Hip-Hop is Still Good: Let the Golden Age Begin… Again

Harlem, NY, Sept 29, 1998, 17 E. 126th St., famed photographer Gordon Parks shot the cover image for XXL’s December ’98 issue, “The Greatest Day In Hip-Hop History.” The cover paid homage to Art Kane’s iconic jazz portrait “A Great Day in Harlem.” Similar to the original, Park’s version brought in a surplus of rap legends and up-and-comers to pose in front of three brownstones in Harlem.

All regions and ages were represented, as everyone from Rakim, Fab 5 Freddy, Kool Herc and Debbie Harry (Blondie) to Da Brat, Wyclef, Jermaine Dupri, Luke, E-40, Fat Joe, and Shyheim, among others, were present. The cover ranks as a huge milestone in hip-hop history, a pure example of MCs from all over the U.S. putting aside their egos to come together to pay homage to the culture’s pioneers and acknowledging the passing of the torch, as a New Golden Age of hip-hop began.

Well, I’m here to say that today we are entering another Golden Age. Most sources define a golden age as “a time period when some activity or skill was at its peak.”

As I sit in front of my iTunes and scan through my play list, I can honestly say that we are entering into a special time in hip-hop. Lyricism is cool again! Songs are heartfelt and actually strike emotions, while painting a visual story. Consistency is at its strongest. The surge of good, quality music out is amazing and the amount of young and talented artists is overwhelming. That nostalgic atmosphere people would feel when listening to good music is slowly starting to come back and the diversity in hip-hop is at its peak.

Some said the West Coast couldn’t come with the rhyme, but listen to Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, Pac Div, Fashawn and Jay Rock and tell me they can’t flow. Some said the South killed hip hop… Pause! Play a track by J. Cole, Jay Electronica, Curren$y, B.o.B. or Big K.R.I.T. and you tell me they’re not lyrical. If you have to ask who’s in the Midwest, then you’ve never heard of Big Sean, Kid Cudi, Freddie Gibbs, Chip the Ripper and The Cool Kids. A lot of people say the reason why “hip-hop is dead” is because the New York rap scene is dead, but how can anyone say that when there’s Mickey Factz, Joell Ortiz, Papoose, Vado and Red Café holding their own. We can’t forget about hip-hop’s international appeal either. Just listen to the radio and “hip-hop’s rookie of the year” is a kid named Drake from Toronto.

C’mon, son, enough said.

That’s is just the tip of the iceberg, though. What about Slaughterhouse, Wiz Khalifa, Game, Lupe Fiasco, Asher Roth, Mac Miller, Blu, Laws, Saigon, Bun B, CurT@!n$, dead prez, Fly Union, Lloyd Banks, French Montana, Maino, Chris & Neef, Mysonne, Phil Ade, Plies, Strong Arm steady, 50 Cent, Casper G, Wyldstyle, The Roots, Smoke DZA…

Whooooo *Rick Ross voice* had to catch my breath…

…Gucci Mane, Tech N9ne, Waka Flocka Flame, Roscoe Dash, Jae Millz, Tyga, Nicki Minaj, Yelawolf, Travis McCoy, Drag-on, KDotForbes, Big Boi, David Banner, and many more have all made quality songs in just a three-month span.

Oh, did I forget to say Dipset is back!!

Just look at some of the albums that dropped this summer, Drake’s Thank Me Later, Rick Ross’s Teflon Don, Eminem’s Recovery, Fat Joe’s The Darkside, Vol. 1 and Bun B’s Trill O.G. These are all quality albums that all received XL ratings for XXL magazine and high praises throughout the hip-hop community. When was the last time something like that happen in one summer?

The crazy thing is the Trinity of hip-hop, the Lebron, Wade, and Bosh of “the league” if you will (you decide which one is who), Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, and Kanye West have only one single out between them, Yeezy’s “Power.” They do have some killer feature verses out, though. Jay-Z annihilated “Light Up” and “Free Mason,” Kanye digested “Live Free, Die Young,” and Weezy mutilated “Light Up (Remix)” from his jail cell on the phone no less.

Just look at what’s happening before our eyes right now. Really think about the state of hip-hop at this very moment, sit down and ask yourself; How much new music have I downloaded in the last three months? Look at your iTunes recently added section and see how many different artists from different regions you have. We all know the radio is not the best place to discover music, but quite frankly, it’s the best it’s ever been in years. A hip-hop fan can actually drive a long distance and keep the radio on.

