Previous post:

Next post:

Click HERE

Dart’s Rant: Why There More Than Likely Won’t Be Another Golden Era Of Hip Hop…

by Staff on February 12, 2011

One of the biggest complaints I hear from heads that can recall the two previous Golden Eras of Hip Hop is that mainstream/major label Rap/Hip Hop has strayed too far from what made many of us initially fall in love with it. Now, it’s 2011 and things still aren’t getting any better. If anything it seems things may be getting exponentially worse for Hip Hop quality wise.

There were many of us that pretty much abandoned mainstream Rap altogether circa 1997 instead opting to listen to underground or indie Hip Hop while waiting for things to “get back to normal”. Going on 14 years later not only have things continued to deteriorate but the rift between the underground and mainstream that first began to open after the signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has also managed to widen exponentially with the passage of time.

At one point in time the underground actually helped to fuel the mainstream and major label Rap industry and spur it on. The competition created by up and comers in the Rap game kept those in the spotlight on point for fear they’d get outshined by a hungrier young emcee or producer. Steel sharpened steel. Problem is, nowadays the dull knives in the drawer are the shiniest ones thus attracting the most attention and those with superior lyrical prowess or a higher syllable count are looked down upon. Boom bap production is cast aside as people gravitate towards Pop leaning Electro or Techno beats. This can’t be life © Shawn Corey Carter

Since Hip Hop has turned into two separate scenes instead of just one with many different aspects, the old natural checks and balances that were once in place are all but gone completely. The industry has taken complete control of the mainstream Rap game and has all but removed the skill, artistic or innovative aspects from the music. Now only but 5 artists move any significant number of units or are even allowed to do anything remotely smacking of being “different”.

Since the mainstream or casual Rap fan is completely oblivious to any rappers or emcees that aren’t currently on the radio or getting spins at the club they stay in the dark. Since none of the more substance based artists with advanced lyrical content ever get heard next to the current crop of Short Bus Rap that’s all the rage nowadays there’s no direct competition between these emcees for the fan’s ears. Without that balance and that competition there’s no chance we’ll ever see another Golden Era in Hip Hop.

In any profession, no matter what it may be you get better at it when you’re constantly pit against competition or forced to compete against the best in a particular field. Sink or swim. In each Golden Era of Hip Hop not only was the competition at the highest level between emcees, DJ’s and producers in terms of skill and innovation but to gain the hearts and minds of the fans. For the most part the best and the most respected in Hip Hop were the most relevant in each era. What a coincidence!

In conclusion, with the current status quo in place there will never be another Golden Era in Hip Hop. Due to the fact that not only is there no balance at the major label level in terms of the lyrical content or skill level of the rappers that get airplay or media attention while the entire underground Rap scene goes all but completely ignored.

Without both sides coexisting (like they did during the last two Golden Eras from 1986-1989 and 1992-1996) instead of this “separate but equal” Rap Apartheid/Jim Crow situation we have today nothing will ever get better. Emcees will never have to step their bars up. Producers won’t have to stop doing the same damn drum roll at the beginnings of songs. Fans will never discover that lyricism isn’t dead and Rap publications will never stop putting mediocre rappers on their covers.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Ignite Mindz February 12, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Lil B is leading us into the new golden age with his 676 song mixtape consisting mostly of rhymes about “bitches on his dick because he looks like (insert random white woman’s name here)” and about how “he’s a pretty bitch.” All these rappers that graduated high school suck, We’re glad theyre not selling albums. When I turn on the TV or the radio, the last thing I want to do is think. Or worse yet, learn something new. Now Im off to Forever 21 to buy jeans from the Petite women’s section, cause thats whats hot. *cocks gun, shoots self in the face*

Brandan E. February 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm

i agree with everything u say, and its all true.
i would say tho that the second golden era is from ’92-’98.
1997 & 1998 was great in everyway, there’s no way u can leave out those years. too much great music came out in those 2 years..many classics.

Vincent February 13, 2011 at 4:24 am

I completely agree. I tell my wife all the time that the balance in hip-hop has been long gone. The worst part of it is that these corporations are steadily dictating to the masses their version of ‘hip-hop’. My wife works with high school students and I happen to work with college students and we quiz them about hip-hop all the time. They can’t name any artist who ISN’T getting played on the radio. With all this technology, they’re still limited to the same musical rotation. They don’t even consider hip-hop before 2005. Leads me to wonder if the hip-hop back catalog will ever sell like rock music does.

Schoir February 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

Artists seem disaffected nowadays. Back in the Golden Era you outlined, emcees and producers were hungry. You had groups like Brand Nubian getting radio play (granted on limited stations), but BN and a slew of their contemporaries were rhyming about issues that motivated them. When you heard KRS-ONE rhyme about stopping the violence, you heard in his delivery that the man believed in the issue.

These young artists in current times sound like they take the path of least resistance, looking for a quick buck, and rhyme like they’re stuffed after living off the legacy of those who came before them. The world hasn’t changed THAT much that there aren’t interpersonal, social, and spiritual issues. Youth is indifferent. They are caught in a give-me-now and I-should-be-gettin’-paid-before-I-do-anything mentality (see athletes, too).

I’ll bump PE’s “Apocalypse ’91…” over Drake on any given day.

Hump Jones February 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I’m cool with never having another Golden Era again, because what you’re leaving out with this rant is how there’s more talented emcees and producers making music right now than ever. The game is not just over-saturated with Short Bus Rap and clone-tards, it’s also flooded with legitimate talent and a million hybrid styles. If the mainstream sleeps on it, fine. Most people are really, really fucking stupid and have no taste in any aspect of their lives, they exist as genetic cannon fodder and I don’t really stress the contents of their slave labor iPods too much.

Hip Hop is in better shape than ever and the music is proof. Not like you’ve got any shortage of dopeness to cover here at Bloggerhouse.

Jeremy K February 16, 2011 at 12:16 am

Theres always going to be great artist putting out great Hip-Hop, but they wont always get the recognition they deserve. I think, more than anything, it says a lot about the fans taste, or lack of taste, for quality music. And then theres what the internet has done to music…

Comments on this entry are closed.