Millennials not to blame for fall of hip-hop

Cory Alexander Haywood ow staff writer | 3/1/2018, midnight

“Tremendous cream, fuck a dollar and a dream

Still tote gats strapped with infrared beams

Choppin’ O’s, smokin’ lye an’ optimo’s

Money hoes and clothes all a nigga knows a foolish pleasure, whatever

I had to find the buried treasure, so grams I had to measure

However living better now Gucci sweater now

Drop top BM’s I’m the man girlfriend”

Much like his rival Smalls, Tupac often vacillated between conscious rap and the much darker alternative, immersing himself in a harmful mix of street life, opulence, and promiscuity. In the raunchy 1993 hit, “I Get Around,” he articulates the following:

“All respect to those who break they neck

To keep they hos in check

‘Cause, hos, they sweat a brotha majorly and I don’t know why, your girl keeps paging me.

She tell me that she needs me

Cries when she leaves me

And every time she sees me, she squeeze me.

Lady take it easy”

Back in the Day

There were a handful of storytellers during the 1980’s (Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane come to mind) who covered themselves in furs, gold necklaces, shiny rings, and velour track suits. They birthed the genesis of “ghetto extravagance.”

Girls, fast cars, flashy clothes, booze and jewelry (in no particular order) were the staple ingredients of your typical rap song during the latter half of the 1990’s, and the lyricists who are admired most by hip hop fans are partially responsible for “dumbing down” the once meaningful nature of this sound.

The 90’s generation opened a can of worms that spilled into the new millennium and permeated urban culture. Rappers from the early 2000’s onward used hip hop purely as a ladder to gain wealth and fame. These benefits quickly advanced to the forefront of rap, replacing the original purpose for this craft – enlightenment.

Whether the focus was police brutality, racial discrimination, or the struggle of living in poverty, rap music was once an outlet for gifted wordsmiths to reveal their truths to society. It started with profound intentions and noble aspirations, but the integration of “bling” spawned negative results.

The proverbial torch now belongs to a new generation of young twenty-somethings who value the curve of dollar signs more than delivering quality material. This mindset isn’t a new phenomenon – it’s the extension of a culture that stretches over three long decades.