I am new to the blogging and Global Grind family, but I have been following it everyday since the start, as well as the hip hop culture and community for the past 8 years or so. I love music and clothing and everything about hip hop. One thing I love about hip hop, is that it evolves.
Junior year of high school we had to do research papers for English class, and I chose to do the history and evolution of hip hop. I did a lot of research and became more and more knowledgeable about it. What I learned in particular, is that everything about it evolves.
Let’s go back to the early 90s, the era of gangsta rap. N.W.A., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and all of the West Coast originators founded a new unheard of genre of music. It had a banging beat along with hard, message-filled rhymes.
Now let’s fast forward to the early 2000s. when Kanye West broke on the scene, many people called him the Leader of the ‘New School’ a term unheard of. His beats that he produced and the sounds that he put together combining samples from old jazz classics as well as some funk. He had incredible commercial success with each of his first three albums, then 808s and Heartbreak was released. Many people weren’t sure quite what the response would be. The use of auto-tune throughout the whole album added a new popularity to the music industry, although first made commercially popular by T-Pain.
Kanye is such an incredibly talented artist, and through his producing and sound and ability as an artist, he had no problem with gaining respect. Jay-Z, his mentor, was in the studio when he did the song ‘D.O.A.’ and Kanye told him to go hard and Jay came out with ‘Death of Autotune’ I agree with him in the sense that autotune may be overused nowadays, but it is still a part of music, it just can’t take away from it. When it comes to the fact that artists say ‘If I just use autotune, it will sound better and be more commercial’ that’s when you know it has gone south, and Jay-Z summed it up in that song.
The next step in the evolution of Hip Hop music was the internet. Youtube created so many options for so many artists, but most notably (Everyone knows who I’m talking about!) ‘Youuuuu…!’ Soulja Boy Tell’em! A young musician from the ATL who persevered and made the famous ‘Crank That’ instructional video along with his song which swept the nation! At my freshman homecoming dance (which would have been the fall of 2006) everyone was doing the dance! The song went multiple times platinum and to date, is one of the top 5 most famous dances, if not the top! Soulja Boy utilized the internet, starting his website and posting lots of videos to his youtube page. Now he has evolved into the CEO of his company SODMG and continues to have immense commercial success. People can say what they want about Soulja Boy being wack and garbage, whatever. But I admire all of his success and he continues to kill beats and make that money! Shout out to Soulja Boy for all those twitter followers!
Call it what you want, but Hip Hop has evolved and still is. Nas said ‘Hip Hop is Dead,’ but it is very much alive! It continues to grow from all age ranges, with rappers who are starting as early as Wayne did, such as his team member from Young Money, Lil Chuckee along with Lil Twist and of course, Diggy Simmons!
Everyone keep doing your thing!