For my first article of the New Year, I wanted to give a, let's call it a State of the Union address.
Ever since Ice-T talked about Soulja Boy back when Soulja Boy was relevant. (So more than a decade ago) There has been a significant rift between the people of the Old Skool and the New Wave. An argument that doesn't seem to end.
Well. I say argument. It's more like several arguments. Which era was better, why is the new Rap coming out so trash. There's many more I'm sure you know a few more. But with social media giving everybody from both sides a platform to talk their ish. Most recently, Joe Budden embracing his new found role of "Leader or the Old Heads". But as a person sitting in the middle, a person that understands both sides. I just have this to say.
You all need to grow the F*** up. Old and New, you all need to grow up.
Let's start with the new, since that is apparently the easy target out of the two. You guys are taking advantage of a music industry that has evolved significantly in the past decade. The growth has been so large that it isn't just one, two or maybe three artists that own Hip-Hop. It's many more. Everybody can get a piece of the pie. Drake and Kendrick can rule the mainstream, but below that, there are many many artists that consistently stay relevant and can temporarily be on top for a while.
Compared to the Golden Age, where hard copies were the main method of getting on the top, you don't even have to make music to stay relevant! You can not make an album for 3 years and still trend. It is much easier to make it these days. Don't get me wrong, for us normal folk, it's still incredibly hard to get in the game and even harder to stay in it. You think Cardi B, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi would be where they are right now if this was the 90's? The fact that it's easier to get in the game is the exact reason why people get pissed off if one of the New Wave say they don't know or care about the legends.
LeBron James knows who Oscar Robertson is. Sterling K Brown knows who Sidney Poitier is. Viola Davis knows who Hattie McDaniel is. You see where I'm getting at. Everybody in every profession, whether it be performing arts or sports. They know who their predecessor is.
I don't care if you're not trying to sound or rap like them, the old heads aren't asking you to, but to fix your mouth and disrespect anybody before you? You WOULDN'T BE HERE if they didn't pave the way. You're walking on the brick road they laid. You see where I'm getting at?
And fans of the New Wave, you don't have to listen to the Old Skool either, (you should, but you don't have to) but stop being sheep. Open your ears and you might find that you rate some Old Skool. There is no shame in learning history about the genre you know an love. (Or think you love)
But you all know about why old heads hate the New Wave. They're getting money to mumble, we get it. But here's my problem with the Old Skool. And like the New Wave, it's not everyone!
Some of you that were around in the 80's & 90's, love to crap on the New Wave. I get it. If I had to pick and era, it would be Old Skool. But I noticed something at the end of the Year...
I was on Facebook one time and I saw a fellow Hip-Hop page that is steered more to the nostalgia of Hip-Hop asking a question. "What are your 3 favourite songs of 2017?". The answers were depressing. The one of note being something like "I don't listen to Hip-Hop anymore, it's all trash".
That is the attitude that I can't stand. Because if you're one of those people that claim to love Hip-Hop but you haven't listened to anybody new, you're being hypocritical. Saying that New Wave don't respect the Old Skool, you're not respecting the artists that are true to Hip-Hop, you're painting with the broadest of brushes.
I could name 10 artists right now that you would like but began this decade. But no, everybody is with either Lil Uzi or 2Pac. That's how you see things.
Again! This is not to every old head, and it maybe because you just don't know how to keep up with new music. That's fine! But don't talk to me, saying there's no good Hip-Hop out there. The technology of today has a positive side to the same coin of what I previously said. Yes, more people can get a slice of the pie, but YOU can judge who is good and who is bad.
Just like mumble rappers, there are young rappers getting the job done as well. You just need to be pro active and listen. Peep this kid. He hails from Philadelphia and is about to drop his first project. He's been doing a few freestyles in the past few months via Instagram & YouTube and they have gotten people's attention. Most notably. Bid Daddy Kane, Chuck D and Pete Rock, to name a few. See what a little bit of word of mouth can do?
Old heads, artists and fans alike. I understand that the charts and award shows are trash, but haven't they always been? If you love Hip-Hop, you can find the gems. Just like I'm sure you did back in the day. But now, you can do it by just doing a Web surf on your computer or phone. Stop bitching about the mumble rappers, they will get their millions and fade into irrelevance soon enough. The cream always rises to the top. But don't say there's nothing new. That's being ignorant.
Speaking of ignorant. New Wave, don't disrespect the Culture that you're currently making a living on. And listeners of the New Wave. If you're favourite artist is being a dumb-ass, call them out on it. Social media got artists doing the most these days, add some fame into that and you got bad stuff just waiting to happen.
There are many more facets of this conversation I could tackle, but I just wanted to hit the subject as a whole. It's not healthy. Everybody. Don't be ignorant. Listen to each other's era. You're doing yourself a disservice as a fan of Hip-Hop.