Rap Doesn’t Suck; You’re Just Old

As much as I’d like to think that I’m “in-the-streets” the fact of the matter is that my post here at XXL makes me more “in-dus-try” then I’d care to admit. But I tell you it ain’t all peaches and cream, as much as I love my job, at times I miss just being a fan. But in reality is there even a such thing as a fan any more? Everyone seems so jaded, holding on to some played-out vision of how rap used to be. Now more then ever everyone seems to be super-critical, or maybe motherfuckers are just old.

At 29 years old, I’m not exactly the youngest cat out there, but shit heads is acting like they straight 50. The fact of the matter is the notion of a hip-hop golden era is bullshit and completely relative to your age. My golden era was 1994-1995, around the time Big and Mack dropped and the West had it locked. Nas had Illmatic, Doggstyle was still the shit, Enta Da Stage made me proud to be from Brooklyn and a young ATL group named OutKast proved that hip-hop wasn’t just a NY/Cali thing. As much great shit that was out at that time, there were records that I could do without, 95 South’s “Whoot, There it Is” was one of them. Still, I’ve accepted that the particular era that defined hip-hop for me has passed.

In a lot of ways the game has changed and evolved, it’s a shame the old heads haven’t changed with it. Back in the days Rakim would drop an album every two years like clockwork and was consider the GOAT of his day. Today a rapper damn near has to drop a mixtape every three months just to stay relevant. I’m willing to bet that in 2007 Lil Wayne recorded more songs than Ra released in his entire career. Not because Wayne is a lesser MC who is going for quantity over quality but just for the simple fact that the game has changed drastically.

And thank god for change. How boring would the game be if it stayed the same? Just Blaze evolved from DJ Premier like Nas evolved from Rakim. Soulja Boy may suck lyrically, but so did Kid N Play and MC Hammer. I mean hip-hop has always had silly dance songs and they were never my thing but I’d be damned if they don’t have their place. I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m ready for change. I wanna see where cats like Mickey Factz, Kid CuDi, Nipsey Hu$$le and Asher Roth take the game. Say what you will but I can’t wait to hear what a Charles Hamilton album sounds like (lord knows I know what his mixtapes sound like). Am I alone on that? Is it wrong to embrace a new generation of artists? Or are you motherfuckers just old? – Rob the Music Ed

  • Phil

    Naw, you’re not wrong. There’s nothing wrong with embracing new energy. BUT, there’s also nothing wrong acknowledging the innovations and influences of the past.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

      I’ve come to the realization that A) most hip hop music isn’t geared @ my age bracket & B) I’d rather fall back & enjoy the music rather than complain about the current climate.

      The only notion that stays constant in life is “change”. That’s the only thing that ever stays the same. Nothing lasts forever, & the quicker that fact is understood, the easier the transition will be. Otherwise, one appears to be bitter & unwilling to let go of the past, like our grandparents who refuse to use cellphones or buy DVD’s.

      Hip hop is no different. When I’m feeling like there’s nothing out there for “me”, I revert to my lifetime catalogue. Technically, music doesn’t age, or shouldn’t, so what’s good is good, in my opinion.

      • Rob the Music Ed

        I agree. I can still bump “Illmatic” or “RD” or “Doggystyle” BUT I just dont expect any of these new artists to make those records.

        There will be NEW classics from a NEW generation of artists. Bottom line.

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

          Word. 25-35 year old hip hop heads grew up listening to music with a completely different dynamic, compared to 15-21 year olds.

          If all you hear is BDK, G Rap, Slick Rick, Rakim Allah, Ice Cube, Scarface, ATCQ in your younger days, then of course as you grow, your ear will be attuned to a more lyrical, creative sound. But if a more mediocre sound has been the constant, then, of course, you’ll grow accustomed to that.

          Like you said, new generation, new “classics”. That “change” will never change.

        • amar

          ” I mean hip-hop has always had silly dance songs and they were never my thing but I’d be damned if they don’t have their place”
          ^^This is exactly what i’ve been saying this whole time

          I completely agree with this blog post. It’s not about good or bad, it’s about the fact that there is, has been and always will be a set of demographics catered to a set of listeners. More than anything it’s about respect and shutting up. Just because your flavour isn’t the mainstream (ie mine isn’t the mainstream) doesn’t mean you’re right and everyone else is wrong. Like what you like and stfu!

      • NAWLEDGE

        I cosign Yo Prince. Absolutely correct.

