All good points! Hip-hop will always live on in the classics .... like all fine art. I'm totally with you.
Yes and you understood me completely... I was talking about swag. But people reinvent themselves all of the time, so some "rappers" might find their way back to their roots. But "power corrupts; money corrupts absolutely". Isn't that what they say? And a lot of the most popular rappers have both.
Blue Scholars? I'll check them out. Thanks. If you have others suggestions send them my way.
I agree that money and power are corrupting, and you are right I think most popular rappers have both. Its sad it goes to their head, I think we saw it happen to Nas a little bit, but I just recently saw him at Rock The Bells with Damian Marley and it was really good, so I cant hate too much.
For true hip hop, I guess in my opinion:
You should check out Binary Star too, two mcs. Their album Masters of the Universe is awesome. Blu is an emcee outta LA, his album Below the Heavens is dope. The album is produced by a guy named Exile, who does another project called Emanon with an mc Aloe Blacc who is just soulful and for real bringing spirit in music back. The album is called The Waiting Room. There is an mc and her name is Jean Grae, with her I am more selective about what I enjoy. I haven't heard it all but some of it is just awesome, I love a good female mc. The Roots are classic somewhat popular, but still amazing. You know, you can't beat a live band.
For sure, i hope some of those bring you the joy it brought me. We gotta spread the love and keep the music alive. So do you have any names or suggestions? I love hearing new good music :)
Hip hop isn't dead, I wouldn't say it ever was. True hip hop will live on in the music that was created then. In a sense it will never die. I agree the new mainstream "Swag" is a terrible transition, but that doesn't mean many artists aren't still representing, they just aren't going to get the same air time. That being said, there are still plenty of underground groups holding true to the spirit. Blue Scholars is one of them.
It's sad man, people these days think hip hop is only a beat. That's not true, hip hop was about content and lyrics too. It was about the relationship between the mc and dj and the symboisis of the artwork they could create. Now they care more about record sales and gucci bandanas which is totally the opposite of what hip hop was created for. Some know this, but media powers that be don't want dissenting social and political voices over the air waves, they want people who buy in to freemarket interests, materialism, and distraction. Anyway, I love hip hop. That's what I listen to most of the time I enjoy music. I know it's not dead because I listen to it speak.
Well if you "dead" means mainstream. Then yes hip-hop is dead. Going mainstream is a huge indicator for success (in $ of course), but socially too. So dead is good on a social level. When people see "what was once different" as normal that a reason to celebrate. Who thinks that hip-hop is different or unusual or subversive these days, right?
Where I come from, race has nothing to do with hip-hop either. Close your eyes listen to the music or the person talking, guess who's playing the music or speaking and you'll probably be wrong. Hip-hop is actually cool in an ironic sort of way. Again I call this progress. Yes there's some pop-hop in my music mix, I'll admit it.
That said, going mainstream means death for creativity. To me mainstream means a repeatable formula. Where's the creativity in that? Thank god that artists keep creating and innovating. But in the end, most everything gets old after a while.
No Hip-Hop isn't dead, but the tide of shift towards the collective of what people want is changing and will leave hip-hop back. Now that many people learned how to soften hip-hop, steal the sound without the edginess, and sell it back to some suburban kids, it's now able to become many more thing for the corporation to sell.
I'm black, and I'm not that big on hip-hop myself. But I don't think it's dead, it's in the underground.