Hip hop has been a force in the music world since the late ’70s and early ’80s and has now worked its way into our mainstream pop music. However, in the last few years hip hop has seemed a little uninspired. People would often ask me to play some new hip hop but couldn’t come up with a song they specifically wanted to hear. This said two things to me: That people still desired a hip hop sound that could transport them to places no other genre of music can, and that their desire was not being met.
But as is the case with most music, hip hop lives in cycles, and these days it seems to be finding its voice again. Kanye West took a huge artistic leap on his last album, and even Jay-Z, who is now in his 40s, can’t leave hip hop alone. There is also a younger generation coming up who can make popular hip hop that has some substance. Not everyone is going to like the message, but wasn’t that the point when hip hop first hit our ears, to rebel against the status quo? In 2006, Nas made an album called Hip Hop Is Dead, but in 2013 it seems to be rising from the ashes.
“Blood on the Leaves”
Kid Cudi feat. King Chip
“Just What I Am”
“Money and the Power”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert
Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar
Tinie Tempah feat. 2 Chainz
Originally published in October 2013