I remember as a pre teen and as a teenager, putting my headphones on and pressing play on my disc man (Remember those…LOL). I would listen to my music and drift off in another world. From Nas to Bone Thugs to The Fugees, I remember when rap was real. I remember when it was authentic and not a gimmick. Rappers actually took the time to put lyrics together and come up with a concept. They spoke from their experiences and they shared their own story. It was more than just putting words together that rhymed with a hot beat. It was more about telling a story. Whether you loved or hated the story, you had to respect the stories authenticity and realness.
Since we are on the subject of authenticity, a lot of rap music nowadays completely lacks that. I feel so sorry for today’s youth. They have no idea what real music is. This is not art. From Young Thug mumbling like he’s constipated, to Lil Yachty looking like a modern day minstrel show, today’s rap music has turned into a gimmick and a get rich quick scheme. The sad part about it is that the joke is on OUR culture.
An art form that came from people being creative and making something amazing out of nothing, turning lemons into lemonade, has turned into a mockery. Where is the art form in today’s rap music? It continues to disappear. Growing up listening to people like Nas and Pac it’s hard to listen to the crap that’s on the radio today. It’s not rap or hip hop, it crap and Sh** Hop.
Today’s rap is filled with materialism and pure nonsense. It seems like anyone who can make words rhyme, come up with a catchy hook, and a good beat is a rapper these days. What happened to the days of lyricists. You know the rappers who could clearly rap without a single beat. They don’t need all the auto tune or distractions. There lyrics alone are enough to captivate a room because their words are that mesmerizing. Take away the bling, the big butts twerking in the back, the bass, and all that other mess, most rappers today don’t stand a chance. Most of them can’t even freestyle.
In the song Superstar, Lauryn Hill says it best, “Hip Hop started out in the heart, now everybody trying to chart.” You see it’s not about the love of the music anymore. It is about the love of the making quick money, and trying to be seen. The music is no longer coming from the heart. It’s coming from a place of making a quick hot song to make a quick dollar.
I applaud the rappers who stay authentic to the art of hip hop. The ones who don’t care about being mainstream. The ones who don’t care about trying to get to the top of the charts. The ones who don’t care about having a quick hot single. They would rather make music that is true to who they are, and that will resonate with our culture. They would rather be lyricists and artists than the next hot rapper for the moment. I salute these type of rappers because they will never get the recognition they deserve. They are the ones who will keep real rap music alive.
Leena is a Midwestern girl that believes in being and speaking positivity in her life. She enjoys writing, being a mommy, and most of all being a child of God and a black queen.