        Dude, I’m 21 so I got really got into Hiphop around the Bad Boy/Death Row days. I started paying attention to lyrics during the Cash Money days. Whether you want to admit it or not Rob, the music SUCKS now.

        Like you said, there were always silly dances, club hits, funny pop radio songs. However, this wasnt the DOMINANT form of Hiphop. We had other choices. Fans knew the difference between a fun silly song and a song where the lyrics mattered. Hiphop was an ecclectic mix of street poetry, intelligent rhyme scheming, and times where we have fun.

        Now, everything thats intelligent is for “lames & geeks” and is “boring”. Just look at how these kids treat dope rappers like Novel, Lupe Fiasco, or Talib Kwali.

        Street music has dumbed the fuck down to the point where everything is “shoot shoot, bang bang, in da trap, fuckin hoes”. Ie Plies, Gucci Mane, Shawto Lo, Young Jeezy, etc.

        Silly songs are just poser gansta shit. Just look at the lyrics for just about every dance song. SOMEWHERE in there, the rapper would have a line about shooting someone, being a thug, or “hangin with the killas”. Its completely ridiculous. Thats what ganstas do? Stanky Leg?! I dont believe a kid who would snap around and do a crank dat would a gun in his belt. Bullshit.

        What “evolution” do you see? The lyrics have gotten worse, the dances have gotten stupider, no new inovations has been added to producing, what happened to DJ battles?! I honestly dont see how we went from

        “To my elite peeps with the murderous mystiques / I hit the streets with beats and they critique for weeks / they be like how that kid Ra reach the peak? / Pull out the heat and use my technique to speak”

        to

        “Call them aliens time to re-up now / yea yea love my d-boy style / all the dope boys got the girls goin’ wild / yea I’m like na na na / I’m laughin’ at you niggas like ha ha ha”

        is somehow considered an evolution. It’s not. We’ve regressed to the lowest form of rhyme scheming ever, regressed to fake shit and matrialism ruling the sound waves, and Hiphip is now nothing but a minstrel show.

        Sorry, but in a young Hiphop head’s opinion, the music S-U-C-K-S now. God, I wish Big L was still alive…

    • ko

      The article is all wrong, rap today does suck, our standards have lowered, and there is a lack of talent in the game. That is the reason shit isn’t selling, don’t blame the internet blame these sorry corny rappers of today.

    • mo

      Face it Rob, shit is more wack than ever these days.

    • yoprince

      we can call people old or whatever.. put whatever mask on it you want to but the facts are the facts. people are dumber now than they were 10 – 15 years ago.

      I’m 23 years old, which means I was late on the golden era. I got into hip-hop during the glossy Bad Boy era, and I’m from the south, so also during that Cash Money era, where the name says it all.

      But even during that time, rap artists felt a need to represent artistically. The Hot Boys took their verses seriously. Mannie Fresh was intent on having a SIGNATURE sound. Rap battles were still slick and subtle, at least in the beginning until Jay and Nas went to war. Outkast and Goodie Mob rapped about hood shit intelligently. Same with Wu-Tang.

      Nowadays, there’s no vocabulary in a sport that’s lyric-based. Beefs are anything but subtle. Songs that do have relevant content are not executed cleverly. Lyrical dudes work with washed-up producers who are trying to recreate the late 80s, early 90s. And anything intelligent is automatically “underground.” Anything progressive is “hipster.”

      Niggas are making videos that seem like SNL parodies of rappers.. see OJ DA Juiceman, Washing machine money or whatever.

      don’t get me wrong, there’s good stuff out there. but let’s be real, the last song preaching intelligence in any manner on regular radio rotation was Nas’ I Can, which I think was on God’s Son, and coincidentally was a pretty terrible song…

      i suggest expanding the music you listen to. i still listen to some rap, but I’m on other shit now..

  • Pierzy

    There are new artists that don’t suck (Joell Ortiz to name one), but Asher Roth will only take the game into the toilet and nowhere else.

    • og bobby j

      co-sign on Joell….might be the top dude in the game right now….as a total package (flow, lyrics, word play).

      Co sign asher roth comment as well. He might provide some background noise at college parties, but that is where it ends.

      As for the blog, I dont even care no more about this hip hop shit…i listen to a few new cats (slaughterhouse…etc.), but other than that, the classics stay in rotation (see: 7 day theory, capital punishment, it was written, reasonable doubt, the score,ready to die, etc.)

      • Rob the Music Ed

        so in effect you’ve kinda taken yourself out the game right?