I know, I know, they play Drake and Nicki Minaj songs at least three times every half our, but when haven’t they played certain songs over and over. I remember a couple years ago, you could switch between radio stations and they’d be playing the same song at the same time, at any given time of day. It was so bad that you actual knew their lineup because they played the same songs that much!

Do you remember when all a person needed is a song with bass and catchy dance and you got a record deal? Or, how we were playing ringtones as singles? Yaaaah, trick, yaaaaah… SMH. Now I can actually go to the club and have fun and I don’t have to be crankin’ a Batman, Superman, Ironman, Flash, Thor, or Hercules; walking out anything; or chicken noodle soupin’.

This is a beautiful time in music as talent is everywhere—both new and old. People are making records worthy of the repeat button, artists are showing growth in their craft and their music for every feeling, emotion, or mind state available: Hardcore, smooth, thought provoking, whatever you’re feeling, they’re here, you just got to look… And it’s not even that hard.

Maybe we can go back 17 E. 126th St in Harlem and have another cover of today’s MC. We are entering a special time in hip-hop, so please keep your ears and eyes open because, in my best Drizzy voice, “Oh, yeah, we in this bitch!!!”

The League, what up?

This has been your wifey’s favorite intern. —Manny Maduakolam

  • funkadelikk

    I seriously dont know how many times i laughed reading this no offense,stick to being a intern and leave the blogs/articles for the pros “We all know the radio is not the best place to discover music, but quite frankly, it’s the best it’s ever been in years. A hip-hop fan can actually drive a long distance and keep the radio on”. Get the…..outta here.The day I hear sean price,Doom,Brother Ali,the roots,joell ortiz all on commercial radio and not doing some soft pop shittt is the day i’ll actually shed a tear 4 our beloved HIP HOP. NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • N.e.L

      Word!!! Who ever wrote this is messed up in the head!!! We will never enter a golden age again!!! Okay yea you got some lyrical cats out now, but that dont make a them true MC’S..When will people understand that Hip Hop is a culture.. its a tool..A tool of expression…all they’s artist abuse Hip Hop, and use it as a tool to make money.Most of the music I Hear weather it be Radio or underground have no meaning. This generation doesn’t understand the meaning of true Hip Hop…Were entering a Golden age again???? You crazy

      • Ill1

        Err… and this dude doesn’t know when Hip-Hop’s golden age even was!

        He’s talking about entering into a golden age in ’98 — the actual golden age critics refer to was ’86-’94.

    • http://twitter.com/erireynolds HipHopWillNeverBeTheSame911

      I agree with you. How can she even have the nerve to out 90% of these wack motherfuckin artists on here?! She didn’t talk about Nas, Rakim, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, etc. who made Hip-Hop great. EVERYONE except Lupe, Cole, B.o.B. & Cudi suck & are a disgrace to Hip-Hop from this generation. The only reason I like Cudi & B.o.B are cause they are unique & don’t fallow this mainstream garbage. Lupe & Cole are just the best lyricists from this generation but they will always be leagues behind Nas, Eminem & Rakim. People hate on Em but they need to listen to him from 96-02 those were his prime years & he’s in my top 3, which is Nas, Eminem, & Rakim. I could go on & on but it’d take forever to explain everything I know about Hip-Hop with every detail. I just wish more teens from this era had the amount of knowledge I have on Hip-Hop & I’m only 18. It’s fuckin sad & pathetic what these people did to Hip-Hop in the 2000′s. Smfh. There used to be knowledge, truth, wisdom, insight, messages, meanings, heart, soul, etc in the music & they did it for the love of the music, but nowadays everyone does it for the money, like Wayne, Soulja Bitch, Nicki, Waka, etc. They deserve to die, real talk. I normally wish death on no one, but no joke these fake wannabe “rappers” need to literally die. Fuck this fake ass mainstream world. It pisses me off!

  • http://HipHopSymposium.blogspot.com YoursTruly

    Good post man,I agree.
    Hip Hop is in a glorius state right now. As much as people like to hate on Drake, he’s a great person to pass the torch too. Jcole, Big Sean, Jay Electronica, BoB, etc…these guys are changing the game. They are opening it up to. Half jewish Canadian actors, 35 yr old random baby daddys, college kids, COs, and gangstas all in the same game. And everyone remembers when it used to just be the latter.
    So you are right, 2010 summer is the start of another Golden Age. My iTunes looks beautiful right now.

