Respect old-school hip-hop music

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

Everywhere I go I hear the newest radio hits in hip-hop music, and I barely, if ever, hear the classics anymore. I enjoy a lot of the current hip-hop/rap artists, but there is no denying that a large portion of it is uninspired radio music. While some current rappers in the game are true MCs, some have lost their roots and just make pop music, so it will be popular.

One thing I always found odd about my generation is the lack of appreciation for old school hip-hop from the 1980s and 1990s. That, along with the rap music from the early 2000s, is what I grew up with, and I will always appreciate that music more than the modern-day rap music scene.

I wasn’t even born yet when these albums debuted, but after listening to them my whole life and doing an abundance of research, it is obvious to me at least that generation of hip-hop is true hip-hop. Obviously, people still listen to rap legends like Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, but most of the old-school artists have been forgotten. You will most likely never hear Nas, The Fugees, Grand Master Flash, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Eazy-E or Bone Thugs N Harmony in any social setting anymore.

I realized this unfortunate aspect about our generation a few years ago when I was at a house party in my hometown. We were all just having a good time, hanging out and listening to some music. My friends and I were playing classic east coast hip-hop, and some of the people either had a confused or scared look on their faces (that might be because of the violent lyrics). Someone took the aux cord away from us and started playing some normal radio hit, and everyone seemed oddly relieved about it.

The gangster rap generation is the best generation of hip-hop, but there are some possible reasons for its obscurity in our generation. Like the violent lyrical content I mentioned above, some people might be turned off by that because modern-day rap has sort of phased out the violent aspect of the lyrics. Also, the most obvious reason being that this music is not our generation’s music. When we were kids, the biggest rappers in the game were 50 Cent, The Game, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem, and now the biggest rappers are Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone and J Cole. So, we do not have the connection past generations had with the classics.

The modern-day rappers in the music scene are, for the most part, amazing, and I still appreciate this music generation significantly, but our generation needs to respect and appreciate the classics. I am still waiting for the day that I walk into a house or bar and I hear “Shook Ones” coming from the speakers, but that day may never come. While I truly appreciate the rappers in the game currently, I would rather sit back and listen to Illmatic any day.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].