A Tribe Called Quest. Common. Gangstarr. Rakim. Nas. Slick Rick. The Pharcyde. De La Soul. The list could go on and on and be up for debate as to who the illest of all time is, but that’s not what this is about. Originally hip-hop was an outlet for MC’s to hype up their DJ, spit about their neighborhood, and with artist like Public Enemy, talk about what’s going on in society in general. Over the years, this common thread of hip-hop fell to the pits of the underground and was taking over by media giants controlling what artist released to the masses. At the same time, “gangster” rap emerged and began to fill the air waves with drugs, violence and hoes and people soon forgot what real hip-hop was when they were in the club shouting “To the Windoooows … . To the waaaaaaaalls  … Till the sweat drips off my  … . .”

As commercial rap is here to stay, young and new artist are beginning to emerge from the cracks of the once called underground scene. But, who is really “underground.” It’s just a matter of time, with consistent persistence that their voice will begin to be heard by the masses and they are now in the realm of “commercial.” You can go back to when the Black Eyed Peas turned pop or when Jay-Z had to “dumb-down” his music to make it appealing to the masses, after Reasonable Doubt. The result? A lasting career obviously. But, it seems that the state of hip-hop has changed once again. Artist like Kanye West, hate him or love him, helped paved the way for new artist today to release prolific music by sticking to his roots and love for real hip-hop. Was he met with much adversity? You bet! Even from his own label mates, but guess what? He had a long-term vision and knew where he wanted to take his career, even though people looked at him as a Producer/Rapper. Something like Swizz Beats, Timbaland or Pharrell coming out with their own albums after a successful run of being a producer. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Going back on Mr. West’s track record, his music clearly paints a picture of encouragement to be a “Champion,” to be “Stronger,” and to “Touch the Sky.”

(Disclaimer .: Southern artist like: UGK, Outkast, T.I, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, and Lil Boosie, do encourage following your dreams and goals in life until they come to fruition, so lets not discriminate!)

So now its time to be “cliché.” Artist like Drake, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Chip the Ripper, to name a few, have followed the same path that Ye’ layed out for them. Sticking to their roots and love for music as a whole and not allowing themselves to be conformed by the patterns of the music industry. Through their trials and tribulations, these artists speak from the heart, carry their cities on their back and share their struggle that has pushed them into the position they uphold today.

Everyone hasn’t stopped talking about Drake since last summer, but what is it that brought him to the forefront of the masses? How about approximately 4 years of hard work, self-discipline and dedication to be the best he could be. Dating back to 2006 when Aubrey “Drake” Graham released his first mixtape, “Room For Improvement,” he clearly knew he had a long ways to go before reaping the enormous rewards he is gra

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