No, I did not misspell the title of today’s Center Stage blog. I believe that a new day is here for us Hip Hop fans. As our society continues to evolve, so does everything else and the music that we love is not excluded. Every genre of music is bound to evolve as new artists who represent new generations of people step onto the music scene. Artists that bring new sounds and new presentations of the music that we know and love. Hip Hop has been criticized I would say for the better part of a decade now and you will sometimes hear someone say, “Hip Hop is dead!” Yes, in the case of the Hip Hop that most of us grew up on in the 80s and 90s, I would say that era of Hip Hop is certainly a dying breed.
Instead of saying Hip Hop is dead, I would say that Hip Hop is just evolving. What Hip Hop is evolving into is a totally different question on its own. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I feel that Hip Hop is going into the direction of a fusion with the style and presentation of Pop music, hence the name “Hip Pop.” The old-school Hip Hop will never die because you will always have artists and fans alike who have a love, respect, and appreciation for the art form that came before them. I would say that Hip Pop will be the music genre that dominates the mainstream airwaves and gets the most hype for many years to come.
Hip Pop is not on the horizon, it’s here and some of you may not even realize it. What is Hip Pop? Well, if I had to describe Hip Pop in two words, I can give you 2 options on what picture would stand next to the definition of Hip Pop: Kanye West or Cash Money. Hip Pop is a reflection of today’s culture. Hip Pop is more of a culture than it is an art form of music, but it is a genre that will dominate the mainstream for many years to come because the culture is reflected through Hip Pop. You look at Kanye West and he produces great Hip Hop music, but you can’t look beyond the fact that he acts like an arrogant petulant child whenever you hear him talk or act out in public. He is self-absorbed and sees himself as a “rockstar” and I am not going to argue with him there. Why should I? The media and fans treats him as such.
And look at Cash Money Records. Can you even say Nicki Minaj and Drake are pure Hip Hop artists anymore with the way they are presented and the music that they put out? There is a reason that out of all of the artists that are signed to the Cash Money label, besides Wayne, these two are the only ones that really get any major backing by the label. It’s because Hip Pop music is what is in and it is the type of music and style that these two portray best more than any other artist on YMCMB. And look how much Lil’ Wayne has changed his look and presentation of his music over the years. These are artist that are looked at as larger than life “rockstars” with a Hip Hop ora, but their music no longer embodies true Hip Hop in my opinion. Their music is altered to fit what our culture accepts and let me tell you, our culture is welcoming Hip Pop with open arms.
I have to warn you that Hip Pop music is not going to make sense because it is not supposed to make sense. The new generation of artists and young fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Who wants to think anymore and listen to a message behind the vocals? Most young people in today’s culture just want to immerse themselves in the music and treat the Hip Hop artist that they idolize like icons.
I do not think Hip Pop is a bad thing. I like many of the songs that I hear from Kanye, Drake, and many other artists who are taking Hip Hop in a new direction. I like it because it expands on what we already have and allows us to listen to something different that we haven’t yet been exposed to. Hip Pop can be looked at as an artist’s exploration of their creativity while trying to appeal to the mainstream and stay true to the foundation of Hip Hop whether it be through music or image.
There is no telling where the future of this Hip Pop genre is going because it has just begun. I believe with Hip Pop you are going to see the envelope get pushed a little more; bringing back a little bit of the aggressive nature displayed by old-school Hip Hop while at the same time you will get new sounds and new attitudes from a new wave of artists. The constant word with Hip Pop is “new” and it will be interesting to see how this new evolution of Hip Hop continues to evolve overtime.