For a longtime now there has been an on-going debate about the status of hip-hop. “Hip-Hop is dead” is something that many people have declared time and time again and multiple rappers and fans alike have been sharing their views on the state of Hip-Hop. The usual areas of interest when this comes up are “Old School vs. New School” and the importance of Lyrical content vs. Entertainment. This lines up very nicely with what classical music has been through many times before and is going through now.
Old School Hip-Hop would be the 80’s through about mid 90’s and New School would be from the mid 90’s to the Present. Generally the older generation feels that the true era of Hip-Hop, when it was real and meant something is long gone and all that is left is trashy, meaningless music. The younger generation, however, feels that Hip-Hop has only become more diverse and open to new styles that were not around before and is no were near dead.
Many Hip-Hop artists have claim that they are determined to stop Hip-Hop from dying. Nas completed in entire Album pertaining to the death of Hip-Hop and how he plans to revive it titling an album “Hip hop is Dead”. Jay-Z after declaring to be retired decided to make a comeback album title “Kingdom Come” to save Hip-Hop. Lil’ Wayne can be found stating in many songs that he and Hip-Hop are one and that it would be nothing without him. In his song “Dr. Carter” he equates himself and other rappers to doctors of Hip-Hop stating what is needed in Hip-Hop or a rapper with his last line being “I saved your life”.
Clearly Hip-Hop is not dead in terms of popularity, but the authenticity of its musical style is always being questioned not only by the public, but performers themselves.