I am back home and happy: I just acquired my brand new issue of the UK’s best known hip hop mag, The Hip Hop Connection, and started enjoying a few articles, plus two free CDS. That’s something. At least for hip hop lovers like meâ€¦however, I came across an article entitled Should old school rappers be forced to retire? that kinda shocked me, or more precisely, some ideas that the article mentioned above conveyed.
It looks like a specific category of persons in the hip hop industry do think that the rap game is only a young man s game.
Little did you know about hip hop if you really think so- that’s my point-and I will give you some valid arguments to feed your reflection on this theme.
If it is totally true that a few old school rappers are incapable of renewing their themes and don t seem to evolve with their time, one should consider that many old school masters are very much needed to perfect the game.
Yes, it is true, Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come is probably one of the most annoying and distasteful album I recently heard. But talking about Jay-Z s recent lack of imagination doesn t allow people to talk about old school rappers as a whole.
Don t misunderstand me: I am not against new talents. As the passionate music journalist I actually am, I am always in search of new talents. I like to discover young, talented emcees in the jungle of the undiscovered. However, I am convinced that, as much talented as emcees from the new generations might be, they need to learn a lot of techniques from their predecessors. As well as old school rappers learnt from The Godfather of Soul, James Brown and from George Clinton, for instance, new school rappers need to learn from the giants in the rap game.
A reader of XXL( shame on him) implied that Nas was a dinosaur and that he should live with it. It was meant: he can fuck off with his old themes and should stop saying that hip hop is dead, because he is not very open minded towards the current evolution of the rap game!
My point is: if you are incapable of valuating geniuses like Nas and respect their criticism of hip hop, I am not sure that you really have the maturity needed to fully get their point and to understand where those people come from. As a consequence, you will probably also lack a clear vision of the current rap game too.
Nas has been acclaimed for his great, researched lyricism. His first album, Illmatic, should be a model of inspiration for any emcee who wants to make some real hip hop. Nasir Jones deserves respect for his amazing skills and for always reminding African Americans of their African roots.
How can you stab an amazing lyricist like Nas when you are so far under his radar? First sit down, listen to his music and learn from him. Then you might be entitled to constructive criticism towards him.
I doubt that the game would be the same without Dr Dre. Are you going to tell Dr Dre that he is too old to rap or to produce any track? Just shut up!
Newcomers might bring loads of creativity and new themes in their music, but I doubt that any of them will ever make the same dope ass beats that are so typical to his music.
Yes, the rap game needs to renew itself with a new breed of inventive and skilled emcees, but it would be nothing without the giants that made the game.
If you don’t pay respect to people like Grandmaster Flash who initiated the very beginnings of hip hop, I am not really sure that you will be capable of appreciating the most contemporary forms of rap music to the fullest.
All those people made the game. They are the pioneers. Don t prompt to put their Cds in the trash, rather learn from their accumulated knowledge and wisdom over the years!
Copyright2007 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved