What the fuck happened to Hip-Hop?


  • Pitcrew

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPRmFJ_U8Ug

    Very interesting video. I don't know if we can attach youtube videos on the forum, but the link is up there. Really good, coming from someone who knows a thing or two about what they are saying.



  • @sunnyj That was a great video. That's why my favorite hip hop group (Okay it is rock too) is Prophets of Rage. Old school shit like Chuck D and B-real rapping about politics and social action. Having Tom Morello on guitar doors not hurt.


  • Pitcrew

    The beauty of hip hop back then was it was diverse. You could have N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, you name it. Now it just doesn’t happen like that.

    So while he was saying what happened to the message, he casually mentioned there’s Kendrick Lamar.

    What he should’ve been talking about how the diversity is still there. It’s just that certain types of hip hop are the mainstream.


  • Coder

    The same thing kind of happened to country.

    Now, I don't like country, but now it's just pop with a twang.


  • Pitcrew

    @thugheaven

    Yeah I mean 'hip hop with a message' still exists. Logic, Hopsin, Donald Glover, the aforementioned Kendrick, Dead pres (okay older but still) even Drake from time to time, but man if I wanna get high and just groove? Gimme them Migos, and Rae Sremmurd, and Night Lovell, and Jazz Cartier... Sure sometimes the content isn't exactly original (Drugs pussy, guns) but the talent is real.



  • @Wretched The talent is there. The message is there. People just ignore it for something they can dance to.


  • Pitcrew

    @admiral said in What the fuck happened to Hip-Hop?:

    @Wretched The talent is there. The message is there. People just ignore it for something they can dance to.

    It's also one of those conversations that's kinda weird to me. 'Where is all the hip hop with a message?'

    Where is all the Black Metal with a positive message?
    Where is all the Industrial with a positive message?
    Where is all the X-kinda music with a positive message?

    I have a lot of respect for Run DMC, but it also reminds me of the puritanical parents when I was growing up talking about the devil music. Sure a lot of Hip Hop these days (and since like NWA) 'glorifies' the street life, but it also holds up a mirror to it. I mean listening to songs about selling dope and capping fools has just about as much influence on me as Songs about Eating people, Shutting up and Swallowing, And Crack + Anal Sex. (tho to be fair, the last one, Leonard Cohen is my most Idolized musician ever)

    Lets look at some Rock and Roll classics.

    Welcome to the jungle we've got fun and games
    We got everything you want honey, we know the names
    We are the people that can find whatever you may need
    If you got the money, honey we got your disease

    it's been a thing in music since like forever.

    We also have mainstream artists like Macklamore rapping about gay love and the horrors of drug use and the cult of Nike.

    Edit: AND ANOTHER THING: There's also a movement in hiphop artists this day addressing subjects like suicide and depression.



  • Macklemore is one of the problems with hip hop. Just like Drake. Two suburban guys trying to co-opt an urban style of expression.

    It could be worse. They could be Jewish reggae artists I guess.


  • Pitcrew

    @admiral I'm not sure i agree. Not 100% at least.. hip hop has room for white artists, Eminem comes immediately to mind, as do the Beastie Boys. Macklamore hasn't attempted to co-opt black culture, he's come up pretty legit and he raps from his own experience. It's not like Elvis straight up stealing black music. There is a huge difference between the two. If anything, I imagine white artists have a hell of a time getting recognition in the hip hop community.



  • @wretched I never said white or black. I said suburban and urban. Drake and Macklemore may both be two of the whitest guys on the planet but that is neither here nor there.


  • Pitcrew

    Anyone who looks at pop music and immediately sneers and goes 'Ugh, music is so lazy now...' is just lazy themselves, IMO.

    Pop music has always been that way. Pop music has always been a simple, catchy hook repeated.

    You can't take a pop song of today and compare it to some rock ballad from thirty years ago.

    I can go back to the fifties and find a pop song that repeats a single line, too! Just like I can find some amazing songs that have full versus, bridges, and hooks that tell a great story.