        “I dont even care no more about this hip hop shit”

        That’s a STRONG statement man, but I know you’re not alone. A lot of heads feel that way.

  • Stylistic

    I’m 28 years young and let me be the first to say that Hip Hop S-U-C-K-S now! And I guarantee you that 90% of my age group agrees with me on this. All Hip Hop has been these last few years is a big circus full of clowns. Snap Crackle Pop Bullshit, with corny little dances to go with it, and if it’s not that it’s homosexual, overrated ass rappers calling themselves the best…(Lil Wayne, Kanye West, etc) Yes there’s some good young lyricists out there but this is what television and the radio will refuse to play. They’d rather be on some dumb shit like do the stanky leg! With all this garbage that’s come out the last few years it’s not an accident that record sales are at an all time low, and that Pop music has slowly become the more dominant genre of music….

    • chitchat

      Yeah, the music is actually worse now. The lyrical ppl arent evolving. Jay would have never been able to afford being so hit-or-miss ten years ago. He put out wack songs with lame production but the lyrics were still good. Have you heard “Jockin Jay-Z” and “Brooklyn Go Hard”?! (See also Nas)

      Yeah Kid n Play used to exist alongside Cube, PM Dawn, X Clan and all other subgenres. Now everything is like some weird Hammer-Eazy E fusion and that is not so good. Not to mention I think you a lot of those freshmen 10 are good but not GREAT. We used to save covers for GREAT. Wha happen?

  • G2

    I definitely feel like I’m getting old. I’ll be 28 this year, and my taste in music is nothing like most of the kids coming up now. My older brother (37) introduced me to rap, and he rarely listens to anything recent. Slowly but surely, I’m growing the same way. Most of my favorite artists are 30 plus, and probably won’t be putting out music for much longer, and that’s scary. But I know there are good, new artists out there, but you really have to know how to navigate the internet to find them.

  • DownSouth

    It’s true that cats don’t wanna let go of the past. In my opinion, when it comes to music, it’s all about does it sound good in terms of lyrical content, subject matter, delivery, and beats. I don’t care if you’re old or new. There are some new cats who I think are cool; Charles Hamilton, Mickey Factz, The Cool Kids, and some mo.

    I think the reason why there are so many complaints from the old heads is because the game is more business than art now. So cats is putting together junk just to make a quick buck. And whats so funny is that the single blows up, but the album still don’t sell. All that hype for nothing. Peace!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com jackpot

    Some of these new cats are definitely talented. I think the new wave somewhat take their cues from the older MC mold, so it’s easier for 90s cats to appreciate them. I’m not gonna lie, I had a hard time finding new music I liked say two or three years ago, but I’m feeling some of these new cats.

    I’ll tell you one thing, though. As much as I’m willing to acknowledge that these new cats are talented, I doubt any of them have the potential to make a classic. It takes a special type of artist to deliver that masterpiece. And this isn’t an age thing, cause some of my favorite MCs never dropped unanimous classics. Only time will tell though.

  • epinz

    There’s music for all,its just that the younger shit is what’s popular.but I kbow where to go when I want some grown shit though. Plus, let’s be real, lyricsism never really sold well in the first place

  • tommy gunz

    i’m old–28—can’t fuck with these new cats–period…it is what it is 93-98 shaped my musical taste hiphop wise forever

    • JDS

      amen…

      • DV8

        indeed….and most of these new cats have to have some kind of resembalence lyricaly of the greats of the 90′s to even catch my attention.

  • http://www.myspace.com/emcdlthemusicprofile EmCDL

    Naw Rob I’m just old as hell! LOL (Naw really I’m 24)

    But seriously, I get what your saying; everybody is trying to bring back the old days where if you were lyrical more than the bs thats out nowadays, the your music was listened to more often than in today’s age, where now you just have a simple beat and a few words that rhyme and your on top of the game, as long as it can move crowds in the club. IMO, I would like to see more lyrics and less qunatity and more quality in music, but what can I do? Complaining about it isn’t gonna do anything because I’m just one person what the hell can I do? I’m not gonna necessarily embrace the music that comes out now (unless something catches my ear), but i can live with it.

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    i dont fux wit a lot of da new guys but i still got my go to guys 4 good music. i dont think its nothin wrong wit just listening to what u like & what u want to hear than trying to force ya self to roll wit da changes. we had our time, now let da new generation try to grab up some fans.

  • epinz

    Also, the south been runnin shit for a minute and they really care about is a hard beat, I know, I down here so cuz its popular everybodys tryin to do that, just like g funk, hardcore, crunk, dopeboy music..ect..

