March 13, 2011
Growing up in the 1980’s and the 90’s I became a huge fan of Hip-Hop music. My friends and I used to sit around for hours listening to our favorite rappers on the radio and watching the videos on television. We would argue for hours about who was a better lyricist and why. Now as I have grown older and the music I have grown to love and still listen to has changed, I find myself asking a very good question. What has changed in Hip-Hop from the time I was started listening to now? The answer is as complex as it is simple, the music itself has changed. The Hip-Hop music of today seems to be more commercial as opposed to being artistic and message driven.
In the late 1980’s into the 90’s, Hip-Hop was starting to really take off and be recognized as a powerful voice for the young people of America. Public Enemy and various artists referred to the music as the “CNN of the ghetto”. There was a lot of diversity in the music in terms of artists and the message that was being delivered through the music. Artists like Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, X-Clan and Boogie Down Productions rhyming about uplifting the African American race and the problems that faced an entire race. Public Enemy’s record, Fight the Power, symbolized the attitude of the young people living in the ghetto neighborhoods around the country. Hip-Hop at this time was the vehicle relaying the message that Black people were tired of being overlooked and treated like they were less than nothing. You had songs that spoke to the core of the anger of an entire race of people who not scared to say what was on their minds and were not concerned about making money. Another song that spoke to being original and creative would be A Tribe Called Quests’ “Scenario”. This song featured verses from Busta Rhymes’ and The Leaders of The New School. The song was and still is one of the favorites of people who grew up...