Linwood Storm on the Degradation of Hip-Hop & Rap

In this era of Hip Hop and Rap, a line like Dr. Dre’s “Never let me slip, ’cause if I slip, then I’m slippin'” from ‘Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang’ would be considered “real shit”. I understand that taking advantage of the commercial aspect through the melodic appeal of the genre is feasible, but how did we go from praising those who dedicated time to fill up notebooks full of rhymes to “skrrt”.

Again, it’s more so the acclamation of it in the media than it existing. I truly think it’s a reflection on the intelligence of the youth. I agree with Kool G Rap when he stated that, and I paraphrase–

“A person is going to be entertained to the peak of their own intellect.” – Kool G Rap

There’s definitely music that I listen to because of the melody, energy, and the mood that it sets me in, regardless of the lyrics–but that shouldn’t be the forefront of a platform that should be used as the evolution of poetry.

The common notion that I hear from some is that if you want lyricism, you’ll have to find it; Whether that’s through the internet, underground or backpack. That’s not the point, and it should be the other way around. The political and social influence that Black music has always had is important. From speech/slang, mannerisms/behavior to fashion/clothing–so understanding the power that it has to send a message, it can’t be taken for granted.

How Pete Rock checked Waka Flocka Flame is how a lot of the older generation of artists should have before standards started slipping.

“Pay homage to who was before you. Problem is also ya’ll want us to accept music that don’t move nothing but the young, when you making music it’s to inspire everyone, not just your era.”

I think it finally started to hit me when I was babysitting an ex’s little nephew with her and saw that she was really into Gucci Mane. I didn’t have a problem with this, until I started mentioning older rappers and she had no idea who they were. Understandable, but seeing the influence it had was devastating, because what’s ingrained at a young age becomes somewhat prominent later on without proper guidance or conflicting ideals.

A very young child already has difficulty telling the difference between a persona that’s meant to entertain and behavior that’s socially acceptable. When you have artists who act ignorant and are uneducated, not only through their work, but outside of it, it’s basically telling the generation that this is tolerable.

“She blow that dick like a cello.” – Lil Yachty

Lil Yachty was under the assumption that a cello was a clarinet, in his attempt to write a reference to Squidward from ‘Spongebob Squarepants’. This song has garnered millions of listens and views, not due to this, but because of how “hot” the song is. So you essentially will have teenagers repeating this line, not knowing any better.

And then we have the over-sexualization of female artists. This has an even more impact, specifically on teenage girls. You’re telling me that Cardi B is what the Black community and Black women need, Complex?…/why-cardi-b-is-the-hero-people-of-… – “Why Cardi B Is the Hero People of Color Deserve”

1) Jean Grae –

2) Rapsody –

3) Snow Tha Product –

4) Young M.A. –

…and even Azealia Banks as far as quality of music, but– I’m pretty sure those four have more relevant topics to discuss concerning communities of color and women, than repeating the bare minimum to animate a trap flow. While I believe that there can be balance, it’s just gotten to a point where I can’t deny the connection it has with the degradation of cultural values.

Up Next