  • JDS

    only relatively new cats that i’ve liked are Jay Elect, Joell, Blu, and Wale is aight too… but 8 out of those freshman 10 are garbage.

  • mike

    i understand ur argument, i myself am a 23 yrold ny native, who loves the golden era, and my age is supposed to make me relate to this new era of young talent, but honestly i don’t, most of these new cats don’t show enough masculinity for me to relate to, i don’t mean toughness, i mean masculinity, i think there is a difference, and alot of them aren’t str8 spitters, even kanye is a spitter, he proves it by goin to the wake up show, and showin he still has an emcee within, alot of these new cats to focused on cross over and bein “different” they forgot to be emcees, i like wale and blu, but alot of these other guys i jus can’t listen to, more power to them i hope they succeed, but they won’t benefit from me, i prefer black milk over charles hamilton anyday…until the new class makes classic original records to overthrow the previous generation, i’m a bump hov way before i bump asher or b.o.b.

  • mike

    and lets be honest, this new class hasn’t made enough dope records, or generated enough buzz to overthrow the previous class, hov big nas and the others showed evolution from the kanes, rakims, g raps, and thats y they shined, and remember when the big came out, he didn’t whine that the other guys are old and they need to stop, he jus made records

  • BORN IN THE NORTH, RAISED IN THE SOUTH

    Hate to say this, but I’ve come to realize that Hip-Hop is youth-oriented music. Whatever was out when you were younger is always gonna sound better than what’s out when you’re older…. Plus, the advents of technology have altered the way the music is received & digested. I’m stuck on the 90′s shit, but I still keep my ears open to some of the new stuff. My interest level will never be the same as it was back then, tho….

  • General

    I think it speaks volumes about the state of hip-hop when the most anticipated joints of the year are from Dre, Em, Jay, and Raekwon. No one has really stepped up and taken and run with the mantle for the new generation.
    I would love to see Slaughterhouse drop a CD, but again in this climate, I don’t think it will get the support it deserves. A lot of the reason why none of the new cats have been able to seperate themselves is because the record labels are not willing to put money into anything that is not proven to make money at this point.

    • DETROIT

      “I think it speaks volumes about the state of hip-hop when the most anticipated joints of the year are from Dre, Em, Jay, and Raekwon.”

      CO-SIGN!

      it’s not just that WE THINK these new niggas suck, they’re lack of ability has allowed many of the older acts to linger around. in my day, old niggas got pushed out of the game by young niggas, because the young niggas brought something new and exciting to the game that the old cats couldn’t duplicate! that’s not the case in ’09!

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Shit…as a nigga sits here, straight blunted…he’s bumping that new Raekwon joint produced by Pete Rock…and you know what? Shit’s banging, nigga. Not even fronting–shit’s banging. Pete Rock still slangs that boom-bap and Raekwon’s still rapping about that crazy life you know–and he does it in that timeless style. I’m not saying my nigga is the James Joyce of rap or no shit, but listening to his shit, you get that vibe, mang…that spaced out in the head type shit that’ll take you from your office chair straight to the block–mentally. Newer rap ain’t made for a White Nigga like me. Fuck it, I’ll stay bumping my old shit til it gets too scratched, then I’ll go cop another copy. It’s that simple. AND a nigga’s 27…born in ’81, so don’t give me no shit. I can appreciate some young cats coming in this shit, grinding out sharp tracks, but no niggaz is doing that shit so what of it?

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • http://www.myspace.com/hopspot C. Hop

    I’m OLD for real. ’73 born. There always has been and always will be great music being made. Most people like things that were out when they were in their heyday and it reminds them of those times. but truthfully ’88 and ’94 might not be as good as 99. For all the Rakims there were the Fu-Schnickens, so the east coast can’t act like they haven’t had their share of garbage artists. Das Efx really was a gimmick act when you look back. Nas does Rakim better than Rakim did. Plus back then heavy radio spins weren’t even thought of so you could do more what you wanted with your content. now you gotta make something commercial to make your $ back and be viable.
    I think people get nostalgic and forget that there were terrible acts back then too. C&C Music Factory isn’t as good as Soulja Boy, face facts. And he did it out his bedroom. Charles Hamilton doesn’t make up or misuse words like Q Tip does.

  • Young History in the Making

    well maybe im just old then..

