I was reading an editorial on Allhiphop.com and I agreed with the writer 100% when he noted that there was a lot of mediocrity in Hip Hop. Not that there aren’t any good rappers dropping material; its just that you can barely tell one from another. I was a teen when rap emerged from the streets of Brooklyn, the Bronx and South Central. Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA and LL Cool J pioneered a sound that eventually evolved into its own culture. I loved rap music. There was a time when I’d toss on my Adidas sweat suit, rock the Kangol to the right, dawn the headphones rocking Big Daddy Kane and find myself a MC to battle. I embraced the music, the lifestyle and the art.
I no longer do that. Once, I thought it was just maturity, but every once in a while I toss in my “Fear of A Black Planet” CD and it sounds soooooo good to me. Whenever I walk through Best Buy, I walk down the aisles where there is an enormous selection of rap music. I’m still interested in reading the articles in XXL and The Source. So, it’s not like I don’t like the music. I just don’t love it anymore.
While flipping through the pages of the latest XXL edition, I found myself amazed at the number of soon to be released albums from artist I knew nothing about. I wondered if people actually bought those albums. They probably do, I’m just too far out of the Hip Hop loop to hear about them.
So, in order to maintain any credibility when talking about rap, I started reading the reviews on Allhiphop.com and keeping up the Hip Hop news on SOHH.com. But it is the music that counts so I opened myself to listening to some new artist. I picked some relatively new artist; TI, Mike Jones, Slim Thug and Young Jeezy.
After listening to the each song on the each CD once, my initial conclusion is: I don’t get the hype about Young Jeezy or Mike Jones. I’m not feeling them. Of the four that I listened to, Slim Thug was the best. There are five tracks on his CD that are really good. The rest I can take it or leave it, but five tracks is a lot of songs to like. I can understand whey TI is popular as well. A lot of anthem tracks on his CD.
Overall, I can understand why folks my like them. Each had decent music and catchy hooks. Mike Jones and Young Jeezy voices kind of got on my nerve after a while. What is missing is an element of artistry in the music. I know someone is going to comment that I’m hating. Well, I let the words of Common speak for me on that.
I start thinking, how many souls hip-hop has affected
How many dead folks this art resurrected
How many nations this culture connected
Who am I to judge one's perspective?
Though some of that shit y'all pop true it, I ain't relating
If I don't like it, I don't like it, that don't mean that I'm hating
The 6th Sense (Like Water For Chocolate)
None of the four artists brought out the passion that I once had for Hip Hop. I waited with anticipation of Common’s CD to drop. I did that for Jay Z and Jadakiss. But gone are the days when there were numerous artists dropping albums and performing on the Fresh Fest tour. I still love Hip Hop. But Hip Hop is like women. The young girls are flashier, sexier and move a lot faster. But there is nothing like being with a woman that has been down with you for years and knows exactly what to say and do to make you feel good. Slim Thug is cool, but I’ll just keeping rolling with Public Enemy. Word.