The genre of Rap music comes in many different forms but there is a huge misconception that it all falls under the term “Hip-Hop” which couldn’t be further from the truth. Hip-Hop in itself goes way beyond just being music and speaks the voices of those who have been embedded in its culture from its beginnings.
From the Dj to the MC to the B-Boy to the Graffiti artist, hip-hop speaks from the soul to the soul of the urban communities it was born in. Since its inception it has influenced many other areas of society who have have taken it and created their own variation of the original but those variations can no longer be called the same name as the original because they do not represent the same thing that true hip-hop represents.
Hip-Hop was created to speak the truth of the urban situations and struggles as a voice for those society would rather have silenced. Musically it was known as the “ghetto gospel” bringing attention to the plight and historical omissions of its people who are too often pushed under the proverbial rug.
Although it is a form of Rap music, historically hip-hop has been known to go against the grain, not with it and to say the things that most are afraid to say. Once it became evident that hip-hop was more than just a passing fad and became a powerful force influencing more than just urban culture spreading itself way beyond its original borders into popular culture, certain forces within the music industry sought to silence its voice by taking its soul and pushing it into the background replacing it with their versions of it but still packaging and passing it off as hip-hop.
There are many sub-genres that fall under the umbrella of Rap music but not all of those sub-genres fit the definition of hip-hop. Currently you have bounce, trap, strip club, pop and other variations that are considered Rap music but are mistakenly labeled as hip-hop. Each year award shows like the Grammy’s give an award for Best Rap Album but never award artists that make hip-hop such as Nas, Wu-Tang, J. Cole and many others who keep it in its true form. In 2014 the artist Kendrick Lamar, who released the hottest hip-hop album of the year and deserved to win the award, was passed up for the artist Maclemore whose album did do very well and spoke to a large audience but did not embellish or embrace the core audience that created and made Rap music popular in the first place which is Hip-Hop, causing Kendrick Lamar to come back in 2015 and release a single that was not created to speak to his core audience but to the pop audience in order to, in my opinion, possibly gain more consideration from those who decide who wins the Grammy in the Best Rap categories.
Now you have a new form of rap music and a lifestyle developing which promotes homosexuality as a fad amongst young men, stripping and lesbianism as a fad amongst young girls & women and the popular use of prescription and designer drugs. This is the latest variation of the original hip-hop that they are trying to pass off and label as hip-hop. They have confused and diluted the genre so much that people don’t even know what hip-hop truly is anymore. Now I’m not going to say that these other forms don’t have a right to have a voice but I will say they do not have a right to be passed off as hip-hop and that it is a blatant insult to label these other forms as such meanwhile shunning and shutting out the form they all copied in order to create theirs.
Let Hip-Hop be Hip-Hop. Let its voice be heard on a fair playing field and let all the others find a name of their own instead of confusing the people into thinking they are what they aren’t.
Written by Corey “Drumz” Banks
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