  • http://youtube.com/eniyi04 Niyemortal

    I actually had to comment to clarify this once and for all. The problem with Hip Hop isnt the comsumer like in an earlier post and it’s not with regions specific styles like the South and the West, and its not with the party music i.e. Soulja Boy and Co.

    The problem with Hip Hop was that it got monopolized and the exposures given to the different artists are unbalanced. There’s always been lyricists and it was always cool for lyrics and theres always been party music. It’s just that magazines, radio, and other media outlets haven’t been covering or promoting everyone like they should.

    If different artists of different styles and a balance of underground and mainstream was played on the radio and put on the blogsites, people would be more than willing to buy more product. That comment goes for XXL as well. It’s like when WWE went PG-13 and then started complaining about show sales. You can’t alienate the fanbases and demographics that helped build with you and then forget about em. You all in the offices worked hard to get where you are, im not taking that away from you at all, but the people brought you here as well.

    Don’t forget about the people and the artists that strive for where you are today.

  • maga d

    True, but at the same time, there is plenty wack music out. But I agree with this. I think a new Age is coming, or already maybe already began. A lot of those artists I’ve only heard via the internet & my itunes, never on the radio.

  • Casey

    We have some good rappers, but you can’t cite “Papoose…Asher Roth…Lloyd Banks…Maino…Tyga…” etc as examples of why this is a golden age.

    Yes, we are looking better than 5 years ago, when ringtone BS really ruled. But you can NOT cite the new Fat Joe album as the begging of a great era in rap.

    There’s some good rappers out now, some decent ones, and some wack ones. That’s all I got from your post. The radio today is just as bad as yesterday, NY radio never plays anything but Drake/Nicki.

    Some things are getting better, but this is no golden age.

  • Deadly MIME

    Well I understand the siginificance of a new era coming in which no doubt it is coming but at the same time I still can’t co-sign the fact that many of the rappers mentioned i still don’t find lyrical all except Kanye, Lupe, Jay, Joell, Saigon, Freddie Gibbs (when he wants to), Laws (when he freestyles), and Blu. Everyone else is either O.K. or wack. I mean I’m not hating thats just my view. To me hip-hop or rap whatever people are calling it now in my eyes will never re-create what has been done already. It could and it still can its just that people has to wise up and give people with real lyrics a chance.

    • Kingroy

      Pause? Hip-Hop doesn’t always have to be lyrical genuis. It just has to be songs with strong feeling in them.

  • El Tico Loco

    I think lyricsts are gonna get more exposure commercially thanks to Eminem’s success even tho I think what the execs are really gonna try to do do find a new eminem for themselves instead of an able competitor. Conscious rappers on the other hand it will always be an uphill battle.

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

    ..as long as you have Nicki female emcees will never see a golden age sorry..

  • Curtis75Black

    “The problem with Hip Hop was that it got monopolized and the exposures given to the different artists are unbalanced. There’s always been lyricists and it was always cool for lyrics and theres always been party music. It’s just that magazines, radio, and other media outlets haven’t been covering or promoting everyone like they should.”

    ———-
    Couldn’t have said it better !! Where is the review or interview for Eternia, a female emcee that’s kills Minaj ? No interviews for Monch or Stat Quo who dropped a new cd last month ? Where is the cover with Heltah Skeltah instead of TI, no disrespect, but nowadays its all about the money, no perspective in Hip Hop. Reading about Eminem’s almost fatal drug overdose don’t mean shit to me. Give me a real interview with real questions with artists that don’t get the shine they deserve with or without a new cd dropping. Stop acting like “People” and “Newsweek” and get back to Hip Hop !! Stop worrying about 1st week sales and do real reviews of all cd’s, not just the ones they are paying y’all to do !!

    • http://www.oldtothenew.wordpress.com Ryan Proctor

      definitely agree with this statement – particularly the eternia reference – can’t believe people are still talking about the demise of female emcees when eternia has just dropped one of the year’s best albums with moss – quality hip-hop has always been out there over the years regardless of what has been considered popular by the mainstream and the media – people just need to make the effort to find good music themselves and not continue to be spoonfed by the powers that be….

