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Growing up in Hip Hop

by DJSoulClap on August 2, 2009

Hip Hop – The culture that we all love! It has become a huge part of our society, although people mostly just care about the music, which is only one element of what we love. Now that we are over 30 years into it, the pioneers have become old, Kool Herc is 54 years at this point, even a lot of our favorite rappers are in their fourties now, best example might be Masta Ace. But these people are still travelling the globe, making music and dress with baggy jeans, football jerseys and sweat suits, baseball caps and Sneakers (of course not everybody). Many people think it’s weird when „older“ people are walking around with these clothes, they expect em to wear a nice shirt or maybe a suit.

So I was asking myself, do people grow up differently when they are into Hip Hop? Do we even grow up, or do we stay young in our hearts?

What I love about Hip Hop is the diversity. You are walking around with a Guilty Simpson T-Shirt and a guy in a suit starts talking to you because he is a huge Hip Hop head. You go to a show and while you are standing in line an old dude is standing next to you, telling you he used to listen to Masta Ace in the early 90′s and heard he was in town, so he came out to watch his first Hip Hop show in years. You are 22, you live in Germany, make beats and start chatting with people on the net, 2 years later a 36 year old MC takes the plane to record an album together. If there is something, Hip Hop has no limitations to age. Hip Hop has a been a culture of the youth, mainly because it’s in his youth too. We won’t stop listening to the music, in 20-30 years we will be old and showing our grandchildren what „real Hip Hop“ used to be. The reason why most old people aren’t into it is because they didn’t grow up on it.

I’m 24 right now. Most of my friends from school already have a pretty normal dressing style. I’m one of the few who actually still wear baggys (not too big though) and a New Era Cap, but that’s just how I am. Some people are telling me I should start dressing according to my age, but I do not think walking around like that shows how mature you are.
Of course it’s not just a matter of how you dress. The way you talk is another thing that usually tells something about your age or background. I mean, i don’t curse a lot, but I kinda do talk in a slang, not really bad, but I do drop a couple words here and there that I definitely did not learn at school. But I think when it comes to music you can pretty much figure out how old a person is. These young Rappers have different themes, use different words and articulate in other ways than the older Rappers do. Someone in his late 30′s would not do something like Soulja Boy does, in contrary Soulja Boy would not do a song like Masta Ace’s „Beautiful“. If you compare Ace’s lyrics to what he did before, he went through a big evolution too. In the early 90′s is was a lot about what you see in your hood, about wordplay and good song ideas. Then he went in hard on Slaughtahouse, switched it up for Sittin on chrome and now he is talking more about life, reflecting things from a different perspective, that of a grown man, who experienced a lot in his life.

The reason why I started thinking about this theme, is the album of a German Rapper called Samy Deluxe. In the late 90′s he was kinda controversial, although he did not really do anything bad. He was talking about Smoking Weed, but that was kinda new in Germany back then. In the eraly 2000′s he drifted a little into the commercial direction. This year he released a new album, talking about politics, about life, about experiences. In one line he says: And certainly i start thinking about these things, because I turned 30 (of course in German)… And that made me think about how age affects the behaviour, even in our culture. I am curious to hear what 50 Cent will be coming with, when the album drops. On „Respect it or check it“ he says: „That shorty shit is over now I’m grown“… Did I hear some self-criticism? All I can say is I really enjoyed both of the free albums/Mixtapes he recently dropped and I really wanna hear if he approaches the new album in a similar way.

I’m really curious about what you think about the whole age thing. Does Hip Hop help the people to stay younger? Does age even matter? Why are the older people always complaining about the younger people coming up in the culture? Are they afraid that it will be taken out of their hands and develops in the wrong direction? I really don’t like Soulja Boy, and honestly I didn’t even hear one song of him till the end (thank god he ain’t big in Germany) but do we need to goof him off? I think it’s cool because his music makes a lot of people feel good and have a good time, and that is something that you CANNOT attack. Instead of complaining we should accept that these younger cats are coming up and don’t always do something we like. I’m cool with it because I know there are people who like that, just as we are happy to hear a new Premo joint. The new Young Jeezy album is for some, what a new Blu album is to us. And I think that is really good! I stopped saying that something is Wack! OK, sometimes some things obviously are, especially when the net is flooded with bullshit. But if you don’t like it, but you know there are a lot of people actually enjoying it, just say you don’t like it. Nothing is wack just because you don’t like it. Tastes are different, the taste of younger and older people is often differerent, but that is cool! If they were not, we would all wear the same clothes and listen to the same type of music. That would be boring as Sh*t.
What I do expect though, is that the young people pay respect to the older MC’s, who paved the way for them. Going in on someone who is older just because he is older is just as wack as the other way around.

