The other day, Ebro from Hot 97 reposted a hilarious video from @hahadavis. In the video, a jubilant Davis strolls into the Hot 97 studio, only to walk in on a disgruntled NY rapper threatening to shoot the place up over not getting any airtime. The reason why I found this video so funny was because I could totally see this exact thing happening in real life. In fact, there are a number of local rappers I personally know who would definitely do this.
Boy, watching this had me dying. But then I started looking in the comments (as you do) and came across this:
Not only that, but the comment also had a ton of likes (which you can't see here because I took the screenshot on my desktop). This is clearly reflecting the sentiments I explored in my second to last post about the oldschool vs. newschool hip-hop trope. This comment contained almost all of the stereotypical examples of this type of thinking:
- "Rap was tougher back in the day."
- "Look at all these wack 'Lil rappers."
- "Hip hop is entirely superficial nowadays."
As we already know, every single one of these insinuations is false and can easily be said about the previous generations' scenes as well. What I found especially surprising about this, however, is how much my own personal experiences completely contradict this statement. Like I said earlier, this video cracked me up because of how accurate I found it to be, and here this person was saying the exact opposite. Where is the disconnect here? Am I the one seeing it wrong, or is it just a matter of perspective?
On the one hand, I'm obviously immersed in a different world than the commenter. I'm privy to a side of the community that most people aren't exposed to, so of course I'm aware of the set tripping macho shit that the local (or at least New York) hip-hop scene is built on. I've seen with my own two eyes that there's a war going on in Brooklyn right now that's deeply interwoven in the culture. Reflecting on this, I began to think that my exposure to a different side of hip-hop might be what's primarily contributing to this different perspective.
Then after a while I thought, "nah, fuck that" and realized this kid is 100% wrong.
Well, because for every 'lil rapper who's blowing up on Soundcloud, there's a guy like Dave East. For every local rapper popping xans with colorful braids in his hair, there's a Sheff G. These artists are blowing up just as big as their "softer" contemporaries, but you're making a conscious choice to only acknowledge the ones you hate. Take Brooklyn's Piif Jones, for example:
Piif Jones is definitely one of the next to blow, which further proves that this hard New York rap is still here. It has not and will not go anywhere any time soon. Like I talked about in the other post, there have always been trends in the community that upset the purests. These trends ebb and flow with the times, but hip-hop has (for the most part) been okay. This is the hip-hop I know, this is the hip-hop I'm exposed to on a daily basis, and it's definitely not in danger of going anywhere any time soon.
This is 2018; can we please all make a conscious effort to ignore the content we don't like, while at the same time promoting and paying attention to the stuff we do like? If you hate certain trends in the genre, stop obsessing over them. Stop giving them exposure and impressions, and definitely don't say things like "hip-hop is _____ now". Stop hating the bad shit - start promoting the good shit.
With that being said, go check out Piif's new EP, Never Stop.