    It's all in where you look, what you know. That's always been one of my biggest peeves. When someone puts up one of those fucking 'THIS IS WHAT'S WRONG WITH MUSIC TODAY!' images with a Nicki Minaj song next to some rock ballad from 30, 40 years ago. And it's like motherfucker I could do that with pop song from the 50s next to a halfway decent indie or b-side track from a good artist today.

    (I mean let's take the chorus from Chordette's Lollipop, a song from 1958... that's basically what these people do when they do that shit.)

    Ahem.

    But yeah, that's basically what it boils down to.

    If you want to find the message, it's there.
    But what sells is the catchy stuff.
    And that's the pop music. That's the dance tracks.
    And that is how it has been since the advent of radio. It's nothing new.


  • TV & Movies

    I been saying this for years and its a shame that even his message isn't getting out to the mainstream. Its tucked away on some youtube channel with no reporting on it. I am lucky to come across it off a fucking MU Soapbox post...

    Hip hop has been such a huge disappointment to me. I used to love music. Now I listen to books on tape in my car instead of the radio.

    I hear the same shit in every song. How much money someone makes. How many girls they fuck. How they are the best rapper evar. Same three things. Over and over and over. The only thing that's changed in the last 5 years is that now you can't understand what the fuck they're saying and you have to go online to look up their lyrics to find out they are talking about the same three things everyone else has been talking about for the last 15 years.

    For those who say hip hop has always had similar things, the difference is that hip hop used to be a about the struggle of daily life involving those things and now it is glorifying those things as something to strive for. Its like someone completely missed the messages about how that was the unfortunate result of what people had to do to survive and just heard 'drugs, guns, violence' from someone they admired as an artist and thought it was something to aspire too.

    Yes, there are a few songs here and there that aren't about that, but they just don't have the power that inspire and/or endure like they used to. Its super gimmicky and commercial and ultimately forgettable. Or in the case of Childish Gambino so subtle that most people don't even realize it is a satirical message until they read an article online about it.

    I remember when Tupac - Changes came out and it was so different from his other stuff that I was shocked it was Tupac. But the message was straight up and powerful in your face and advising completely the opposite of what his image had been about. He even talks about the consequences of living that life and he ultimately suffers the exact fate he talks about in that song.

    And of course the topper to all of this is that it isn't artists that are the major cause of this problem. Its the producers and record labels who prefer a certain type of song and whenever there might be a new sound, they suddenly flood the market with 10 other artists who sound just like them. And then they pay the radio stations to play certain songs and of course with the decline in radio popularity, radio stations are just whores now like everyone else, trying to squeeze out a profit so they just pander and pander to try to make some revenue.

    SO many things wrong in this world. It makes me sad. But this is one of the hardest things to deal with - to watch an art form created from social change and empowerment corrupted into catchy tunes that give young people the mentality to want to voluntarily throw themselves into the gutter, sometimes literally.


  • Pitcrew

    A similar thing's happened to punk (and I hold as much respect for hip-hop and rap as I do for punk; I grew up with both, one in each hand).

    You can see the way punk changes into punk-pop in the mainstream if you follow, for example, The Offspring or Green Day's discography and evolution. Offspring starts with a self-titled that is harsh, political, songs about war in the Middle-East ("Tehran"), the absolute apathy, cruelty, and dismissal with which society treats women, especially women who are victims of assault ("Jennifer Lost the War"); they moved on to Ignition, one of my favorite albums, which has songs that dig deep into problematic relationships ("Dirty Magic", "Sessions") and police brutality ("L.A.P.D.") and bullying ("Kick Him When He's Down"); and then Smash, with themes like gang violence ("Come Out and Play") and the mentality behind road rage ("Bad Habit"), revisiting toxic relationships ("Self Esteem"), and drug abuse ("What Happened to You?") and isolation ("Alone"), along with more world-spanning political tracks.

