Through all the rhetoric, there has to be more awareness to the legacy of hip-hop. The music once had a natural voice, but now that voice has been auto-tuned and distorted. Rappers once used their music as a platform to show fans the plight of their everyday environment. The fans seem to be lost in the illusions that are continually portrayed as the lifestyle of the average musician.
No, every artist that has a deal drives a Bentley and wears a $200,000 chain illustrating label affiliation. The reality is that the industry is slowly dying and the remnants will resemble the state of Rock & Roll, Jazz and the Blues. Make no mistake about it: Mainstream America is essentially draining the soul out of hip hop.
The original MCs rapped about current and social events over partly infused riffs and break beats. The initial premise behind the beginning of rap was DJs using the instrumental sides of records, and then rhyming in rhythm over the beats, in an attempt to get the people in the venue to get on the dance floor and party. That is why the early rappers began as DJs and eventually spilled over out into inner city streets. The MCs, or master of ceremony, would talk about their self, their skills, and the their community.
I was talking to an earlier record executive from the Label Tommy Boy Records and he was disturbed with the direction that hip-hop has taken over the last 15 years. Hip-hop was once about lyrical content, slick delivery and a respect for the craft. I talk to many fans at shows and they continually tell me that they don’t listen to the words and they just like the beat.
I am still trying to decide where hip-hop went wrong and if it can ever be saved from itself. Only time will tell, but I believe everything, eventually, cycles back. Hopefully this next wave will be in the form of good music.