  • Sha

    There is an important aspect that every person failed to view in the 80′s, 90′s and now the 2G’s…. And that is the overall affect that THE BUSINESS MODEL would have on HIP-HOP.

    Some of these people got into this thing for one reason…..THE MONEY! And to them? “Fuck Hip-Hop as an art”.

    The “Hustler” is the absolute worst thing that could have happened to hip-hop. And when I say “Hustler”, please don’t have visions of some stereotypical pimp in your head. The “Hustler” refers to the Execs, The Program Directors of Radio Stations, The Hip-Hop Mags (yeah they’re guilty too), MTV and BET, I-Tunes, and the federal government…..

    These companies could give a fuck about “Keeping it real”. They are only trying to “Keep it Green”.

    Overall, this is a positive article. OVERSIMPLIFIED. These are not the days of old. Times have changed and the pimps are only getting greedier.

    In my opinion, you are looking at the destruction of an art form, in slow motion. I’ll give hip-hop another 12 years and it’ll be in the same realm as Disco. Who knew that Nas was spittin’ 100 percent truth?

    Well…. I did.

  • Anonymous

    hahaha you a dumb mufucka, thats all i got. and if i did have a wifey belive me you wouldnt be here fav intern, you wouldnt even make the top 20 if there were only 5 of you

  • migz

    hahaha you a dumb mufucka, thats all i got. and if i did have a wifey belive me you wouldnt be here fav intern, you wouldnt even make the top 20 if there were only 5 of you

  • http://xxl.com jooseman

    best fucken post ive seen even worth reading!!!
    whoever said hiphop is dead yall are the reason its dying! their is music for everyone to listen too so stop bitching & like too$hort said “get in were u fit in” BITCH…………..

  • jonny bizness

    eminem’s album has not been reviewed yet by xxl or am i missing something and it would deserve a xl never a xxl

  • yoprince

    mickey factz?
    papoose?
    red cafe?

    do you actually like all those rapsters you named? jesus, you like anything huh?

    Jae Millz?
    Tyga?
    Drag-On?
    50 Cent?

    c’mon son.

    and half of those ppl you named are never even gonna get on.

    who the fuck is KDotForbes? Phil Ade? are those your cousins?

    • Anonymous

      Wiz Khalifa, nipsey hussle, pac-div, the cool kids, mac miller, j. cole, curren$y and a handful of those others you named im more than cool with… but your really gonna consciously throw wocka flaka flame in there? lloyd banks and that bullshitass new-school 50 cent? hunger for more was on point so was get rich or die tryin but i thought we were talkin “new era”, so lets keep it new era- ill always love the roots and dead prez cause they have been around and can still kill it, but no one gives a fuck about dipset being back, and no one should give a fuck about drake either

  • DV8

    new golden era my ass…..

    the golden era had balance (everystyle of rap got promotion and video/airplay)…..this current era doesnt have that.

  • M. Baby!

    Hip-Hop is slowly but surely getting back to the times when u had storytelling, lyricism, and metaphors in songs. I don’t think you could re-create this photo again with as many MC’s as you had back then. Today a lot of the new comers aren’t even MC’s. A lot of them have even admitted to not being an MC (Waka Flaka, Drake). Most of them are party starters, swagger, and blackberry rappers. You have some MC’s out there that can grace the cover like this but if you were to put Soulja Boy, Roscoe Dash, Waka Flocka, and a few other non MC’s on this cover it would be a disgrace. I’m just keepin it 100.

  • HNIC

    Of the new(er) cats; I fux with Big K.R.I.T., Donnis, Big Sean, XV & Kendrick Lamar. They’re the most talented, in my opinion.

  • nibs

    True and not true. The problem is the people that are actually intelligent enough to appreciate good hip hop sit on the internet and steal it because they’re smart enough to figure out how, while it’s the dumb mother f*cks (i.e. 14 year old girls) that go to the store and buy an album, so they will forever be the marketing target. You think the media is gonna start promoting anything intelligent? That will take time to catch on, it’s risky and those dudes want to get paid now. So it’s not getting better. iAs much as I want Curren$y and Saigon to blow up it will never get better.

  • 19994

    What the fuck Manny!

