What is HipHop today??????? Is the culture still relevant? Are the 4 elements still a thing??
HipHop in 2021 is a very different thing than it was in 1995, musically & culturally. Although a lot of the core fundamentals still remain so much has changed sometimes it's almost unrecognizable to some of us older heads with a more dare I say classic view.
Each generation has always had a stamp & contribution that they have added & helped it stay an ever evolving organism, but has this always been for the best??
From the DJ being the star & foundation to crews party rockin as a unit seamlessly to the Rap star with the DJ/Producer in the background to cuts & turntablism being almost completely gone to the birth of further Emcee/Rapper based subcultures such as Trap & Drill, in its 50 odd years HipHop has seen a lot of change.
So where does all this leave the culture? Does that really matter???
HipHop has always been a youth movement, without age limits but was created by young people & has really kept those sensibility even as it has matured. So it should be no surprise that each generation brings a new bunch of Kings & Queens of the culture who tweak the standards & a lot of the time up the bar for the next generation.
What it took 10 or 20 years ago to be a top tier Emcee or artist now won't always get you through alone like it once did, artist are bringing a very broad range on projects compared to what it once took to be considered one of the greats of their era or achieve very high sales, not that that defines success but when we are talking GOAT status Blaq Poet is one thing but to put him up against Jigga is not quite rite different galaxies if you catch my drift.
Nowadays things are very different kids could consider Travis Scott, Kid Cudi or Juice WRLD a goat figure but in the 90s lyrically these artists might not have made the cut but today the whole package they present is so powerful that these are the artists considered Rap stars of this generation & your more technical traditional Emcees have far less appeal.
What about artists like J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler The Creator & so on all have massive range musically. All of these artists are extremely lyrically technical but all of these artists tackle varied sorts of flows & styles from Hard boom bap battle lyrics to melodic Trap or Turn up & even dashes of soul/punk or Rock melding genres together pushing boundaries & redefining how Rap is seen & Rap albums are made & structured.
So what do you say? Do sales matter? Is Polo G as good as Immortal Technique? Is HipHop more simple now or has the playing field changed & artist need a lot more tricks up their sleeves??
Most importantly has HipHop lost its roots? Or are they stronger than ever??