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Lyrical Renaissance

A lot has been happening over the last few days but we don’t cover rumors, we only tackle issues or at least try to create awareness and educate our readers on the culture. Lyricism became the basis of the culture after the role of the emcee had to be expanded once the dee jay began to evolve. Emcees and lyricists like Grandmaster Caz, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, LL Cool J, & Nas used words, grammar, and poetry along with their overall command of the English language to move the culture and the genre forward. As the culture approaches its fiftieth birthday in the next few years who is moving the culture and the genre forward with their use and creativity with the English language. Lyrics never completely left the genre thanks to Rappers like Jay Z, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, T.I., Pusha T, Talib Kweli, and others who have been putting out music consistently throughout the “Crunk” and “Snap” eras. When Big Sean dropped “Control” and everyone heard Kendrick Lamar’s verse it was believed that in that moment K. Dot brought lyricism back into the forefront of the genre.

This may have been the beginning of the “Lyrical Renaissance.” Young people have been coming to the conclusion that words matter and this is resulting in a race to see who can sprinkle the most words in their bars. Some rappers of new era are annunciating their words and those who can rap are actually, rapping. There are a lot of the younger artists who can rap but they don’t because that’s not profitable. Ski Mask the Slump God is a great example of someone from the new wave that has bars but can also do melodies and party raps. When I hear one of the younger rappers rhyme over a Timbaland or a Neptunes beat that is impressive. Not all of the “old school” beats are boom-bap and I that is a misconception. Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and J Dilla have some of the most soulful beats. Mind you there are many many many dee jays and producers that came up in the early nineties and early 2000s that have classic beats that aren’t boom-bap but allow the emcee to breathe on an instrumental and say something worth hearing.

This Lyrical Renaissance has been going on since the early part of the decade and just like the Harlem Renaissance it will be going on for several more years. This will bring the culture back to the forefront and hopefully a lot of the money that is being exchanged will reach the hands that deserve it. More words correlate to more active listening, more understanding, more overstanding, and more knowledge. Education is one of our Four Initiatives and is the basis for everything we do here at The Society and if the music is going to start reflecting the importance of said education we have to support those artists that are trying to teach our youth. We are approaching a pivotal moment where we can put some “respek” back on the culture and the genre. Not allowing major corporations to profit off of the culture without giving back or showing some respect to us and our community. Who’s calling for a boycott Wendy’s? Wendy’s has never embraced the culture but they have always gotten our Black and Brown Hip Hop dollars.

“Uh, it’s a new black renaissance.” – Childish Gambino (Move That Dope/Nextel Chirp/Let Your Hair Blow)

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