  • DETROIT

    i’m 31 and i feel what you’re saying. BUT, when i try to be neutral and evaluate today’s rap music vs. rap music of the past, my opinion is that rap is really wack these days! here are a few reasons that contribute to the current rap climate:

    1. Rap has become computer based. technology has become advanced to the point where cats can make a whole albums in the crib…THEN PUT THEM OUT ON THE WEB! that creates a situation where people don’t have to actually learn the game before they start making songs! which lowers the quality of your avg rappers product. Gone are the days when you had to sit around an established rapper and learn how to make songs before you actually made your own song (a la jay-z, nas, etc.)

    2. these days labels expect you to have a street buzz before they sign you. this is why most rappers are ex d-boys! who else has the time and expendible income to take over their region independently? if you work a 9-5, there’s no way you can travel your region trying to get raps off! drug dealers already have the network in place…and they have the money to buy their own cds out of the stores if necessary!

    3. too many cheifs. niggas like gucci mane make great hooks, but have wack flows. in the 90s, he woulda just been writin niggas hooks…in 09, he’s makin whole albums!

    4. There is too much money involved these days! in the early 90′s, cats just made albums. there was no specific agenda, because there wasn’t that much money involved. now, a 15 year old nigga with no deal will approach you with his or her cd and say some shit like “this is my club banger, this is for the street niggas, etc”, rather than just doing them, whatever that may be.

    5. hip hop is dying! disco died, soul music died, rock and roll died….if you look at the history of american music, most forms of music become irrelevant after about 20 years. RIGHT NOW, there are no more hip-hop/rap producers… all the hot producers produce rap + r and b + whatever else! R and B tracks bang more than rap shit these days!

    6. these new niggas focus so much on being versitile that they forget to master the basics. They focus less on what they say, and more on how they say it.

    7. too many copy cat/fake niggas. say what you want bout all rappers being fake…but nwa made fuck the police like 2 years before the la riots…THAT SHIT WAS REAL TO THEM! SHORT USED TO MAKE THE RAPS BOUT CHICKS. CHUCK D WAS MILITANT! EVERYONE WAS ON THEIR OWN LANE! now, niggas all copy eachother.

    what do you think?

    • DETROIT

      also, even if you compare soulja boy to hammer….HAMMER WAS ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMERS EVER! FLAT OUT! dude had a crew and they moved with precision. hammer was 10x the performer soulja boy is! not tryin to diss soulja, just statin the facts!

      • Rob the Music Ed

        Yeah but Hammer was HATED on in a similar way to Soulja. Shit “Turn This Mutha out” was a dope ass song. ‘tho I didnt care for most of Hammer’s shit.
        But it had it’s place.

    • og bobby j

      in response to #1…gone are the days when artists needed to be in the same studio to collab. Now, people dropping guest verses on a tour bus. Say what you will, but the vibe and competitive nature of rap is lost in this modern set up. I saw a video with fuck flex talkin about the John Blaze recording session with all them cats in the same studio….Nas, Pun, Jada, Joe, Rae…..

    • Josh

      Co-sign Detroit.

  • ThePhilosopher

    I feel what this article is saying. But thus is the nature of the game. Old school will always rival New school, just look at the history of the game and recognize that fact, but that doesn’t mean we have to hate. Personally I try not to hate on anyone without getting to know as best I can first. I think that when ‘we’ look at some of these new guys some of us hate on them for their swag or the way they were raised. To them, the haters, hip-hip/rap embodies a certain mentality, a certain way that things ‘should be’ like. So when something new comes along, they don’t accept a change, they denounce it. I hate these haters, these close minded fools. Don’t they realize that the tunes their rockin’ were once the new style as well? But that is the evolution of music in general….So if your going to hate, hate for the right reasons.

  • capcobra

    “50 yrs down the line we can start this..and we’ll be the old school artists”

  • Josh

    Listen. I just turned 30 and I was listening to Hip-Hop early. I love ’88 as much as I love mid-90s.

    I think when you grow up on something, you have the right to be critical of where it goes. This is OUR music. It defines our generation. We still listen to it, read about it, blog about it, obsess about it.

    It’s one thing to stop listening to the music because you “grew out of it.” But you’re talking to folk who haven’t grown out of it. We still live and breathe this shit.

    So, if something is wack, we, as fans, have the right to call it wack.

    The truth is is that most new shit is wack.

    Not all. Just most.

    And that includes the artists from the 80s and 90s who are still making new shit now.

    A lot of it is wack.

    You hit the nail on the head though.

    Rakim would take his time making an album and then come with 12-15 bangers. That’s about all you would hear from him for the next year or two.

