Hip-Hop music


Is hip-hop bad? I don’t know if my opinion matters, but if you ask me, hip-hop is like a human being (a female in particular). This woman is no different from any other woman, she makes mistakes, she has faults, but she also has her days where she is stunningly beautiful, and intelligible. She isn’t perfect, but is she bad? They say she’s too explicit, but what’s an art without free expression? They say she promotes poverty and crime, but she just tells the story of her upbringing and her struggle. Hip-hop isn’t perfect but who is? Her flaws are what make her beautiful, her honesty is why we can relate. The reason we love her is because we have all, at one part of our life, said “I’ve been there”. It is a strange but warm feeling. So, is hip-hop bad? No, she’s not an immaculate soul, but she does her best. We all make mistakes and she’s definitely made her fair share, but we love her anyway.

Being a hip-hop fan born in the decline of “the golden age” of the art (late 1990’s), I missed a lot of the great artist. Tupac Shakur, and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace were killed, and Wu-Tang Clan had already released 36 chambers before I was born. Although a lot of dopeness in hip-hop had passed by my birth year, 1998, it was still the golden age. New names and faces arrived, as well as classics returning. The late 90’s weren’t so bad music wise.

In 1998 a quintessential hip-hop album had been released by Lauryn Hill, the front woman of the Grammy winning reggae/soul/hip-hop group The Fugees. With smooth, afro-centric, lyricism Ms. Hill created a story of the hardships of the music industry, her philosophies, her joys, her pains, and the array of foolery massed against her. The album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” earned her a Grammy for best new artist in 1999. The album had many features from artist like Mary J Blige, D’Angelo, and Carlos Santana. With all the buzz and publicity Lauryn received from the album, it was strange when she “vanished” from under the celebrity radar. Hip-hop and music fanatics had been waiting since 1998, craving a sequel, or at least new single from The Miseducated one, but Ms.Hill remains low-key. She occasionally does shows and what not, but has no plans to release any new music. Her influence has reached everybody who pursues hip-hop or music in general. Lauryn Hill is a pioneer for conscious lyrics and strong feminism and will be a legend in 90s music forever.

Although the 2000’s were not the best years for hip-hop, it definitely wasn’t the worst. The degradation of women and profanity in the lyrics was at an all time high, but there is always a silver lining. Eminem released the highly controversial, yet critically acclaimed Marshall Mathers LP in 2000. Outkast also dropped Stankonia, a milestone for lyrical rappers the same year. In 2001, Jay-Z released one of his most legendary albums The Blueprint. In the same year Nas released a instant classic Stillmatic, followed by his EP The Lost Tapes. Then in 2004 one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time was dropped, the Kanye West classic College Dropout.

Post 2000s (2010-present day), we have multiple hip-hop sub genres: Lyricism, “Trap” Music, Vibe music, Gngster rap, Classic rap, etc. The stages that hip-hop went through left milestones, creating so many different categories that fall under the now broad genre of rap music. Without 80’s rap we wouldn’t have 90’s rap. Without 90’s rap we wouldn’t have today’s rap music.

I could argue hip-hop is “good” ‘til I’m blue in the face, but it’s really not an argument. It’s an art, and all art is interpreted differently. It’s more of a matter of perception. The thing is, whether you like it or not, you cannot deny that she is beautiful, flaws and all. LONG LIVE HIP-HOP.