2014: The Decline of Hip-Hop

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January 22, 2014 by NowhereButPop

by Khalid Bennett

Remember the year when Hip-Hop music started? I know that I don’t and a lot of you reading this weren’t born when Hip-Hop music started. Any music historian knows that “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang is considered the first recorded hip-hop song. That was in 1979. It’s 2014 and hip-hop has changed so much in 35 years.

We’ve gone through ’80s Hip-Hop, gangsta rap, golden age Hip-Hop, dubstep Hip-Hop. Basically, Hip-Hop music is mainstream. It’s not for the people on the corner who loved to break dance anymore. It’s not for the people who go to DJing parties and have regular people freestyle anymore. Now it’s for everyone and I mean EVERYONE!!!!! And not only that, it’s EVERYWHERE!!!!!! It’s come to a point where a six year old can memorize a rap song better than a nursery rhyme.

As cute as that might sound, it’s sad when the song mentions about popping molly, twerking, and how being a bad bitch is the best thing ever. I have come to the conclusion about the way hip-hop music will be in the year 2014. This will be the year of a really BIG decline in Hip-hop music.

I started listening to Hip-Hop music around 7th grade, circa 2002. I don’t remember the first song I heard and liked. I probably did it just to fit in with my peers. I loved the Hip-Hop era between 2002 and 2010. I think it was one of the most revolutionary times in Hip-Hop. It was when Jay-Z was in decline but still considered one of the best artists. It was when 50 Cent brought back the gangsta rap that was diminishing in the late ’90s. It was when Lil’ Wayne was beginning to get popular but wasn’t at his peak just yet. It was when Eminem was quietly becoming the highest selling Hip-Hop artist of all time. It was when Kanye West was just a great producer and the rapper we used to love, before he went all egotistical and dated a Kardashian. It was when Hip-Hop become more regional, representing the northeast, south, midwest, west coast and so on. The funny thing was there was no bad blood though. Each region loved each other’s style of music. It was when hip-hop had a lot to do with going to the club and having a good time. A good time would be just drinking alcohol, dancing, and just having a good time with your group of friends with no drama.

So what happened?

It has come to a point where Hip-Hop music is only about one-hit club bangers. Hip-Hop music is now all about popping molly and seeing how much can you get fucked up. You may get sick, hurt, or even die; as long as you put in a lot of drugs and alcohol in your body. It’s crazy how we used to enjoy songs about smoking indo and sipping on gin and juice. Now every song is about smoking weed. I don’t care about songs that mention weed. Is it neccesary for you to mention it every line and how good it is and how much you have? I get it; we do live in a world where marijuana is used recreationally. I mean two states have legalized it. But it’s not the only thing about life. Molly is becoming the new recreational drug. Molly is just another name for Ecstasy, that has always been used but more for raves and rock concerts. I never thought it would reach the day where it would be a big influence in today’s hip-hop. Songs today are encouraging the youth to take Molly and go crazy. There’s a song call “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun”. At first, I thought it was just a song for ratchet women to twerk. According to the rapper (who isn’t important), ‘thun thun’ means ecstacy. I don’t even want to go further into that because I’ll get really upset. So basically, today’s message in hip-hop music is weed or nothing, get really messed up at all costs, and do Molly.

Hip-Hop music is now about money. See, old school Hip-Hop never really mentioned much about having money. It was more about the struggle and how the black community has to stick together through hard times. When I started listening to Hip-Hop, it was a little different. More rappers were talking about having money but they never really talked about spending and wasting it so much. There were rappers only talking about hustling and finding ways to get money so they can prosper and become better people. Now, rappers talk about having so much money and just wasting it on anything. Apparently, having so much money means you can do and buy anything you want without thought, consequence, or repercussions. Now there are songs that degrade people who don’t have money. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great to have money and it sucks to not have money. You can’t be going around talking about how you have money when you work at a minimun wage job. You can’t be going around talking about money if you invest your money on Jordans and going to the club every weekend, when you need to pay bills, rent, and child support. You can’t say a person sucks because they don’t have any money. You don’t know the situation why someone is struggling. It isn’t cool for you to degrade them when you yourself aren’t doing any better. Having money isn’t the most important thing in the world and rappers today are making it seem like it’s either money or nothing at all.