    Jay-Z actually wrote the lyrics for Reasonable Doubt down. That album was years in the making. I know a lot of people liked American Gangster, but that album was made “off the top” (as Jay does) over the course of a couple of weeks (maybe a little longer). You can tell. His heart and soul weren’t in it.

    Most rappers nowadays just record, record, record and put everything out. Not only are we oversaturated with stuff, but we’re forced to sit through throwaway tracks and verses, whereas back in the day, that shit would get vaulted and thrown on a posthumous album.

    Just look at B.I.G.’s catalog. I’m going to guess that we got less than 200 verses from B.I.G. over the span of his career. But he put his heart and soul into those verses.

    Think about Dre. The reason Detox hasn’t dropped is because he doesn’t want to drop some wack shit. It needs to be classic. You don’t see Dre flooding the internet with bullshit.

    I’m sure a lot of these new cats have some good music in them. It doesn’t have to sound like ’88 or ’96. It just has to be good to earn respect.

    I slept on both Kanye and 50 when they were dropping mixtapes and getting their buzz up during the earlier part of this decade. But they both went on to drop pretty damn good albums. Arguable classics. They won we over as a fan.

    I don’t need all of my hip-hop to sound like Wu-Tang, be lyrical like Rakim, be clever like Jay, have a flow like B.I.G., or paint pictures like Nas. It just has to be good.

    So until they make some good shit, fuck must of these new cats.

    • Cinsere

      ^^^What he said!

  • kingequaltiy

    The only thing I got a problem with about some of these new rappers is that they glorify the worst shit about black folks dropping out of highschool going in and out of jail ,homo thug culture,who can sell the most crack who got the biggest guns the game been messed up since nwa went platnium everybody started trying to be fake ass gangstas it aint been the same since busta said what we gonna do in 92 even though we had fun in 91 there is hope its a strong underground movement of some real talented lyricist they just trying to enslave our minds with all the foolishness to keep us in the gutter it aint got nonthing to do with being young or old we all got the power to not buy this shit and demand a better product

  • http://robertoflackchronicles.com RL

    Definitely agree!!

    It was inevitable for Hip Hop to evolve from what it was in ’92-96. Now me personally, that is my favorite era…but at the same time I embrace all the new acts. It’s pointless to continuously yearn for some Primo or Pete Rock shit. Too much of a good thing = a bad thing.

    The problem we have today though that I do miss from the 90′s era is the broad range of acts and how different they were from one another. You could listen to Illmatic and Doggystyle and appreciate both albums for different reasons. A lot of artists today are trying to capture that same sound that made the next guy a star.

    But overall, I say embrace the new and preserve the old.

  • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

    i’m not going here with you, rob. some of it is old heads hating on the youngsters for the sake of hating, but there really isn’t a core of talented artists in the mainstream like there had been in past years.

    there’d always been the less substantial shit to counteract more content-driven music. nowadays, all we get is dance-pop bullshit to the point that anyone who DOESN’T make that kind of music and miraculously makes it to the BIG show is considered a genius of some kind. most such “geniuses” would have been eaten alive in, say, the mid 90s.

    wayne is a rare example that combines quantity AND quality, but name 5 more like him.

    • Halogen

      Dylan Dylan Dylan Dylan and Dylan

    • Dub Sac

      Blu and Black Milk have put out a lot of material recently and most of it has been consistently quality. Elzhi isn’t as prolific, but he’s as lyrical as anybody.

      Well, that’s three. So, somebody else come up with two more…

    • Rob the Music Ed

      Well you also have to take into account that there are more rappers than ever too.

  • $ykotic

    Rob going in!

    I’m one of the elder statesmen yet I yearn for some of the new jacks to make an impact. Bring something different to the game.

    But when dudes are in their mid-late 20′s and feel the same as the 35+ you can’t ignore the signs.

    A lot of new stuff is not good.

    I see cats buying archived music more than new releases.

    Rap done been dropped the baton. And still ran like they won the race when they damn well knew they were disqualified.

  • El Tico Loco

    Yeah the Golden Eras (plural) had their share of wack acts the difference between then and now is that they were outnumbered, now is the other way around and now you gotta dig deep to find a dope artist while all the wackness there as soon as you push the FM button. Whatever happen to talent? Even Kid and Play had a battle pedigree aside from making danceable music so it doesn’t compare to today’s wackness where the catchy hook and the beat saves the song, might as well just cop an instrumental because everybody sayin the same thing and is nothing mindblowing, which is what killed the videos too.