I think in a way, Hip Hop helps people to stay younger, because it encourages the dialogue between the young and the old. I cannot judge if there are any differences in the heavy metal or hard rock scene, i also see old people with their black t-shirts and band merchandise, but I don’t know if it’s similar to our culture. But I know that I love being a part of Hip Hop and I admire everybody who has a passion for the culture and is not always complaining about the state of Hip Hop, but that will be a part of my next post: “Complaining in Hip Hop”.

I hope we will have a nice discussion about this!

Much Love to y’all!


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S August 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I just enjoy that hiphop has been around long enough to offer this age diversity. It wasn't just the passing trend that people thought it would be when it became popular in the 80's. It's grown and become a validated, lasting and ever-growing industry and culture.

There's something for everyone.

As an American, I'm not really finding a lot of our own new hiphop artists that I really enjoy, but I'm loving Samy Deluxe's new album. I find his thoughtfulness and personal insights really touching.

SAJR August 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

My daughter attends her first Graphiti 101 class tomorrow. The lifestyle liveson.

Travis August 3, 2009 at 2:20 am

Nice post Clap. I myself am getting up there in age these days, and the thing I find interesting is that as i get old, I fear that I'll outgrow the culture, but then I realize as I get older, so does the hip hop nation itself. I'm not sure the younger generation has as much appreciation, but only for the reason the music, the culture and everything about has been much more accessible than it was for us. I won't go into the differences because they should be rather obvious. Anyway, nice post clap…

DJSoulClap August 3, 2009 at 7:04 am

That's what I love @SAJR. And I also love little kids who already know how to breakdance.

Commish CH August 4, 2009 at 3:05 am

Rap is something you do…Hip Hop is something you live. I will be doing this till my grandparent days. my friends make fun of me for rocking the backwards cap. Coworkers look at me strangely when I accidentially slip in some slang at the office. I love rockin the baggy shorts with old school Nikes. Makes me feel younger? Fakin the funk? Nah. Im part of this for 20 years and it is who I am. Great discussion folks.

jimmy August 4, 2009 at 7:27 am

im only 17 and the first hip hop i fell in love with was the oldschool back when i was about 11 even tho it was before my time. age doesent really matter hip hop will live forever

Anonymous August 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Im 32 and I agree with Travis in that hiphp keeps maturing as well. AZ, Wu Tang and Ice Cube are near 40 and make good grown man hiphop albums in this decade way after their peak years so that alone is proof. Hiphop keeps one young. My daughter is 7 and she loves hiphop too and thats beautiful to me.You gotta hop into it! Clap, I enjoyed this post!

Pete Versus Toby August 8, 2009 at 4:22 am

Nice article, I always enjoy downloading your mixtapes… Im a 24 yr old lad from Australia and my opinion is that if you are really interested in something, you will search the past because honestly thats where evrrything has come from… Im mostly into chopped and screwed these days, just cause its so tweaked. I recently made a new friend who has the exact same musical taste as me… he is a little bit older than me and so he showed me all the south park screw scene albums from 87-94 and I was blown away… I mean pop hip hop like Jay-Z Nas Eminem Dre etc has helped hip hop travel around the world… its blogs like this & cocaineblunts, hip hop is read, rebel to america, etc that help young'ns like myself learn about the history of "hip hop"

just about to listen to your new female MC tape, so cheers again lad


(btw I think soulja boy is a inspiration to the youth to get up and stop watching fuckin tv and make some music…)
think about it

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