    Golden age… my ass! I still love hip hop but it’s the underground shit that’s still dope or the rappers that were around 15 years ago(the real golden age)that are still doing there thing. Wayne, Em, Nikki, and especily Drake have nothing to do with hip hop!!! Yeah I said it Em is wack, he was cool when he came out but I was a teen then, I don’t understand how grown folks can feel him.

    • Intern09

      lmaoo BLu Phi

    • Anonymous

      Because your stupid as fuck quitter.He is better now lyrically then he has ever been retard.Go listen to Kanye and Ashers gay asses.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    “There’s always been lyricists and it was always cool for lyrics and theres always been party music. It’s just that magazines, radio, and other media outlets haven’t been covering or promoting everyone like they should.”

    ^ This

    screams louder than the whole blog. Because it’s true. You guys in media have to shoulder some of this blame too. But I will give Vanessa some credit for trying to mash things up, Tech N9ne was a start, and hopefully not the end.

    What we’ve started to do @ bboycult.com is give some of the ol’ school sample/breakbeat music some shine, to intertwine the music through the years. Check it out. A lot of cats today are still using elements of this music.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with some of the previous posts…..

    half the “rappers” on here suck balls or will never make it

  • El Tico Loco

    ^^^
    This is what unbalanced exposure does to people.

    • M. Baby!

      Very true, unbalanced = No creativity, No thought process, No originality, and etc. All of these were key elements that made Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop. Now you have just a bunch of people all trying to get radio play and so that means they’re all are gonna copy what the next person does if that person blows up. Sad! I think it all started with Soulja Boy/T-Pain. Soulja Boy was the first person to blow up off of YouTube (the internet age) and T-Pain blew up off of the auto-tune. You can’t tell me if you mix those two together the music doesn’t sound like how it sounds now.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    “I think it all started with Soulja Boy/T-Pain. Soulja Boy was the first person to blow up off of YouTube (the internet age) and T-Pain blew up off of the auto-tune. You can’t tell me if you mix those two together the music doesn’t sound like how it sounds now.”

    ^ rofflez

    * raises right fist in the air @ Tico, M.Baby, ms_, C75B, Sha, HNIC, Niyemortal *

  • El Tico Loco

    As long as people are told what to like and they listen <<key word)), there’s not gonna be another golden age. It doesn’t help that the DJ’s no longer have the integrity they used to have where they would break a song based on what they thought was good and tried it on the crowd and their reaction would reflect if they agreed with the selection and a hit was born. Now is pay me and I will play it as many times during the day til people start believing is good.

    Has anyone or just me wondered why you liked a song that was wack as hell but hot at the time, but it took a few years to realize it?

    That’s that shit I’m tombout right there!!

  • EverybodyHatesChris

    This guy Manny or whatever the hell is name is has no clue what hes talking about when he compares the rappers he listed to the ones on this historical XXL cover. There were plenty of rappers that were all over the radio at that time that were not included…McHammer anyone. I mean how the hell does he talk about lyrical content and say GucciMane, Waka Flocka? He had no filter what so ever in listing the rappers he included in his post. They should fire his punk ass from XXL right now and find some kind that has a clue and really cares about the future of hiphop. Because frontin assholes like Manny ruin it and willjust bring us more Drakes and will hype up what ever the editor throws on his desk.

    Manny Sucks

    • Anonymous

      lol you sound like a old loser, i bet your fav artist is miley sirus smh

      there’s different type of music out now for all listeners, conscious rap..gangsta rap (waka flaka, gucci mane duh)when yall read..actually…..READ

      but what ppl fail to understand is this as stated by Kingroy

      “But serious people keep speaking on how they haven’t heard of some of the artist, and how they ain’t gonna get on so they wack. Really? I go out and listen to people if I think they have potential. Look up Asher Roth, and Mickey Factz and stumble upon good music. And if you never check em out, and call them wack because you’ve never heard of them YOU are the people that are fucking with music.”

      #dropsmic

      • EverybodyHatesChris

        Well if 29 is old I guess Iam OLD!

        Lyrical skill is not about like, there are many rappers with skills that I dont like. And GucciMane and WakaFlocka are not lyrical. period. If you look at all the people from that cover he is comparing his list to most of them brought something new and valuable to the game.

