Generation Lost: The Endangered Culture of Hiphop

The 2k10’s have been tough times for what was once considered the “real” Hiphop. Streetwise story tellers have been replaced with bragging hustlers. B-boys and girls now replaced by Dabbin’ and Twerkin’. The break beat and sample are almost extinct in modern production. The list can continue for some time and much space. Many argue that this is the natural, inevitable progression and evolution of the art form. This could be right except for one very important detail. Hiphop, although containing many art forms within it’s definition, is more than that. It is a culture in the truest sense. It has its dance in B-boying, its music as turntablism and sampling combined with original compositions, its poetry with the rappers and MC’s and visual component in Graffiti. It also has its rites of passage in the form of street cyphers, battles and contests which regulate the quality and time that must be put in before claiming master status. Without a national border and dish it meets the qualifications that determine a culture. Or at least it used to. Its not that all the old crews aren’t still functioning or that there is no knowledge of history and MC’s following the pre-trap tradition. It’s just that none of it has been getting any attention on the charts whatsoever. It’s not that conscious material cannot co-exist with the new style. Nas had “I Can” back in the early 2000’s when Lil’ Jon’s “Get Low” was on rotation. People will always want to hear something uplifting or socially conscious if given the chance. These are the songs which last thru the generations. They inspire the artists of the future because the message transcends material interests and reaches into the soul. Today’s steady party jams and hustler hits have their place and contain their dopeness, but do they have what it takes to maintain thru the years? Or will Hiphop of today end with this generation, as it only leaves disposable hits and dated sounds for the next one? It would be hard to believe that people will remember Lil’ Yachty, or Fetty Wap in 20 years like people remember Public Enemy or Tribe Called Quest. Even if you believe the hype!

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