The thing you hear about so often these days is that New York hip-hop is being overtaken by various styles of regional hip-hop, especially southern rap. But the real story, and the one that people should be even more concerned with, is that hip-hop in general is beginning to decline in popularity.
For evidence of this trend, look no further than the top 10 of this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart, where there’s nary a hip-hop album to be found. Even the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, which came in number one, doesn’t have much rappin’ on it.
It was only about two years ago when rappers briefly took over the entire top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. Now rappers can’t outsell garbage like The Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley (?) and the High School Musical soundtrack.
And lest you think this is some sort of temporary anomaly caused by the god-awful Gnarls Barkley and Mobb Deep albums, this has been going on all year, as pointed out recently by Stone from The Couch Sessions, and XXL’s own Elliott “Money Pants” Wilson.
Whether or not this continues to be the case remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. I think we can all agree that hip-hop has been on the decline creatively since the late 1990s. What we’re beginning to see now is the commercial aspect of it catch up with the art itself.
Put simply, people are beginning to grow tired of these rappers’ shit, and I can’t say that I blame them. As much as my livelihood, such as it is, relies on hip-hop remaining fairly popular, I’m not holding my breath for it to make any kind of comeback on a commercial level.
This kind of correction, as far as I’m concerned, has been long overdue.