little to no skill needed. You have the programm and the programm can adjust your rythm to make it sound nice like simple drum set Kick Kick clap. Try to play it for 8 barz you will see it will not be perfect but you can quantize with the programm the programm wil make it perfect for you.. The teachers tho i heard them play piano i heard them make a beat live on stage with guitar and make a short preformance because here in holland that's another way to make money to give a preformance.. you know it takes skills to be a good musician. But like with rap you heard that rap beat IM IN LUV WITH THE COCO.. Really no disrespect but that shit gets trillions of views while the usefull raps wil only get what 200 views... Being dumb nowadays is like a new trend..
     
  6. Fade

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    @TjombaBeats See that's the thing - it's change a lot. For example, in Maschine they came out with that dope feature that does chords for you. It's a great tool but it's also a crutch. I used it often but I also tried to learn the chords to see what fits with what. Unfortunately today it's just too easy to make something, as there's plenty of auto-correct and things like that.
     
  7. TjombaBeats

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    Yeap! you are right man! For myself sometimes i have some synths connected through midi like Dave smith mopho is desktop synth i need midi connection to push notes. But the thing is the midi wont record but the audio will sometimes i will just have to play something and start learning it and try to record it perfect. It can be a pain in the ass but it can also be fun! But yeah nowadays indeed all kind of tools to make it easy for people..
     
  8. OGBama

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    @Fade @TjombaBeats I'm happy music making is being made easy but the line between too difficult and too easy is formal music education, which I personally lack.
     
  9. TjombaBeats

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    But that's the point OGBama i respect your opinion. But just to make a point back in the days people relied on musicians people who could play instruments! I heard some teachers say they would fly in like musicians from America to record in his studio give him his notes he would need to learn and record it when it was time. Like try to rap on your beats and record it you will notice allot of people just don't know how much work it really is.. That's why music it can be fun but it's really working your ass off sometimes. People really just say hey it's for fun yeah it is but than again its kinda work aswell. I just respect the teacher their opinion they said people with no musical skills at all just make number 1 hits... While those teachers they really practiced ages for that level of playing their instruments..