Response to “Hip-Hop is dead”

Compare these videos and notice that they are all considered “hip-hop.” The first one is what current mainstream hip-hop is at. While the next few show what real hip-hop is all about, the story, purpose, and passion in the music. While I don’t think hip-hop is dead, I think mainstream hip-hop has deeply digressed away from what it was. I’m not sure when these videos were released and I know that these artists weren’t the original fathers of hip-hop, but the point of this response post is to show what hip-hop has become in relation to underground artists who practice similar techniques of what hip-hop used to be. 


6 Responses to “Response to “Hip-Hop is dead””

  1. IMMORTAL TIQ, JEDI MIND TRICKS, both pretty chill artist, i have both of those songs, Aesop is the best of course, holy smokes father, black suit white collar, kiddy porn dungeons and 3 fingers for your daughter. to sick, that is one of my favorite bars of all time. i posted freeze on the blog, just wondering if you saw it. i am glad that we have some thinkers in the audience.

  2. astrangerwithcandy Says:

    Aesop is good, he’s not the best. It’s way to difficult to label someone as the best in this day and age unless you’ve listened to every single emcee ever. There are dudes who get even less recognition that Aesop, even though just as gifted. You might want to look into dudes like Qwel, iCON The Mic King, Count Bass D, and Mikah 9 for starters.

    P.S- Aesop is coming down to pipeline in January with Cage and El-P.

  3. camouflageculture Says:

    The funny thing about a lot of the durty south rap that is now mainstream is that if you heard it delivered live by that mc in some grimy club (nothing but red lights and the occasional strobe, bass *killing you*) you’d *never* mistake it for anything less than “real” hip-hop.

    because the “story” of this kind of club rap is blues based in that by its very existence it argues (but doesn’t necessarily prove) that the mc has *survived* “the streets.” it is, on some level, therefore celebratory. and if you were in that club listening to that mc (also probably drunk and kinda horny), you’d be so deep in that local culture that you’d know whether he was lying or not…

    so what we’re dealing with is the damage done by the music video as a medium of advertising and fantasy maintenance. this layer of virtuality — of camouflage — has actually disconnected various aspects of hip-hop…

    those who “know” are well aware that a skilled dj could put the four tracks above into a mix and make you FEEL IT, *despite* the content expressed in their respective videos.

    on another note… it is significant that two of the latter three tracks are not projecting any images at all! they focus you on the lyrics… and the immortal technique clip is practically a documentary! this versus the long tail of hype williams inspired slo-mo-ho bling.

    but if you *listen* to the first emcee… you’ll start to feel something. you don’t have to like it… but he isn’t wallowing in self pity either!

  4. astrangerwithcandy Says:

    thanks for the hip hop lesson camo. you know your stuff

    to be fair though, I don’t think that those two videos were made without imagery in hopes of making you focus on the lyrics. they were just uploaded so you could listen to the song if you couldn’t find it elsewhere. plenty of underground emcees have really fantastical videos, while still emphasizing the lyrics.

    i also want to say that r.a the rugged man absolutely killed that j.m.t track. oh, and immortal tech’s 3rd world album is nasty.

  5. joocebawks Says:

    Yeah, I don’t think the last three were the official videos either. I think they were made so people could listen to the music.

    Anyways, I hardly think the last three were “wallowing in self pity.” I thought of it more as informative and telling people how things are, or were (in the case of vietnam).

    I have never been to a live rap show, so the point you made was interesting and got me thinking. However, I was speaking more about the actual words that they are saying, the significance they hold, and the just plain effort and talent that was put in these different songs. Personally, the horrors of war, religion, and street culture seem a bit more significant than how big the other guys rims are or how much money he has. Additionally, If you just listen to what they are saying the rhymes seem so much more thought out structured rather than just copy pasting what every other mainstream rapper is doing nowadays.

    I understand how outside factors may play a role when perceiving the music such as how “drunk” you are or even the venue itself. However, just the lyrics alone show the vast difference in talent. Of course, music is all about personal preference, so if the first video is what someone likes then more power to them. I just simply want people to recognize were rap has gone in relation to were it has been.

  6. I agree that there is alot of talent underground. 3 good artist. I do agree that the bling and booty shaking of most main stream hip hop artists does seem to dumb down their lyrics even further. However, the percentage of mainstream artists really saying something is going down. Since everyone is reppin’ their underground idols, sage francis is also one of my favorites.


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