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

  • Sha

    This argument is too complex to be had. Mickey Factz is definitely over simplifying the issue.

    As far as Hip-Hop going deaf to the youth….

    Hip-Hop has changed. What it meant to me and my generation, it won’t mean the same to the new generation. It happens with every genre of music. There’s a reason you have radio stations with Oldies, Eighties, and Old School R&B. Every generation has that soundtrack that they ride to.

    But the true problem is BUSINESS. No one in ANY GENRE has discovered a pure business model of TOTAL INCLUSION. Noone’s figured out how to make a product marketable to a 5 year old AND a 50 year old. The company that discovers this will be placed in the same realm as Einstein because that business model will be copied in every facet of our lives. But it hasn’t been discovered yet. For any genre.

    And yeah…. It’s easy to say that some cats should drop out of the game because they are straight messing it up. But if you don’t have VANILLA ICE, I firmly believe you don’t have EMINEM. If you don’t have PUFF DADDY, you might not have ever heard of BIGGIE.

    Although I hate the hell out of their music, Soldier Boy’s and Gucci’s impact to the game is not yet written. Who knows what doors they could open for the future of hip-hop? Whether it be something basic such as making Southern Artists up their lyricism, you still need a sub-par Emcee as a standard of what not to be. So those two may be just as needed as anyone else for the game to improve.

    And telling people to shut up? Come on Mr. Mickey Factz. The suppression of ideas and comments is almost ANTI-HIPHOP. You can’t be a fan of this culture and believe someone should shut up just because they have an opinion that is different than yours. If that’s the case there would be no Battle Rhymes. There would be no Public Enemy. There would be no Two Live Crew battle for freedom of expression with the government. There would be no platform for you to make a living.

    The next time you overhear someone saying something negative that you don’t like (as it pertains to hip-hop), don’t be so quick to discount what they are saying. Even a child can see that every side of an argument presents a level of truth. And through that discussion of all angles, we are better people.

  • Atlanta is full of Fruits

    Hip Hop sucks.

  • Atlanta is full of Fruits

    Hip Hop sucks….

  • foOd

    You can’t write so really good.

  • El Tico Loco

    Bottom line is that the bad apples get more exposure than the good ones, so when a Waka Flaka or Gucci is getting shine it messes things up for a Mickey Factz or Corey Gunz the emcees of the golden era were alway trying to be nicest everything else was secondary, it was the rewards of the hard work put in, and I said this before as far as rhyming, just rhyming the older cats expected the next gen rappers to surpass them in skill, Run Dmc did it to Flash, BDP did it to Run DMC and so on, it evolved now its devolved damn near back to rhyme schemes of Wild Style and to use the wack emcees of that era to justify the wack ones now is dumb because that’s a time when hip hop was just getting it’s feet wet and experimenting, now there’s no excuse they’ve seen what works, what don’t and what can be improved on, and in this sales climate there’s nothing to lose to do or say what you want. But just like in any profession in corporate America the business decisions are made by people who don’t do your job and what’s worse, they don’t make sense and when the bottom line hits red everybody is a scapegoat but them! Cracka ass crackas!

    *goes out for a Newport the last part felt personal*

  • gafinest08

    Its all about marketing and exsposure. Most younger kids don’t even know about the music we grew up listening to. So there’s goona be that love hate relationship. I just turned 34, and as hard as I try, I cannot wrap my head around this Nikki Minaj, Waka, Will I Am, type shit thats coming out. Mickey, u cant do it by yourself. Too many wackass “entertainers” out right now. When we had the wackness, we also had shit to counter it. From about ’92 to ’03 bullshit was not accepted, atleast not for long. Guys like me feel lost with this new shit. Frankly, because of alot of the music right now I dont even listen to the radio. I keep Outkast, The Roots, De la Soul, Bahamadia, Common, Biggie, Pac, Goodie Mob, T.I. old Lil Wayne, UGK, Bone, Digiable Planets, Devon da Dude, DJ Quik, DMX, The Fugees, Gang Starr, Wu Tang, Ice Cube, Jay-z, Lauren Hill, Mos Def, Scarface, Snoop, Tribe, 8ball and MJG, OLD 50, 9TH Wonder all in rotation! I’ll even bump some Master P , “Ice Cream Man” before I will accept a rapping Barbie. Your fighting an uphill battle my friend. Your talent will continue to be overshadowed by wack mainstream as long as it is accepted. I will not accept that bullshit. And I not gonna accept skinny jeans either. That shit is gay.