    • El Tico Loco

      All I’m saying is don’t you want a new Golden Era? Like can you beat the older acts without record sales being the measure? Who’s gonna come out so sick that Jay, Nas, or even Primo can do like Whodini did and just hang it up and do the Nostalgia tour circuit? So far nobody, actually there are but they don’t make to your station’s playlist.

  • escobar9300

    Real talk, its not that us hip hop heads view the current rap game differently, its the fact that the current rap game is total bullshit right now. I can’t turn on power 98 out here for 5 minutes without hearing some bullshit autotune or corny ass dance track. How hard is it for these dudes to come out with some intelligent, real hip hop? Motherfuckers have been doing it for the last 30 years, whats the difference now? I’ll tell you, the game has gotten so watered down that even bullshit rap is considered good. Case and point, Plies. This dude couldnt have sold 10k back in 96, let alone 300-400k like hes doing now. Motherfuckers are so used to bunk ass rap music, that half the people just buy whatever the fuck is on the radio. Fuck that! I’ll take Nas, Immortal Technique, Pac and Big if I want intelligent, raw hip hop music. If I wanted fuckin cotton candy music I’d turn on the disney channel, not a fuckin hip hop station. smh…

  • Apollo

    I just don’t like how people talk about how great they are instead of inspiring songs or songs that people can really feel. nowadays people just listen to music they don’t embrace that’s why we have shitty rappers. but i cant hate congratulations they made it. but i do hope some good rappers make it. i know im gonna keep trying until i do. and theres nothin wrong with a silly dance song but theyre getting worse. i’d do the kid and play any day before id do the stanky leg !! what the hell is that ?

    Apollo

    old school new school doesn’t matter as long as its real, from the heart not the mind

  • Apollo

    and co sign with esco. immortal tech is amazing. check out the song fourth branch the wordplay is sick.

  • dj rod

    the real problem of today is the constant presence of bad music vs good music.it’s not about soulja boy or the region of the where the music is coming from,it’s just right now hip hop music is all about the radio single than a dope album.also you have to remember,there’s more money being thrown around in hip hop music,don’t you think the label is going to have some type of say of how it’s produce.in the 80′s and 90′s,the labels didn’t care about hip hop until it started to sell boat loads of cd’s.you have too many chefs telling producers how to produce,rappper how to rap,and dj’s what to play.it’s a different ball game.look at the sample laws compared to back then.it’s being raped by the corparations now.look into how xxl and interscope work together to brainwash you into thinking charles hamilton is dope.we all know that crap won’t see the light of day.look at saigon.it’s an conspiracy.

  • Zulu1925

    What most of you are either failing to realize or failing to acknowledge is the fact that rap/hip-hop music fundamentally changed with the advent of SoundScan in ’91/’92. Prior to that, record companies mostly left rappers alone to make the music they wanted to make. Once the industry realized that there was REAL money to be made off this rap shit, new acts were funneled to “the middle-of-the-road” musically and the artists’ story and persona became the differentiator. This mindset has culminated in rappers’ current obsession with swagger – who gives a fuck what my music sounds like, but you better not question my look or the vibe I project ’cause I’m the flyest person you’ll ever meet!

    • El Tico Loco

      So bottom line you’re saying is that the new crop of artists now don’t have creative control as opposed to their predecessors. Which means everything young cats defend about newer and wacker music is really the result of programming (in the brainwashing sense of the word) of T.I’s, thus there’s no competitive edge in the creative process, just mass production to create corporate profits.

      • Zulu1925

        Exactly, El Tico Loco! And, the general buying public is culpable, as well, since they continue to support less than stellar art. Were the public to make million-sellers of an album by (pick your favorite underground artist), then the T.I.s, as they are so humorously referred to, will scour the planet looking for 10 M.C.s just like the million-seller – which will mean an increase in the quality of the art, though these new M.C.s may have similar points of view to each other. But, at least it’s a step in a positive direction.

        • DETROIT

          “4. There is too much money involved these days! in the early 90’s, cats just made albums. there was no specific agenda, because there wasn’t that much money involved. now, a 15 year old nigga with no deal will approach you with his or her cd and say some shit like “this is my club banger, this is for the street niggas, etc”, rather than just doing them, whatever that may be.”

          what i was trying to say above, is exactly what zulu is saying! he just did a better job of explaining it.

          GOOD SHIT ZULU!

  • $ykotic

    Maybe I should get my Frankie Crocker on and go in on this contemporary rap thing. Make heads comfy with being 30+ loving hip hop.

