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  • Writer's pictureMC Till

Depth in Hip-hop

The other week I drove a group of young teenagers down to Asheville, NC. They played me a bunch of Hip-hop music that they like. I didn’t really like any of it. Just wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m a boombap, sample based Hip-hop guy for the most part. But, I’m all for Hip-hop evolving. The style of the Hip-hop didn’t bother me at all. The synthesized beats and the slurred mumble style of rap are fine by me. The skinny jeans and other interesting stylistic choices don’t make me think twice. Be who you are. I’m not mad. However, I did take issue with one thing. And I’m wondering if I’m just the old out of touch guy. What I noticed was that most of the messages in the songs were very, very similar. I didn’t hear much depth. I heard a lot of partying and bragging and whatnot. I did not hear about history, unity, community, peace, uplift, etc… That is problematic to me. When I think back to my adolescence I remember listening to Snoop Dog AND Public Enemy, Too Short and KRS-One. I remember Biz Markie, the Beastie Boys, and De La Soul. I remember the Geto Boys and Arrested Development. I remember diversity of thought. I remember Ice T and NWA were very vulgar and yet I remember them having great depth. Perhaps I’m out of touch. But, what I heard from what my teenage friends played for me was very limited in scope. I did not hear much diversity at all. I heard one singular perspective again and again from a bunch of different rappers. I know we have great young rappers with diversity of thought. I’m just wondering if we aren’t doing a good job promoting them. What do you think? Peace. MC Till

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