Saturday, March 16, 2013
Why Does The Young Generation Disregard Pioneers of Hip Hop
Man no matter what hip hop forum you go to or youtube video all you ever see in the comments is "hip hop is dead" "fuck lil wayne" "fuck justin bieber" (even though the little angel doesn't rap). They always say "man biggie or tupac wouldn't allow this to happen if they were alive," "Big L would be rolling in his grave right now." Why are these the only ones who have say in the matter. Why can't artists today do something about it? Why can't the hip hop pioneers of the Golden era of rap speak out against it? Well that may be for another time because that's not my point. My point is that when comments saying biggie or pac wouldn't murder these dudes on a track or something why does no one mention the greats that are still alive. All great rappers aren't dead which may shock newbies that consider themselves hip hop heads. Rakim, KRS-One, The Native Tongues Posse, and believe it or not Ice Cube and LL Cool J were once considered the cream of the crop. My generation, me included, do not do our dutifull research when it comes to the pioneers. If we need any evidence as to why we should look these guys up we just need to listen to our favorite artists today. Watch any interview that asks them to list their favorite artists and they'll be along the lines of Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Slick Rick, UGK, Scarface. These guys revolutionized the genre and allowed other guys down the line to perfect the styles they paved.
There were multiple reasons i came up with as to why the pioneers are overlooked today and one of them is because of the generation gap. We can't relate to time in the 80's and no matter how raw an MC's skills are we can hear more often than not hear what time period they are coming from. How are we supposed to relate to NWA talking about the LA riots or whatever when all that happened before many of the youngsters were born? Don't get me wrong i am not justifying the ignorance of our hip hop elders but am just giving a reason. At the same time the fact that we can't relate to the older generation should be even more motivation to learn about the music. When we do that we can see where hip hop started and see where, why, and how it involved into the music that we hear today. It is like learning history in school. Yeah it may not seem important what happened 200 years ago to some white dudes but without understanding what happened 200 years ago there is no way we would be able to comprehend what is going on today and how we got here.
Another reason is the amount of music there is today. Everyday and their mama has a mixtape coming out and that shit is flooding the market. With so much music it is only natural for us to want to keep up with current trends because it is more likely that your friends are going to be keeping up with Chief Keef's new shit than going back and listening to Paul's Botique.
The last reason is simply we did not grow up with it. It is way easier to follow music as you grow up with it than it is to go back and find it for yourself. Growing up in the 80's the only rap you would hear on the radio is Eric B. and Rakim, DJ Quik then you could simply hear the progression of the genre as time goes by. Think about the kids that were born in 2001 or something. Are any of them going to know about the Marshall Mathers LP or Get Rich Or Die Tryin. Hell no and the only way is if they put the work in to find them. Another thing that i think is funny is how a lot of young guys say Biggie and Pac are the greatest rappers and don't get me wrong they are up there. But i know for a fact the majority of the young kids that say that probably couldn't name more than five songs of each dude. Their reputation TO THE YOUNG GENERATION is based off of what the older generation has said about the two and no doubt their deaths have helped grow their legend to almost mythical proportions. But that is like me saying Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever. I know he is because i see clips of him and because everyone says he is the best but i never saw him play a whole 48 minutes with my own eyes because i was too young to watch him play. So when people ask me who is the best person i have seen play ball i'm going to say Lebron and Kobe and Iverson because i have actually seen them. Do the people that grew up with Jordan say Jerry West and Wilt or Bill Russell were the best, no because they did not see them play. I feel like the dudes from the 60's and 70's don't get their due because the media was not able to cover them like they could an athlete today. Tim Tebow for Christs sake has his every move chronicled. Would a backup quarterback in the 70's ever have gotten that much coverage.
My generation and i gotta do our part to learn the history of hip hop because when, and it already is starting, it is our turn to influence the next generation our influences are going to be Lil Wayne, Wiz, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys, Drake, Rick Ross, and Soulja Boy. I sure as hell don't want those guys to be remembered as pioneers so let's do our part yo. Rakim is the God MC for a reason. peace