  • HIP HOP SPEAX

    The problem is, is that you young cats have no creativity (outside of dancing). Look at the way you approach mix tapes. Trying to make them sound like albums. Why would we want to hear the same instrumental we have heard 1 billion times on radio or other mix-tapes. Mix-tapes should be fun. You should be doing sh_t lyrically and musically, you could not get away with on an album. Show me how lyrical you are by rapping over the Buck Rogers tv intro. That’s fun and will keep attention. Then do a mainstream song on the next track. Have that intern sucking d_ck in the back ground and write a lyrical stunner about that. Not album material. Then do another mainstream song on the next track. SHOCK THE WORLD!

  • Official Fully

    C’mon Son! You know that conversation never took place.

    • Dick B.

      Yeah, you’re probably right.

  • CULTUREBROWN

    ALL CONVERSATION WAS UNDERSTOOD FULLY, INCLUDING FULLY’S. MICKEY FACTZ, SHA, ATLANTA FULL OF FRUITS, FOOD, EL TICO LOCO, GAFINEST08, HIP HOP SPEAX, OFFICIALLY FULL WITH CULTUREBROWN. LISTENING TO MUSIC, RICK ROSS, KERI, DRAKE, SIGNING OFF WITH DAT T.I. AND CHRIS GET BACK UP!! BUILD AND DESTROY PEACE

  • http://www.deesfreakytees.com deesfreakytees

    be sure to visit: http://www.deesfreakytees.com for all your unique hip hop tees.

  • REAL ARTIST

    It wont be dead when you give GOOD ARTIST TO SHINE… like the bay area heavyweights WHO ARENT on that hyphy and really no RELEVANT artist have. Artist like Jay Ant, Mike-Dash-E, Erk Tha Jerk, Moe Green, and Ya Boy! Shine light to these artist!!

  • nicholasdelorejo

    The problem is that we still treat hip-hop like a poor man’s hustle as opposed to a form of art or music. My complaints toward dudes like Wacka Flocka aren’t even based on the quality of his music but the simply fact that he adds no creativity or inspiration to his music. Whenever anyone complains about this dudes always defend it with “at least he’s making money” excuses. If they really gave a shit about their music they would provide some better arguments to defend it. Otherwise it shows how they were never really fans of hip-hop but fans of the hustle. Soulja Boy was mad at Nas for claiming hip-hop to be dead instead of trying to challenge it with his music. I think a lot of these dudes even know that their lazy in making music. They’re just afriad to be called out on it.

    • Clevon Johnson

      Everyone keeps saying that hip hop is dead and it is true. Hip Hop is not the same meaning as it once was to our newer generation. We can’t live with out our music just like the old generation could not live with out their radio. At the same time though, the older generation was more of a creation to revolt against what music will be played in their communities and what the young generation likes to hear. Right now I believe that music is at that point where people are tired of hearing these over saturated raps on the air and their is nothing new to inspire people to be different. There are some artists such as Jay Electronica, Sal Simmons, J Cole, and Wale that are bringing our generation of music to be more of an art than what it was in the days of hip hop. I just think people need to listen to all the new artists coming out and really hear them out because master art is at work.

  • CULTUREBROWN

    true, true, i can see what you both are saying though. GOT TO BE CREATIVE!!

  • Zuluboy Wonda

    Hip-hop has many (uncredited) sub-genres, one needs to find themselves what goes down well with them… personaly I listen to anything that’s good – depending on my mood of course… and if it’s gabage, I don’t be maggotin’ and breeding all the hate…

  • Frank Duke

    The perfect example Joe Budden MM4 is crazy but you will here the people like MTV dick eat somebody like Wiz Kalif or Wakas mixed tape which is crazy to me because these dudes are not talented at all

  • Fong

    Generational gaps are a natural thing. Of course the older gen. is not gonna understand what the young kids are into. That’s fine. I’m fairly certain that historically significant artists like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, James Brown, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Eminem, etc. etc. were not embraced with open arms by older gen. when they first popped on the scene. No surprise there. My beef with the article is that he’s telling us to tolerate subpar music. How about you put out an actual album first, Mickey Fats. I’m sure these old farts won’t be bitching so much if you put out the next Illmatic or OB4CL. Then you can complain. Also, agree with Official Fully. The story sounds made up.

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

      “Of course the older gen. is not gonna understand what the young kids are into”

      ^ no-sign

      youngin’s don’t wanna hear G when they are experimenting G usage…

      this “hatred” comes from more of your young peers than OG assessments.

      “these old farts”

      ^ this statement takes away any credibility you displayed.

      I stay telling y’all STOP thinking this demographic thing is a plus. You are being USED.

      We were taught “don’t believe the hype.” Y’all are being taught “don’t hate”. Y’all rendered yourselves inane by co-signing EVERYTHING. You need PROTOCOL.