    I mean why not? Young dudes ain’t making music for us? Why OG’s gotta make music for them?

  • bongolock

    ‘make up or misuse words like Q Tip does.’

    when? where?

  • Cinsere

    I equate the usage of the term “old-head” with that of the term “hater”. Just because I think you suck, that doesn’t make me a hater, it just means I have an opinion. Similarly, just because I think MOST of the music coming out today sucks, that doesn’t make me an old-head, it just means that I have standards. Look, anyone that thinks that there is no such thing as good and bad art is fooling themselves. If you do shit as a hobby, then cool…knock yourself out. But if your gonna do shit professionally, I expect you to sound like a pro! I don’t think my 18 year-old cousin’s drawings deserve to be hanging in a museum, and I don’t think Soulja Boy’s CD deserves to be sitting on a Tower Records Virgin Megastore Circuit City Best Buy shelf! So if your vocabulary, word play, flow, cadence, and delivery are ALL lacking, AND your beats are wack, then I see no reason why you should be doing this professionally.

    As for artists that actually have talent that have made their names in THIS decade…I think Kanye might be the only one that can see he has a classic under his belt. Not surprisingly, he’s the one that I think puts the most heart and soul into his projects. See, it used to be art first, business later. Now, clearly, it’s the other way around, and the music has suffered grealty because of it.

    You can’t deny that the music is suffering…

  • giantstepp

    Most of what needed to be said has already been said but simply put, I think most folk are caught up in… or what will be the era of comin of age for them. Generally early teens, to mid 20′s are those years. Im old now, 38 and I havent related to most of the stuff past 99 or 2000 when I was 29 or 30. This transends hip hop as well. The generation above me is not bumpin present r&b…they bumpin the oldies but goodies….from there coming of age years. I think thats just how it goes.

  • Anti-Mainstream

    All these heads writing in are killing me labeling themselves “Old,” when their in their 20s and 30s. 20′s and 30s isn’t old people, cmon….and I’m 28…..

  • http://xxlmag.com Ben

    Rap is played out straight up. Remeber when Bob Seger closed out Rock n Roll the last rock star, the last true rock star, how many distinct voices are in rock n roll now….
    You have shit like ColdPlay, ask a your mom and dad if they think ColdPlay is rock, they will either say ColdPlay sucks, or who is ColdPlay? Also rap only primarily caters to a “Black” audience, the blacks always complain about how they are mistreated and shit, yet they love hearing music talking about killing, selling mass amounts of drugs, and mistreating women. Now relax I am not racist I just think rap, like the Black and Brown communities are so full of hate, confusion, and ingnorance, that it has to die, bottom line the music is fucking retarded. It no longer serves any purpose. When rappers like Saigon for example can’t drop records, but STANKY LEG gets mad video play and a album, kill it, pull the plug, HIP-HOP IS DEAD.

  • foolio_iglesias

    KRS 1 stated well over 10 years ago that rap pretty much died in ’88.Although I found his assessment debatable, I feel that the best decade of rap was ’86 to ’96,and that’s pushing it.I’ve read all the replies thus far,and have found that the general consensus isn’t that ALL current rap is wack,just most and that there isn’t ANY BALANCE in genres of rap.Plus,it’s just more obvious that dudes is rapping to get paid-and it shows.It’s sad that the high water mark for rappers was set over 2 decades ago.As one poster stated,none of these dudes are gonna EVER put out even ONE classic album.The poster that broke down how a lot of genres straight up die after 20 years was unusually observant.Me personally,I’ve been waiting for (the CURRENT climate ,state and condition of)rap to DIE since 1996.Of course ,(real)rap will NEVER die….

  • wat-wat-watt

    im 25 and yea this new rappers are wack!

  • nellz

    there’s just as many whack niggas now…as there were in the “golden era” Now..it’s just easier to have access to whatever music you want…and it’s a lot easier to hate and/or jump on the bandwagon…..The internet got hip hop in the yolk.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ndotc&iamhiphop.com N DOT C

    Finally somebody writes the PERFECT BLOG. I’ve been trying to spread the word in conversation & discussion boards at IAMHIPHOP. You’re speaking for a 24 year old, cuz lord knows it’s G-Unit now, not The Zulu Nation. Now our dance songs have provocative titles like this:

    N DOT C

    ‘THE BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER’
    Available Now
    For Sale @ iTunes, Amazon, and Shock Hound
    http://www.iamhiphop.com/ndotc & MySpace

  • Dick B.

    I’m 15 and I’m old.

    RIP Guru