Local High School Star
Join Date: Jun 2006
Hip hop is whatever you want it to be I think. If you want club beats and gangsta rhymes, then listen to Chingy or 50 Cent. If you like old school, listen to KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, and Busy Bee. It doesn't matter if you like southern hip hop, west coast, east coast, midwest, street, underground, instrumentals, or whatever else. The thing that kind of bothers me is when people think one is better than another or one is not real hip hop.
Hip hop is so much bigger, obviously, than in 1990. Blame Will Smith for making it so mainstream, Rakim for updating it, 2Pac and Biggie for making beefs popular, or MC Hammer for making dance hip hop for your dislike of current hip hop. But you can't attack the kids in the suburbs that like Jeezy.
As for who defines hip hop for me:
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Little Brother/Justus League
Mos Def/Talib Kweli/Jean Grae
Rhymesayers/Def Jux/Stones Throw
Masta Ace's, "A Long Hot Summer"
Everyone that has had a long career of ups and downs in the spotlight (Snoop, Dre, LL Cool J, Will Smith, Naughty By Nature, Wu-Tang Clan, Jay-Z, Jurmaine Dupri, Bone Thugs, DMX, Busta)
Those that took hip hop to the next level whether it be good or bad and almost have defined eras
(Sugarhill Gang for early hip hop, Rakim took hip hop to a new level and updated things, Biggie created that "formula" that has dominated since him, Eminem/50 Cent have taken that formula and updated it, and some would say ruined hip hop)
So in the end, I think 50 Cent will end up representing these past couple years, and the next couple years. The thing that I am interested to see is who in a few years will take hip hop in a different direction and which direction will that be. Will it be another hit maker, perhaps a Lil' Wayne, Bow Wow, Papoose, or someone that has yet to come out, or a more traditional hip hop guy, which seem to be few and far between with young rappers. My guess is that after these 50 Cent followers run out of steam in a few years, you will see hip hop stay gangsta, but rely less of flow, and more on lyrics. I think you will see a return to the old school mentality, but with modern topics/beats. I think Hip Hop Is Dead is actually going to kind of be that Straight Out of Compton that led to Biggie a few years down the road. I just wish it would be like a Slim Shady LP that just takes hip hop in that new direction without any warning real precursor. The problem is that you have too many "strong" albums that still represent what hip hop is today. I think the thing that allowed Eminem to just take over like that was that you kind of had a dropoff after Biggie, Pac, and Big L died. Jay-Z was kind of in transition and Nas had kind of fallen off the map. Wu-Tang and Death Row weren't having amazing success. Public Enemy, KRS-One, Rakim, ATCQ, Fugees, Queen Latifah, and that West Coast g-funk had all disappeared. Hip hop was kind of like the NBA, with only people like Missy and Lauryn Hill kind of being what was fresh. The only problem with a change in hip hop now is the you still have strong support for people like Jeezy, Lil' Wayne, Dipset, and like a million more.