The demand for the eighty and nineties style of Hip Hop and Rap music became obvious in 2011 and culminated into what is now labeled mumble Rap. People were begging for Golden Era Hip Hop. So much so that Rap music changed slightly to include more lyrical Emcees and promote their projects. There was even backlash against mumble Rappers after a handful of new young rappers came onto the scene with the same style. I’ve noticed a pattern of that over the years. Once a new style of Rap emerges a handful of them come onto the music scene simultaneously and we the public latch on to whichever artist has their music played on the radio the most. So with the digital age “old school” Rappers and Emcees have to reinvent themselves and a lot of them are doing so based off our need and the demand for nineties and eighties Hip Hop and Rap music. Over the past five years there have been a slew of documentaries, television series and specials, album anniversary celebratory releases, and movies dedicated to Hip Hop and Rap music pre-Y2K.
Thanks to the independent spirit of Hip Hop a lot of these projects are released without major need for backing by major film companies. Your money is mostly going to the artist providing them a new stream of revenue. Providing them the ability to feed their families and send their children to college. Artist get almost nothing from their streams and a lot of artist not just Rappers have to or have had to go back and negotiate a sometimes a new contract with the label(s) for their rightful monies from streaming. Podcasts and merchandise are just as big as going on tour for some. Me myself I’m enjoying the nostalgia and am glad to support groups like De La Soul, ATCQ, The LOX, and The WuTang Clan. It makes me appreciate groups like Prhyme, Don’t Smoke Rock, and Run the Jewels. I can go to a show and feel safe because I know the crowd came to hear rhymes and not pop pills before the show and get light headed in the crowd. You have people like Malice formerly of The Clipse, Strecth and Bobbito, Nas, and others working with companies like Netflix on certain projects.
Who better to teach your young person(s) Hip Hop History than the ones who made history? In a lot of ways these projects are documenting the history of the culture. It’s not watered down, filtered, or being told by someone who is clueless about the history and culture. I’m going to be skeptical and say that some of the projects, to include projects I didn’t mention, may have even been funded by someone who just appreciates the culture. Whoever however lets applaud these Emcees for finding their way in this new era. Support them by purchasing an album or going to a show or something. Don’t be surprised that they are still in the studio especially if they still got bars! I love watching the documentaries of the beginning of Hip Hop Culture since I’m not old enough to have experienced the unfolding of the culture. I get excited watching these films because even though I wasn’t there to experience it from the start I respect those who came before my favorites and I understand that without them it’d be no Jay Z, Nas, Outkast, Snoop Dogg, Rakim, or Childish Gambiino. If the majors see the independent Emcees making enough money they’ll come back soon enough but it depends on how much revenue they see because old money still spends.