      Hip Hop head>>>>>>>mainstream rap fan

  • http://www.yahoo.com Dr@$t-iQ Alkoholik

    man hip-hop is hella dumb these days, with the exception of Hov, Em,Ye and a few other mcs it’s dead and wont last another five years. am only 22 years old but I feel too wise to bump that YM shit, that shoit be degenerative to the youth,and the whole skinny jean wearing shit kinda gay too, when I was 15, fiddy drop and although we was all caught up in the hype atleast nigga had some skill, it was no bubble gum gay ass shit that Ym be bout today, if I was 15 now I would rather get shot with a barbed wire uin the as than bump thath YM ISH

  • Mr RD

    Ive been thinking about this alot lately. Theres alot of things that people say about hip hop that i think makes no sense at all. It seems like people just have to say something bad because its not how they want it to be. I do find fault in hip hop sometimes but its only normal like everything in life. I think it just comes down to being open minded and it seems like thats not what some people want to do.

    I think if you really looked at why things are the way they are it makes sense.

  • flavorblade

    Even though a generation gap exists; still the elder hip-hop culture generation is more of an authority on judging hip-hop, than the generation that preceded them, for whom hip-hop was a new and strange creation. Most of what we see is a regression in music craftsmenship. The best flows and lyrics are still coming from guys that are well in their 30′s and even early forties.

    I’m talking people like Eminem, Jay-Z, Tech Nine, E-40, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Nas, Ghostface, Outkast. Nobody is out rapping them, or bringer nicer concepts. Scarface can still do it. They are the standard for their peer group. However except for Em, and Jay, and to an extent Snoop as far as the music, their new projects don’t get ready air play. Less talented stuff does. Politics of the biz whatever, they playing niggas that can hardly talk even.

    I mean young cats want respect and I understand that the way you do it is going to be different, but it still has to be good on some intelligible level where it can appeal to an adult for me to like it. Somebody like Drake fine that’s an R&B sort of niche you always going to hear them type songs. I prefer somebody that can sing as well live, but that’s not a problem for this generation either. Lip syncing auto tune marketing rules.

    I listened to the Light Up freestyle. That’s good rapping.

  • DETROIT

    shout out to SHA…that’s real intelligent talk hommie!

    #2. why r people on gucci and waka’s dick so hard? them niggas do their thing like talib does his thing. they make music for real street niggas, if you’re not one, then it’s not 4 u. but at the end of the day, rap started as party music, so why do people try to shit on party music now like its irrelevant?

    Nobody shits on odb? he’s a legend right? fred foxx ran with gangstarr, grouphome, etc. there have been many rappers that weren’t really lyricists that get luv in this game…QUIT HATIN THE SOUTH!

    i saw the same shit happen to too short in the early 90s. so called lyrical rappers tried to shit on him, but now, 20 years later, short can still make a hit…while most of those niggas didn’t make it past 1995!

    understand this, NO BODY PUT GUCCI AND WAKA ON, those niggas are the underdogs. they worked hard for their success and it makes me proud to see some street niggas come up in this game. BOTTOM LINE, IF NOBODY BUYS YOUR SHIT, NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOUR SHIT!

    what did george clinton sing about…his shit wasn’t lyrical at all, he was high as fuck…but he still made classic shit right?

    • MDI

      did you just say Freddie Foxx isn’t a lyricist? talk about the underdog and “music for real street n*ggas” and then diss bumpy knuckles? check him out if you haven’t! but yeah, Too Short broke it down best on the song “Paystyle.” “jump your ass on the train with your backpack tight” “my style’s gettin bank” and that’s not even the funny stuff about putting someone’s mama’s legs up in the air or signing autographs at the mall. seriously, a non-lyrical classic! Wherever you’re from or your age, make music that still knocks or is exciting in ten years. nas, kane, rakim, krs, cube, snoop, redman, biggie, 2pac, dmx, scarface, public enemy, big pun, outkast, gang starr, hieroglyphics, melle mel, and even ice-t and f*cking too short … the greats have all done it and that’s why they’re in the hall of fame.

  • DETROIT

    Say hommie, why did u just sit there and watch joe budden get his ass kicked…THEN come on the internet and say rae and them was on some sucka shit? if joey is ya mans like that, why u aint get his back? and why didn’t he fight back? ya’ll boys soft as baby shit, lol.

  • Dick B.

    I listened to your music for the first time Mickey. You’re alright. But there is so much music in this world though, so I probably wouldn’t listen to your records or anybody elses on the radio (for that matter) because in the grand scheme of music your stuff is not that good.