Wise & Young

Saturday, August 04, 2007

State of Hip-Hop

State of Hip-Hop

Hip-Hop isn’t dead, but Coonery and Buffoonery are taking the limelight. Hip-Hop since its inception has been fundamentally an art form born out of a northern African Diaspora experience. In many ways Hip-Hop, is the reaction to the death of the Civil Rights movement. Many believe that if Martin Luther King Jr. had not been murdered he was poised to take on the northern more discrete but deeply harmful racism and discrimination that permeated the North. Many of the situations such as inadequate housing, horrible school systems, lack of jobs, and lack of economic opportunities, became the fertile ground in which Hip-Hop was born. Many urban slums during the inception of Hip-Hop resembled Kosovo, and Afghanistan rather than the United States.

What Hip-Hop did was serve as a means of escape, literally, and figuratively coloring the very living situations. Pioneers played records, made songs, and sampled up tempo songs that as basically party music. Unlike the party music of today, the songs then had an urban sensibility that an underling ethos of Hip-Hop.

“Wipe Me Down”, “Ay Bay Bay”, “Crank Dat Souljah Boy” are just examples of what currently constitutes what is being played and used as Hip-Hop. While yes like songs of the past, these are nothing more than party songs with catchy beats. But these songs display a very southern notion of their interpretation of Hip-Hop. Quite frankly, its just bad, none of these songs have any real word play, metaphors, similes, or other literally devices that other times in Hip-Hop artists have employed regardless of the type of songs they song. These rappers also do not display a desire to buy themselves into the signs of wealth currently defining one as successful. Previously a designer label, high end car, and houses which were things that people across the board could relate in their desire to attain. But with this southern interpretation of Hip-Hop there is a lack of designer and a fixation on poor southern signs of wealth, jewelry in their mouth, moderately priced but brightly colored clothing, and revamped cars.

I cannot say this new southern interpretation of Hip-Hop is going to be regarded highly in retrospect. I just can’t see 20 years from now people playing “Ay Bay Bay” and “Crank Dat Souljah Boy” with the same vigor and love as people play “OPP”, “Rappers Delight”, or any Run-DMC project. But everything serves its purpose, maybe southern Hip-Hop will coalesce a renaissance of Hip-Hop, or maybe it’s the loud obnoxious death rattle.

Just in case you are not familiar with the songs I'm talking about here they are:

"Ay Bay Bay"

"Crank Dat Souljah Boy"

"Wipe Me Down"


  • OH MY GOD! I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought these 3 songs in particular were ridiculous! I hate them. Not only are the artists saying nothing of substance, I can barely understand what is is they are trying to say at all! But people make me feel like I'm a snob when I say this stuff. LOL. Also, why is it that lately when these southern songs have "dances" that are meant to be performed with the song, the dance, quite literally is good ole shucking and jiving?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 PM  

  • I was under the impression "rappers delight" was also a song to have fun with and wasn't created to have substance. souljah boy and rest are just fun summer songs you can get together with friends and family and have a laugh and do something in common young and old.

    not everything in life has to have meaning or make a statement its just teenage kids having fun and a way to escape the screwed up reality that we are experiencing in the living as a citizen US right now and I won't go into all the problems there are too many to list and we all know what they are.

    By Blogger autoprt, at 4:33 AM  

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