As Nas proclaimed in 2006, hip-hop is dead. This may seem like an outrageous statement, but was he right? One could argue that hip-hop is not dead as new albums are being produced, but Nas most likely meant that the quality has become questionable.
Much of the hip-hop from the recent years does not remotely resemble what one would consider noteworthy. An album that exemplifies this is Kanye West's 808 & Heartbreak which was released in 2008. I consider Kanye's pre-2008 albums music that fits the profile of hip-hop, however vocally altered music which consists of more singing than rapping does not deserve the classification of hip-hop.
To further reaffirm Nas's proclaim, most recently a different genre of music is gaining increasing popularity--dance/house music. Where hip-hop dominated hit radio stations, dance music appears to have stolen the spotlight. Additionally, the recent albums of hip-hop resemble R&B more than rap, such as Wale's Ambition and Drake's Take Care.
There has been a serious lack of albums that can boast the plethora of songs consisting of quality hip-hop since the late '90s and early 2000s, such as Jay-Z's The Black Album which was released in 2003. There have been very few, if any, albums released in the recent years that one would call "true" hip-hop.
Moreover, I believe the industry has moved away from the classic sound of hip-hop to a melange of sounds that include rapped lyrics, yet still called hip-hop. In my opinion, cclassic hip-hop is dead.