I just don't get this whole argument. But I think the problem may come from the fact that rap is usually for the young people. The people who were young when Pac and BIG were out, just don't get this whole down south, crack selling, crunk, big rims rap. But there are rappers out there that I think even older rap fans would like. Groups like Little Brother, Tanya Morgan, and Strange Fruit Project are all fresh groups that are doing something new. They are an upbeat mix of good lyrics and fun times. They are like the modern day Arrested Development.
And is Eminem not the new 2Pac? Please don't think I am saying Eminem is better, or more important, or even on the same level as Pac, but both were the voices of their times. 2Pac for the young black people on the street, even though I think NWA and that whole movement was just as important because it allowed someone like 2Pac be heard. Eminem is about the pain a lot of youth go trough in dealing with drugs, personal problems, family, goverment, anger, and stuff like that. Times have chaged a lot in the last 10 years and people are dealing with a lot of different problems (not saying what 2Pac talked about is not still around because I think it is, and on a greater scale, but you can't say no one has attacked society and tried to make change since 2Pac I believe).
And I still think Talib, Mos Def, Dead Prez, The Roots, Blackalicious, The Coup, and probably some others are making music that together equals what 2Pac did if people would just listen.
As for Biggie, no one will ever match the combination of person and rapper. He and 2Pac are the only rappers, besides Eminem, who I think where bigger than rap music. But Biggie basically paved the way for people like 50 Cent. Club hits about the streets is a big seller and Biggie was one of the first that did that for the masses. You look how Biggie was quickly followed by Puffy and Mase, he basically opened up the door for those guys, and they used the formula for selling albums. He is like the MJ of rap music. MJ paved the way for guards to be the biggest draws in the NBA. Magic turned the door knob, and MJ knocked the door down, and since you have had a flood of Penny's, Kobe's, Vince's, Wade's, LeBron's, and T-Mac's, who may very well have led the league in jersey sales for the last 15 years when including MJ.
Montth you have good ideas , but hip-hop was always in the clubs. I just saw it on HipHop Honors on vh-1. Rappers delight was the first rap club hit and breakdancers would originally battle at clubs and basically the NYC scene at the time was split between disco, hip-hop and punk.
My biggest question I need someone to answer is have the power of music been taken from the artist to the producer. So many artists success depends on the producer of the track like pharrel or kanye, that allows rappers to have success off the beats produced.Hip-hop is supposed to be the voice of the streets. Im from Houston an while theyre are a few that shine hard they dont represent the majority. Im trying to say the best rappers since the early years or present never were defined by the negative images associated with rappers today.... Money clothes cars hoes....
Producers have always been important, they define the sound of a track or album and are half of the equation. They are usually the composer of the beat and without a good producer your not doing ****. Ask Cannibus aSK kwali.