        And as far as gangsta rap goes there are plently true MCs out there, TheGame, Raekwon, CNN,MOBB, 50 etc. But those dudes have lyrics! They write clever lines, they take everyday shit thats right in front of all of us and turn into something amazing. Thats what MCIng is about.

        #You need to keep that mic down right where you dropped it because you have no clue

        You sire

  • what

    HEY WAIT YOU CANT CLAIM THERES A NEW GOLDEN AGE WITHOUT WALE!

  • Kingroy

    Lulz he did forget Wale. But serious people keep speaking on how they haven’t heard of some of the artist, and how they ain’t gonna get on so they wack. Really? I go out and listen to people if I think they have potential. Look up Asher Roth, and Mickey Factz and stumble upon good music. And if you never check em out, and call them wack because you’ve never heard of them YOU are the people that are fucking with music. It’s a damn cycle. You need someone to tell you what to listen to. Think about it.

  • NAPTOWNNUISANCE

    Golden era my ass half the new rap sucks serious dick.The only ones still keepin real rap goin are the real rappers from a time when the music was actually good. All these fly by night stars will be gone before you know it, they suck and so does their music. Rappers that has come around from about the last 5 years all suck ass.That goes for Kanye and Weezy too, since he started freestylin all his shit it is no where near as good as it used to be.

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    This was a good article, if nothing more than it needed to be SAID. If you take the mainstream media, the radio away, the internet away AND WE HAD TO DIG for the music we like, all the “real” hip hop would be found and adored.

    Thas one of major difference between now and then. Again, sha is on point with the buisness model. Again, hip hop started out in the dark. STARTED OUT IN THE DARK. Who would’ve though hip hop would take it this far? Hip hop is growing too fast and going towards unexplored territory.

    People are pimpin the art. the buisness was booming BUT because the art and culture is suffering the buisness is going down.

    Nevertheless, lyrics are really good now. Creativity is good now. rhyme schemes are awesome and beats are some of the best ever. MOre importanly, its more choices and easier ways to access hip hop.

    good write dude

  • N.e.L

    Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D, Kool G Rap, Run-DMC, public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Beastie Boys, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, NWA…..These artist represent Quality, Innovation & Influence..Dudes like Rakim, Big Daddy kane were out of this world with their rapping skill….Cats like Public enemy gave us political, Social & Cultural consciousness Raps..NWA made it okay to wave the middle finger at the police and express ourselves to any extent………….Now Lets get to this so called Golden Age…Well a Former Cop (Rick Ross) Uses The name and Image of a former Drug Dealer to sell records..Gucci Mane(BURR)may be they worst Rapper i have ever heard because of his horrible lyrics..Drake..Unlike like Gucci he has better built lyrics, but has become something he is not…Cursing like he’s hard and throwing up signs when Im pretty the man has never held a gun..Nicki Minaj who shows more ass in magazines than records and uses a barbie doll image..I mean honestly must I go ON!!!This generation doesnt understand True Hip Hop…..these RAPPER’S (Not MC’S) dont possess the essence of making TRUE Hip-Hop…The golden age passed…This Post is fucked up!!!!

  • fuckadrake

    drake and them should feel shame for being on the radio so much and hoggin all the airtime, they should fucken address that shit with the owners of the fucken conglomerate that runs them wack ass stations, I guess Im just dreamin, it’ll never happen.

  • bamo

    eminem is the best rapper alive period. nobody can fuck with him on any level be it lyrics flow and style. only vibe has the balls to acknowledge this. i fuckin hate gucci mane and all the other wack ass rappers from the south could never listen to that shit and i’m in africa

  • ILLfate

    Hip Hop ain’t DEAD, It just being OPPRESSED by the powers that be…

    If you’ve got a Laptop and an internet connection, you can get your fix of “real hip hop” easy. Its on you as fans now to take that next step: Cop the album, Hit the shows, Support the artist and their craft.

    Radio got out of hand years ago, force feeding the people the same damn playlist and limiting exposure for alot of great artists

    @El TICo Loco: you ain’t lyin when you talked about a song being wack ass hell, liking it at the time and going back only to discover how lame it really was… Blame the radio for that.

