This year was an eventful 365 days for the culture. 2018 brought us a lot of things we’d never thought we see from two Black Thought solo projects to a death toll of at least 18 Rappers. The youth have made it clear that they’ve heard our concerns about where they were taking the culture and they responded by championing what they have dubbed, “lyrical Rap”. The latest sub-genre of the culture has found a home with great emcees like; Vince Staples, Dave East, JID, Mick Jenkins, Westside Gunn, and many others. This year’s Grammy nominations reflected the culture with Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap and Pusha T’s DAYTONA being the top contenders in the Best Rap Album category. In 2018 Hip Hop was officially named the top music genre in the world although I believe that the mainstream was late on that one the culture has left its mark on large corporations like never before.
Where will we go from here? 2019 will bring forth a new set of challenges and Hip Hop’s independence has been tested the past couple of years. Nothing has changed and all we do is point fingers. As a community we can become so easily distracted and we miss a lot of red flags focusing on Trump, Kanye, and Tekashi69. The Super Bowl halftime show is proof that no matter how strong we are as a collective that there is always someone willing and ready to take whatever cash is being offered. As members of the culture living in the United States of America we live in a perpetual state of dependence that we diminish any power that we have. Be it economic, political, or social it is all diluted with product and misconstrued by mass media. Despite the music getting better young people are still being disrespectful to those who came before them.
Money only moves those who don’t have any. Young people get out of pocket, this we know, but as the elders we must learn how to correct them in public and in private. Hip Hop’s presence in 2019 has to be bigger and better every year. That’s the resolution. The best thing we can learn about Atlanta based artists is unification. New York, California, Texas, and Virginia artists need to support each other more and collaborate. We support who we want to support based on affiliations and personal relationships. We need to build on relationships within the culture and block out those trying to separate us. Not everyone is a culture vulture but not everyone is about sustaining and cultivating the culture for the future.
“I’m tryna make next year the greatest story ever told.” – Big Sean (What A Year)