How I’m Feeling: The State of Hip-Hop

Last week, Zo gave his opinion on the current state of rap music. I’m going to leave his conversation as exactly what it was, but also use it as a step towards this week’s discussion: the state of hip-hop music.

“Cav, you just said the same shit twice.” No, I did not. There are differences between rap music and hip-hop music. In the simplest terms I can muster:

“Rap” music has rhythmic speech. That’s the only qualifier.
“Hip-Hop” music is representative of an entire subculture and art movement, with rapping (also called “MCing” for “Master of Ceremonies”) being only ONE of the main elements.
The actual history of hip-hop is entirely too involved for this article, and I’d suggest some internet searches to get a better glimpse at the big picture, but basically, “hip-hop” has always been an avant-garde type of movement, challenging norms and paving its own way.

Current “rappers” are, for the most part, not “hip-hop.” I know, I sound like I’m coming off as an old-head, talking about the glory days that have since gone past; bear with me. I’m speaking of the rappers who have no concern for their art, and just throw out homogenous music because it’s easy. Why push an envelope, if the envelope has money in it?

However, there are artists that do strive for creative ways of doing the same things. For example, I heard a song on the radio recently, in which Ed Sheeran rapped, and happened to out-rap Future in the process. (Yeah, I said it, hate on.) In no way is Ed Sheeran a rapper by definition, but by using rapping in that song to diversify his verse from both his norms and the norms of modern rap music, Ed Sheeran is an embodiment of the spirit of hip-hop. I could go on for days, with examples of rappers who have no interest in innovation (cough Young Thug cough) or hip-hop music in a different direction than the current rap trends, but I’ve gone on long enough already.

The best part about ACTUAL hip-hop music is that it’s supposed to evolve. If you’re unhappy with the current trends in rap music, don’t worry; they’ll die out. The incoherent nonsense will disappear, and some equally-annoying trend will take its place. Yet, hip-hop is going to be around as long as people care about their art, and will always be as diverse as the artists themselves. So, to me, the current state of “rap” is garbage. The current state of hip-hop is just fine.

Also, Happy Holidays from the Hunted Down team. Have fun, but be safe. We look forward to next year, with some new innovations of our own, and hope you enjoy them as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them.