  • Ay 2 Z

    Good blog. Good to see someone praising hiphops talented artists instead of focusing on the worser ones. Not sure i agree with you mentioning Waka Flocka & Roscoe Dash alongside bun b & slaughterhouse but i’ll admit Gucci’s improved enough to not get completely murdered on a song by Talib Kweli. I think ever since nas declared hiphop dead artists have had more to prove. the only problem is that albums from up and coming artists usually need a pop-radio style song to gain mainstream attention (eg Drake, CuDi, B.o.B, Roth)

    I don’t think the golden age is now but in a few years i think it’l happen

    BTW you forgot Fabolous LOL

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  • caino

    this argument can go on and on!! especially since the older kats (myself included) struggle with the ‘new’ style that is out at the moment (Waka, Gucci, Soulja) especially when we grew up with some great albums and MC’s (public Enemy, Biggie, Pac, jay-Z, Rakim, Wu-Tang, NWA, Scarface, Big Pun etc), shit even someone as dope as Cassidy n Freeway can’t even get a look in nowadays

    But people need to realise that HIP-HOP isnt just about music! its breakdancing, beat boxing, graffiti art, shit that l grew up with , l mean most younger rap fans dont even realise this is HIP HOP!!

    ps
    newer kats l fuck with, Pac-Div, Lupe, Red Cafe, Lupe, Freddie Gibbs

  • Fools

    I hope some of you people realize that during the old days of hip-hop circa 1980 &1990 there was good rappers and wack rappers. So he names some wack rappers well guess what, that is part of hip-hop, and has been since the beginning.The people who think hip-hop is dead well don’t let the door hit you on your way out because i am going to support this genre until my death.

  • flavinoid

    this is far from a golden era. classics and quality (as mentioned earlier) are rare in this day.

  • cltrsck gack

    “Just look at some of the albums that dropped this summer, Drake’s Thank Me Later, Rick Ross’s Teflon Don, Eminem’s Recovery”

    You used that to prove your point that the great days of hip hop are back, when in fact those albums alone prove its not. Rick Ross is as phony as can be, Drake is as bubbly friendly as Bieber, and Eminems new album got crammed down our throats as being his comeback and incredible before it was even dropped(your article with the entire staff reciting lines, one about his dick being a drill and praising it as genius was beyond hysterical” even die hard fans that were talking XL at the beginning have been admitting they haven’t listened to it since first week and its not that good, go look at a competitor site like Pitchfork for a real review on his album, they were dead on. Hip hop is nowhere close to being what it once was, do you know how much good material was out there back in the day, now with video sites people are putting a lot up to refresh your memory, it certainly isn’t Officer Ross, Degrassi, and Eminem ft flavor of the month R&B girl.

  • Clair & Company

    I have to agree and take the psychology further. Just because XXL is getting loose with XL ratings doesn’t mean you can reinvent the game. For awhile I was hoping this was the answer after The Source, but this magazine has been compromised with political pull as well. With that said I still think you have the best hip hop magazine going and should hire some new blood, not meaning just young people, but new minds in general, I’d love for you to hire a grandfather schooled in history. I read the article you are referring to and it did seem like a blowjobfest for Eminems album without one single critique, it was hard to be taken seriously, it almost made me want to give the album the lowest rating solely on XXL trying to force the album in a corrupt government sort of way. I don’t think you’ve ever done that for any album in my time reading your online site and receiving your magazine. It’s hard to look back at a yo mtv raps countdown with like, and I’m sorry if I’m off on times when they dropped but it was around the same time, just examples off the top of my head, you’d see like a lineup of Check the Rhime, T.R.O.Y, Passin Me By, Rebirth of Slick, Me Myself and I, Crossover, How Many Mcs, It Aint Hard to tell, Come Clean, and 93 Till Infinity number 10 or something, and you’d see a track like that be number 10 on the chart for that week and it would be amazing that there was just so much quality, and songs like Sometimes I Rhyme Slow missing the countdown, it was just too much solid hits. I’m not some jaded oldhead, I still listen to current music and enjoy artists here and there, but you are fooling yourself with this article, go listen before speaking, so far every fan has let you know you are out of your mind right now.