    I mean, with a start like that,y ou think: damn, they're gonna be like this forever. But then Ixnay on the Hombre was a little more poppy, Americana had "Pretty Fly for a White Guy", and Conspiracy of One was their last album to have any sort of real political message.

    Same thing happened with Green Day and basically all mainstream 90s punk in general, you basically see it almost across the board, and everything that followed it. Once Blink-182 and Sum-41 took the stage it was over. Some bands hold on tight: NoFX, Bad Religion--but others fall to the wayside: Pennywise, Rancid.

    You still have that underlying stream of the original message of that music in there, if you dig deep--but it gets constantly smothered by the mainstream stuff producers of the music industry that, like @Warma-Sheen said, push their agenda for sales.

    I mean, the music industry made Johnny "Rotten" Lydon and Jello "Can't Shut The Fuck Up Between Songs" Biafra basically give up. If you can kick the rebellion out of those two dudes, then yeah...


  • Pitcrew

    @wretched
    Right! I love Cardi B, Migos, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of music. Sometimes you feel like listening to something ratchet.

    My concern is that that’s all they play on the radio. But radio is crappy any station you turn to these days. Thank god for Spotify. My concern is also that there is a generational thing happening here where that older generation “Run DMC” is becoming crotchety and alienating the youth by saying “What are you doing to my music!?” When there is good hip hop being made still.

    That’s not good either.


  • Pitcrew

    @auspice Coheed and Cambria made liberal use of pop hooks in their most popular albums, with lyrics that can range from disturbing to downright appalling. They're not the pinnacle of progressive rock talent, mind you, but they were still pretty good.

    On the other hand, I find their latest material, including the soon to be released album's snippets that are already for public listening, to be quite flat compared and contrasted to their original material.

    Then there's the fucking fact My Dying Bride just went 80s darkwave whereas they had been one of the precursors of doom-death metal.

    And indie definitely took a turn to the cheap and easy commercial. I mean, you get Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes and maybe Cursive, and then you compare to the stuff that calls itself indie nowadays that is formulaic, not experimental in the slightest and just follows a very general blueprint.

    Maybe Emogame was right. It's all been sold out and we're to blame.

    Having said that, here's a song from Brand New's latest that I really like.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrmWdSbmC7M


  • Pitcrew

    @deadculture

    It's hard to say 'indie' anymore, I admit. There's 'indie' as in the genre ('sound') and indie as in what it was before it became that.

    Altrock went through the same thing in the mid-late 90s.

    There are/were a lot of indie bands that are what I would truly call indie and then there's a lot of carefully curated mainstream bands that have that same 'sound,' but are very generic and flat. Music, like anything else, is a business. What can ya do?


  • Pitcrew

    @auspice You generally can tell real talent from faking it until you make it.


  • Pitcrew

    There's tons of great hip hop around now what even is this thread?

    I love how we are constantly posting about 'how everything was better then' (usually the 90s) and yet also 'why aren't young people doing the thing we do on this forum'.

    I'm as ancient as most of ya'll but we could dial the evidence back!


  • Pitcrew

    @auspice said in What the fuck happened to Hip-Hop?:

    @deadculture

    It's hard to say 'indie' anymore, I admit. There's 'indie' as in the genre ('sound') and indie as in what it was before it became that.

    Altrock went through the same thing in the mid-late 90s.

    There are/were a lot of indie bands that are what I would truly call indie and then there's a lot of carefully curated mainstream bands that have that same 'sound,' but are very generic and flat. Music, like anything else, is a business. What can ya do?

    Punk went through the same thing. Punk was never about the sound--it was about the attitude and the message. And then "punk rock" came around and it became a music genre.


  • Pitcrew

    @gingerlily said in What the fuck happened to Hip-Hop?:

    There's tons of great hip hop around now what even is this thread?

    I love how we are constantly posting about 'how everything was better then' (usually the 90s) and yet also 'why aren't young people doing the thing we do on this forum'.

    I'm as ancient as most of ya'll but we could dial the evidence back!

    For reals. People sounding like crusty old farts around here.