Hip Hop is Dead and This Generation Killed it
Brian Brewington
1842

[Genre I listened to when I was young] is dead because of [totally subjective reasons]

“These goddamn millennials!”

Saying that “this generation” has killed Hip-Hop is one of the laziest arguments one can make. If Hip-Hop is dead, how is it overtaking Rock to become the most listened-to genre in the nation? Are artists like Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Vince Staples, among others, not creating great work and talking about important issues? Hip-hop doesn’t need to conform to the exact formula you grew up with for it to be viable. Snoop Dogg’s ‘Doggystyle’ has very little “substance” but it will forever remain a classic. If hip-hop strays from boom-bap street knowledge, it doesn’t mean it’s “lost it’s meaning and feeling”, it’s simply changing and evolving. It’s a natural progression that happens in genres everywhere. People criticized jazz music when it first appeared too.

Look at this article: http://www.daveyd.com/commentaryishiphopdead.html

This article is from the early-to-mid-2000’s and condemns the same type of hip-hop you romanticize in this piece. Some quotes:

Is hip-hop dead? It sure sounds like it if you turn on the radio. What used to be exciting, groundbreaking music seems to have been reduced to a one-note din. The only topics discussed are bling-bling materialism, how many guns you have, and “ho’s.” Hip-hop poster boy 50 Cent appears on the cover of Rolling Stone with the caption “Mastering The Art of Violence.” There’s the raunchy Lil’ Kim, and of course, top dog and now Oscar-winner Eminem, who has threatened to kill his wife numerous times on his records.
Back in hip-hop’s heyday of the ’80s and early ’90s, some of the most popular groups were also some of the most vibrant — the militant Public Enemy, the uplifting Arrested Development, the stylistically abstract A Tribe Called Quest, and the teacher KRS-One. Despite different approaches, they seemed to be working together to speak about the black experience and create the melting pot that made hip-hop so refreshing and vital.
“In the late ’80s, there was such a diversity (in hip-hop),” says Kevin Powell, former Vibe magazine senior writer and editor of “Who Shot Ya? Three Decades of Hip-Hop Photography.” “If you were a young black male growing up then, you could aspire to be Chuck D, or Big Daddy Kane, or Too Short, or Doug E. Fresh. You had choices. That doesn’t exist anymore.”
It’s certainly harder to find. And offering it may take courage. When everyone else is talking about violence and riches, it’s tough to talk about more cerebral issues without being laughed at by your peers and being called soft. “It is more difficult to try and make the masses buy it,” says Common, one of hip-hop’s most positive thinkers. He and Talib Kweli, performing at Roseland tomorrow evening, headline one of the most socially conscious hip-hop tours of the year.

Here you can see this same rhetoric, that hip-hop’s hey-days were in the 80’s and the early 90’s. After that? All mainstream, materialistic and homogenized. In fact you could probably use this same article, copy-paste and change the artist’s names and re-run as a new piece every 3 years. Hip-hop has never died, it just outgrew the box you seem to want to put it in.

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