Let’s just start with a couple of examples: Pete Rock vs. Lupe, Dmx vs. Drake, Common vs. Drake, Ice T. vs. Every Young Rapper, Trapped in the 90s N*ggas vs. Every Young Rapper, and now Lord Finesse vs. Mac Miller. It’s a frantic situation, yes it is!
As a fan of the culture as a whole, I’m not mad at any of it. It is basically nature taking it’s course. Some of the old dudes are down with it, while others are down right furious. Why? There isn’t one obvious reason for why the older generation (yes, you 90s ninjas are included) has such a beef with today’s hip-hop. There is just a blatant lack of tribute being paid. Period. A lot of “older” rappers/fans feel that this generation of young hip-hop stars aren’t doing anything to advance the music. They also feel, that what’s being created now can hardly be classified as “HIP-HOP”.
On the flip side, the younger generation of hip-hop feels as if they do recognize the old school. They respect skill, but this is a different time. They feel they make the music of “their” generation, and at this moment in time, skill is not necessarily a prerequisite for success/popularity. In 2012, the rules are just different from the 80s and 90s. Between low cd sales, the rise of social media, and the marketing saturation that blankets actual talent…what more can they do?
I am a “90s Dude” so to speak. I was born the year “Rapper’s Delight” came out. I came up on Kane, Slick Rick, Ice Cube, Rakim, and others. I went to High School during the Illmatic, 36 Chambers, and Ready to Die years. I partied hard in college thru the Bad Boy, Roc-a-Fella, Ruff Ryders, and Cash Money years. And I am still finding more reasons to be entertained by hip-hop music…but those old days are GONE.
Look, I agree with the arguments on both sides. I feel that there are a lot of artist (some with talent and some without) that have the spotlight now and waste it on popularity contest. I also feel, that there is a lot of young talent that doesn’t receive the credit they deserve for lyrically advancing the art form, if not helping to sustain it. Above all, I feel that my generation is beginning to turn into hypocrites as it relate to the “rules of the game”.
The Lord Finesse and Pete Rock situations are perfect examples.
I agree that artist should always reach out to those who did it first before they decide to remix or recreate anyone’s work. DMs on Twitter are NOT acceptable. Here is the curious part; that music is generally sampled from other older artist/musicians. No? Did Pete Rock or Lord Finesse reach out personally to these artist? Are they not just as important in this equation? Did they show them the same level of homage that they are now demanding of these younger kats? A lot of those old musicians created these melodies from scratch! Without them… there is no hip-hop.
I clearly understand the workings of the industry, and do realize that these situations are more about labels and money than Youth vs. Wisdom. I just feel like these types of things can be better dealt with on a more direct level. Hitting Twitter and blogs for attention doesn’t beat having a Lawyer serve a Label with papers.
Back to that hypocrite part…
I remember old soul singers being mad as hell at my generation because we would sample there music and make more money than they did. I was calling them Old Grumpy Men too. Then I realized that in most cases it was all about the money. Our generation completely respected their music, but it was a new day and we were trying to create music that spoke to our time. Yeah, all of it wasn’t good but a lot of good came out of it.
This is the same exact argument today. You are talking about producers and artist who are not making what they used to, so they have to get what they can. There is nothing wrong with that, but allow the youngins’ there time and the limelight. Hip-Hop music may be in a dry spell, as far as talent on a mainstream level, but Ibelieve things will get better…