  • N.e.L

    Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D, Kool G Rap, Run-DMC, public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Eric B. & Rakim, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Beastie Boys, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, NWA…..These artist represent Quality, Innovation & Influence..Dudes like Rakim, Big Daddy kane were out of this world with their rapping skill….Cats like Public enemy gave us political, Social & Cultural consciousness Raps..NWA made it okay to wave the middle finger at the police and express ourselves to any extent………….Now Lets get to this so called Golden Age…Well a Former Cop (Rick Ross) Uses The name and Image of a former Drug Dealer to sell records..Gucci Mane(BURR)may be they worst Rapper i have ever heard because of his horrible lyrics..Drake..Unlike like Gucci he has better built lyrics, but has become something he is not…Cursing like he’s hard and throwing up signs when Im pretty the man has never held a gun..Nicki Minaj who shows more ass in magazines than records and uses a barbie doll image..I mean honestly must I go ON!!!This generation doesnt understand True Hip Hop…..these RAPPER’S (Not MC’S) dont possess the essence of making TRUE Hip-Hop…The golden age passed…This Post is fucked up!!!!

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    r u serious?

    hip hop has always been underground. don’t be fooled by what the media JUST caught on and how they shove what was hot 5 years ago down the throats of the average person.

    this article is on point

    J.cole, Jay electronica, and wiz khalifia are just three MCs in the game. these dudes can rock a mic and a crowd. keep in mind neither has released a studio album YET they doing shows.

    HIP HOP IS UNDERGROUND

    the reason why this article is on point, is its about five years older. the sound is gonna change. something major will happen and fans will rotate to this sound.

    if you really know hip hop

    check the history. NO it’ll never be the 90′s again but real hip hop is underground.

  • Layne Foss

    “Well, I’m here to say that today we are entering another Golden Age.” This article is not on point FF1, although I admit you usually are. As stated earlier, the golden age of hip hop you had the top ten with killer tracks, if hip hop exists today, which I think it does barely, as you said its in the underground, then its not the Golden Age revisited?? Its Boom Boom Pow and the next Soulja Boi dance taking reign, this article is not on point at all.

  • DYNO MAGZ

    Until they find a way to scan music files as they travel through wire and arrest u broke bastards, RAP IS DEAD! Musicians are politicians anyway. They are supposed to be enemies and they once were, but now I see no difference.

    Forcing Kanye to apologize to the wittle white girl (odb didn’t apologize), musicians having to campaign when albums drop-kissing azz oops I mean babies, and lying through their teeth (cough: Rick Ross) I am not a crook… wait I am a crook. Deuces. LOL

    I don’t care if you like me, I make money from my college edumacation. So what she was 19 and I blew her back out: thats what old nig gaz with money do. I don’t apologize. BUT MR RAPPER, YOU HAVE TO APOLOGIZE. Thats the difference between me and you.

    You used to be like me. Now yall are like him aka The man aka Cracka aka Mayonaise and wonderbread aka My boss who pays me well, so he is excluded.

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  • wsNESHws

    I think this post was actually pretty good…I agree, hip hop is coming to a point that it’s actually enjoyable…people are writing about things that convey emotion and meaning and the consumer can relate…hip hop is fun again…now I do agree that not every1 out right now is producing chart-toppers, but u do have people like Drake, J. Cole, and Wale that are making some really good albums…and let’s not forget the “homies from the hood”, those up-and-coming artists that are trying to add their name to the history books…I agree with the author, hip hop is taking a turn for the better; it may not be the next “golden age” but it’s definitely not the worst we’ve seen…but hey, that’s just my opinion.

  • Lox

    Yup Hip-Hop is entering a Golden Age and we are all receiving a million dollars tomorrow in the mail….Get the Fuck Outta here!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Nancy

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  • Pozzo

    Guys don’t sweat it. Hip hop will have its comeback because i will be the one to flip the whole game around. The game will be just how it was in the REAL golden age. I’ve realized just how large the real hip hop culture community has become, its not underground, just behind the scenes. Just make sure to do your part and support both new and older Mc’s instead of just talking about how dope they are. I really do think if there is a second coming of a Golden age, it will be the greatest ever because of how the internet and industries are right now. I hate the radio and how Lady Gaga has 20 trillion views on youtube, but we only need one MC to play the cards right and it could result in a revival of mass interest in real hiphop. Every fan is pushing for it,all it takes is one mc to step up to the plate and throw a curveball at the industry, because all it takes is that first penetration. Before you know it, new talent will get signed, legends will make new albums and DJay’s like FunkMasterFlex will finally be able to play the music that they fiend for, not what they are forced to play because the big companies will want it, since its what the masses want. (Flex does always slip in some real stuff tho)