Has Hip-Hop Gone Deaf To The Youth?
I remember my dad reminiscing one day about how when hip-hop first started, his parents would say to him:
“Turn that rap noise off. There’s no singing. Just talking over classic James Brown beats. What are you doing? That hip-hop, mumbo jumbo won’t last another 2 years.”
My father was defiant, he continued to rebel and go to the parks to witness the birth of the culture we now have grown to love: hip-hop.
Fast-forward to 2010 and the son of Mark Williams, Mickey Williams P.K.A. Mickey Factz is backstage at a Chicago show with Big Sean. I’m off stage and am ready to watch Big Sean go on as I’m hanging with M.I.A.’s DJ, Million Dollar Mano. We’re talking about a collaboration when a security guard from New York but now residing in Chicago loudly says, “I hate rap right now.” The security guard looks like he was in his late 30’s, early 40’s. I turned over and asked “Why?” His response was, “I miss the days when rappers could rap. And the mainstream didn’t take over the airwaves. Now we have guys like Mikey Fatz and Big Sean and Drake out. Don’t get me wrong, I like that Mikey Fatz guy, he has a New York kinda style to him but I don’t man, I don’t know.” (Yes, he said Mikey and he said Fatz).
First off, I don’t think he knew I was Mikey Fatz. Second off, I was truly offended because I’m young and I have an obsessive respect for the pioneers of hip-hop, let alone New York City’s golden era of hip-hop— the ’90’s. I took offense and responded with, “You sound like my father’s father when hip-hop started. Us younger rappers need the support from guys like you to continue this legacy.” I went on tell him I was Mikey Fatz. LOL
Because I am from New York, the legacy is a lot to uphold. However every rapper that has made it out of this city with the exception of Nas, Biggie and Jay-Z, have all given me the utmost respect in what I do. Big Daddy Kane has said “You remind me of myself when I was younger.” KRS-One has said, “Your stage performance is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever seen.” Fat Joe has continuously said to me, “Keep reppin’ The Bronx. We need this.” I don’t understand why the older generation of fans can’t accept the youth of hip-hop. Granted there are some acts that aren’t your top caliber of MCs. But when hasn’t there been that in rap? From Luke to Father MC to Sir Mix-A-Lot to Humpty Dumpty etc. We’ve had our fair share of craziness in hip-hop. Is it because the records that are equivalent to those records are hits and not the bonafide street records?
Hip-hop was created to be a voice of a neighborhood, an outcry to be heard, a champion to the streets, an outlet for the youth. There isn’t anything wrong with anyone’s point of view of hip-hop. The talent might not be up to par with say a Jay-Z or freestyling up to par as a Supernatural. But who’s to say a Soulja Boy or a Gucci Mane or a Waka Flocka is not needed in our culture? We have to realize there is a Yin and a Yang to everything. Instead of bringing down our examples, uplift, or shut your mouth! The reason why hip-hop is even heading this far is because of the youth and experimentation. We shouldn’t treat it like a toy that a child got on Christmas. Not wanting to share it with everyone. We need to let the world see our blessings.
Towards the end of the night. Before I hopped into my car service. The security guard said “Hey Mikey, your right. I will give the younger artists a chance. But I do have a love for the founding fathers. It’s what I grew up on and love.” My response was:
“As you should. All we want is the respect from the older artists and fans alike. It’s like you guys are passing the torch. Stay safe. By the way, its Mickey Factz with a Z at the end”
And that’s the Fatz. LOL