There has been so much going on in Hip Hop over the summer and it’s been pretty unpredictable. I’ve been paying attention to a lot of what has been both good and bad for the culture. Rap music has been able to fuse the new and the old or at least show signs that the two are actually coming together. From classic lyricists dropping music every weekend to full on certified battle! However nothing can top Ghostface Killah reprimanding Action Bronson for making negative remarks following an on-air appearance. What was even better was Poppa Wu speaking with Bronson only a few days ago. The best part about the summer could be when that video of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) challenging every single artist in the game to a real battle; probably in a cypher out in a Brooklyn park. That woke up every Hip Hop fan! Even a lot of mainstream Rappers were even trying to find a pen to use. It was upsetting knowing that someone released the video without his consent thus voiding the challenge. Yet another video finds Mos actually rhymed and reiterated that he is in fact better than every hot Rapper right now.
We have lost a great lyricist and emcee in Sean Price, member of Heltah Skeltah. Price was also another classic emcee who was still active with his pen and releasing current music. Sadly, he was overlook like a lot of quality lyricists today. They get swallowed up in the mainstream takeover but I digress. The passing of Sean Price was definitely unexpected and shocking. The release of the movie version of Straight Outta Compton reminds us that the west coast is still here amidst the southern sounds coming out of Atlanta. Hip Hop in On the Horizon details a lot of recent happenings in Rap music and Hip Hop Culture. I see a lot of the emcees and lyricists are able to navigate technology a lot better now. Utilizing more than social media but harnessing the power of streaming and cloud technology. What they are realizing is that they still have a fan base and most of them know this and have been releasing music consistently for at least the past five years.
What I want to know is what is Hip Hop going to do next? Our people are out here getting killed in jails and on our streets! Recently Dr. Dre announced that all the proceeds from the Compton album will be donated for the construction of a community center in the city that focuses on arts and entertainment. That’s nice but I need someone to voice their honest opinions about politics and social issues! How can there be people like Donald Trump who can say anything without any repercussions. Just because he’s wealthy he get’s to have true freedom of speech or is it because of his skin color and who he represents? There are plenty of people who are ready and willing to vote for Donald Trump as some of them have been waiting a long time for him to run! Sean Carter could never run for President of the United States even though his background is cleaner than a lot of politicians’. Nobody is talking about Sandra Bland or even Samuel Dubose while some of us have moved on to the next police murder. I see Talib Kweli, Common, Rapsody, Bun B and others performed at the Ferguson is Everywhere concert honoring Michael Brown, Jr. in an effort to keep his memory alive.
Hip Hop needs to make the next big move. This is Hip Hop chess and we need a RZA! The way the entertainment industry is appropriating culture today I can see major labels trying to scoop up every “conscious” Rapper they can find. They are going to try and make conscious Rap the popular thing and water it down thus watering down the message. They will allow us to use our voice but only in a limited manner on particular events and subjects. They are going to try to control your consciousness and derail the efforts of the movement because they know that Hip Hop and Rap music is the key! That’s why I mentioned chess because we as a culture, a community, and a people have to stay one step ahead. We can’t keep getting caught slipping. We can’t keep slipping! I know recent events in the Black community have an effect on today’s Rappers and I know they have feelings about every murder they hear. We can’t keep carrying these burdens that’s what Hip Hop is for to express yourself! Express your mind your thought and opinions. Use that to take Rap music and Hip Hop what it was intended for, to ensure health, love, awareness, and wealth for generations to come.