By Nicole Weber
Rapper Nas claimed ‘Hip Hop is Dead’ on December 19th of 2006, with the release of his album titled his exact claim.
Songs like Eminem’s “Sing for the Moment” clipping a piece of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” which uses a clip of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” is just one example of the lack of originality sparking from the hip-hop world. Auto-tuning which was created by Antares Audio Technologies was popular in the ‘80s was revamped with the rapper/hype man T-Pain. T-Pain’s auto-tuned imaged then inspired Kanye West to do the same thing and the recycling continues.
With the modern day pattern of hip-hop, most songs only spit about money, sex, and violence.
In a study conducted by the University of Chicago called the Black Project, leader Cathy Cohen says, “the overwhelming majority of young people agree with the statement: ‘Rap music videos contain too many references to sex.’” Statistics from the study showed 72 percent of black and hispanic youth agreed with that statement, while 68 percent of white youth agreed with that statement.
The image of hip-hop, which use to not only be a genre of music but also lifestyle, has changed so much from the start that was born in the mid 1970’s.
“I understand why people are saying that,” referring to hip-hop’s hypothetical death, says Keshagen Adderly also known as DJ Nuff Sed in Nassau, Bahamas. “Everything that is coming out is just copying someone else and a lot of songs are just saying ‘snap with it,’ ‘dance with it,” says Adderly.
Nas says in a video with online community ‘Hardknock’ that new up and coming rappers aren’t thinking about the career as a rapper, but rather expect to achieve it over night. Nas also says he believes most new rappers are doing it for the money and fame.
“[Hip-hop] is moving away from substance,” says Adderly who adds that hip-hop is shifting from the initial movement and idea of explaining where you’re from and how they go to where they are today.
Adderly says, rappers “shouldn’t do a Mims and be proud to make a mil without saying nothing on the track.”
Not everyone agrees with notion that hip-hop’s genre died out or that it will.
“Album sales are very successful,” says Phillip Suruda. “Additions aren’t killing hip-hop. Music is always evolving; it will never be as it was in the past,” says Suruda.
Even Nas said he believes hip-hop can be resurrected or saved with rappers the Game, Kanye West, E-40 Snoop Dogg, and even Jay-Z/Hovi.
Adderly comments in retrospect on the new rappers coming out today, “if you’re going to be a good artist you would want to feed the people, give them substance, make money by doing what you love. “Making music that people would love [forever]; not just music that will be here today and gone tomorrow.”
For more information on people who believe hip-hop is still kicking and fully booming you can visit an online blog: http://hiphopisntdead.blogspot.com.