Monday, March 5, 2012

Rap Children

So, we all know the rap greats: Notorious B.I.G., 2pac, Jay-Z, Eminem, Rakim, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Common, Nas, Kanye, Lil Wayne (debatable) etc.

But what about the young rappers? There are countless rappers out there that aren't getting recognized. Now, I don't know whether this is because people think they're young, or their lyrics are one-dimensional and unoriginal, or they just aren't good.

Whether she's a good rapper or not, Nicki Minaj is here to stay. Furthermore, I consider Drake one of the best young rappers out there. Tyga, T.I., Big Sean, Kid Cudi, B.O.B., Wiz Khalifa and countless others have some really good songs and they are here to stay as well. Most young rappers out there are going to rap until they die, and I can't help but wonder which ones will be remembered and which ones won't. I appreciate the older generation a lot for giving us the classic hits, but someday, they might be surpassed by new up-and-coming rappers. Who will be cemented in history?

How do people feel about the new generation? What about all the "Soulja Boy"s?


  1. I think hip hop is now more diverse than ever, and among all the different types of styles out there today there are plenty of rappers that should be recognized for their abilities (not to mention others that perhaps shouldn't due to lesser talent). Regardless, as you brought up there are countless up-and-comers and underground artists out there who haven't yet earned the kind of recognition that they might deserve. In some cases, they never will; in some cases, it doesn't matter because it’s not something that the artist is particularly concerned about.
    Anyway, you bring up an interesting question when you ask about which artists from the current generation will be cemented in history. Unfortunately, I’m not sure music culture (and any other part of our culture, really) is as much about immortalizing what people are doing as much as it is about finding the next “big thing”. Multiple factors contribute here—radio is an obvious culprit, as are blogs (something I’m hoping to post about in the coming weeks). It seems as though most songs are discovered, commercialized and abused, and forgotten more quickly than ever before.
    Granted, there are artists out there with immense lyrical talent who try to keep alive some of the classic themes of hip hop. Their influence is merely suppressed by this goal of ours to fast forward to yet another track.

  2. I agree with Jamie about the speed with which the new generation of artists try to make radio hits after radio hits to increase their popularity. When it comes to recognition, artists like Tyga, Wiz, and Big Sean became popular with how their songs makes people feel, rather than content of their lyrics. I'm not hating on them, in fact I love some of their songs, but content wise, compared to the hip-hop legends that Eric mentioned, their lyrics do not nearly compete. I feel that T.I., B.O.B and Cudi's lyrics are more meaningful and serious, but still not compared lyricism of legends. But hip-hop is changing away from the simple beat box and complex story-telling lyrics and towards more, I dare say, uplifting, and simple-rhyming radio hits. This could be a product or result of these new generation rappers. We tend to immortalize people who have exquisite talent or change the game, and young rappers these days are not as profound or influential. Or maybe one just has to die first.

  3. I think this is a very heavily disagreed upon topic. Many people say the new artists - those who are famous for absolutely no reason, the "frat rappers," the guys of the XXL yearly Freshman List - aren't "real" rappers. Yet, these artists are constantly gaining increasing fame. I think a lot of them represent something new for the rap scene, something that goes beyond "gangster rap." These new genres of rap allow rap to be more relatable to different groups of people.


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