Hip-Hop music is now about degrading women. Okay let me explain a little bit. The era of Hip-Hop I listened to growing up did degrade women. I mean Mystikal made a song named “Shake Ya Ass”. This has always been a big issue in Hip-Hop for a very long time. The problem with the era I listened to, it was more about portrayal of women in the music videos. Most rappers usually talked about how hot women looked and they wanted to get with them at a club. That isn’t so much of a problem. It’s now come to a point where strip clubs and stripping have become important in Hip-Hop. It’s about women twerking just to get a guy’s attention. I LOATHE that word. I liked it when men and women were grinding on each other. That was our way of having a good time. Grinding is beginning to decline. It’s now women twerking while guys watch. It seems kind of perverted. I liked seeing a woman grind and then I’d go up to her, hoping she’ll dance with me. It’s weird and creepy now going to a club or bar and seeing women twerk while men just stand there and watch. Are you expecting a show? Are you expecting the women to do anything else? Twerking isn’t anything fascinating. To me, it’s already gotten old and it doesn’t impress me because you are ratchet and can twerk.

In addition to degrading women, women are degrading themselves. It’s obvious that in today’s society women are more independent. That’s cool and I respect that. What I don’t respect, is how a woman can degrade herself just get attention or what they want. Let me explain. There is a song called “Boss Ass Bitch”. It has come to a point that being called a “bitch” and other degrading words are becoming more acceptable. It has come to a point where being liked by others is to be disrepectful to other women and have a bomb-ass pussy. So thank you Hip-Hop for telling women that being ratchet, twerking, and having good pussy is the only way to be accepted in society.

One last thing I want to mention. The decline of Hip-Hop this year has a lot to deal with the artists and albums. What do I mean by that? There was a time in Hip-Hop where there was longevity with the most popular artists. As years go by, I believe there will be more one-hit wonder, once a year, sporadical artists/rappers. These rappers will only have their one hit song, the one album to promote that song and that’s it. There won’t be artists like Jay-Z or Eminem who constantly influence Hip-Hop for different decades and generations. I think Drake and Kendrick Lamar may be the last Hip-Hop artists to have longevity in this decline of Hip-Hop and will still be influencing music by the end of this decade. I don’t even know who will rise or be the next star in Hip-Hop this year. I had a discussion with two people about who’s year will it be. It was really hard to figure out who would be that artist.

This leads to my discussion of Hip-Hop albums. I listen to albums more than singles. Before writing this article I was thinking of albums I was anticipating for this year. At first, I couldn’t think of anyone. Also, I had to look up the Hip-Hop albums that were coming out in 2014 and there was NO ALBUM that caught my eye. A part of the decline of Hip-Hop is the albums. I think that 2013 was the last year of big artists coming out with big albums; think about it. Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, and other artists considered popular now put out their albums last year. According to the list, I don’t see any hype in the upcoming albums. There are artists like Nicki Minaj, Wale, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka Flame, Future, Juicy J, and Meek Mill who will be releasing an album/mixtape this year but let’s be real. Would you really want to hear an album from these people? Most of them are either washed up or nobody wants to listen to them anymore. I’ll take my chances with whatever album is considered really good.

I hate to conclude but it sucks to really say that 2014 could be the start of the decline of Hip-Hop. It’s obvious that Hip-Hop isn’t the same and will always change. It doesn’t seem like it’s getting better. I don’t know what to expect to in the year 2014 in terms of Hip-Hop and music in general. All I know is, I’ll stick to my video game music before getting into what is called “Hip-Hop” now.

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3 thoughts on “2014: The Decline of Hip-Hop

  1. jose says:

    Your leaving out the biggest slice of the cake which is the underground/independent side of hip hop Listen to artists like hopsin, dizzy wright and immortal technique they all rap about things we can actually make us think . You should consider j. Cole’s album also if this doesn’t show you hope for hip hop in 2014 then nothing will. And also logic (md) who will blow up BIG TIME this year

    • Khalid says:

      Well yes, Born Sinner was a bright spot last year. It still doesn’t change the fact that what is considered “hip-hop” today is taking over. I always appreciate and listen to underground and independent music because that’s real hip-hop to me. There has to be some way where that will break the mold and I don’t think it will as long as what’s consider “popular” will remain popular for years to come.

  2. Promise says:

    i dig what Jose up top said, independent hip hop artists like Logic and dizzy remind you what real music is. Even J cole and Lupe still keep it real. as long as we got people like them in the game hip hop will never die.

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