The State of HipHop

By Samuel Muiruri | Feb. 3, 2019 | Opinion Piece


If you know Hip Hop and you're older than 20 years you probably feel the older music you listened to as a teen was much better than the music made today in the same genre. You might assume your not in the targeted audience, maybe your taste has matured so you only take to what really has a unique feel to it. 

Here's one fact:

Generally the older you get the less you listen to mainstream music meaning the considered popular artists and their hits. You'll more likely look for songs that resonate more with the old but gold music you used to like. Just to go over this briefly, it makes sense since in teenage years music can be considered a pillar in your life;

  • It connects you with friends where you're likely to like friends with the same taste in music and listen to the same music they like.
  • You will experiment more with whatever seems dazzling and interesting at the moment and unlike as a kid listening to songs you'll pick up the hidden nuances you missed as a kid like sexual innuendo or what they're doing also on the down low.
  • The definition of cool for you is what you'll seek to emulate and imitate through music.

But as you grow older you'll look for things that don't repeat too much something you already heard without being unique or stand out in it's own way.

Here's one thing however I believe that separates how music was made in the 90's and today. Back then the proof of making it was how many CD's you sold, you never sold singles and even if a single song in your album became what was remembered for you'd still likely get an equal input from fans that some other songs in the album stood out as well.

But think about how an artist evolves today; where you might have put effort into lyrics with thought into articulating some experience to connect with like minded people you might find out with the very accurate stat analysis tools from video hosting sites how many people per demographic, age and sex watched that song for how long even possibly a break down of this on likes and dislikes. You'll look into the taste of your current fans with better accuracy and that will more likely determine how you'll make your next songs to target this market.

It's no secret that the recipe to a hit song involves a good video meaning shooting in a place that feels nice. A good beat to go with this and your take on what you want to say on this beat. If you know what you say doesn't matter as much as how you say it, how believeable it feels when you say you're the shit and you got money then you'll need to concentrate more on being believable than rhyming.

Not that I don't believe there's not a market for this, you can make a literacy master piece explaining something in rhymes but it's really hard to make consecutive hits like this and this niche market I believe, like rare art collectors will move on as soon as you stop sounding like the next picasso. So I'm not suprised when picasso in the music bussiness shift to monotomy because they find out a good amount of their fans simply are satisfied with something they can nod their head to and buy a new album next summer so this is a business model they can relate to.

The point is I guess you will likely stop caring about who's the new face in hip hop by 30 if they sound like Migos in my case, and especially more if someone who seemed to have the potential of going strong doubles down to the new tempo that gets the most hits. Whatever your into doesn't matter as much, in my opinion I just find it interesting how I'd put it the gods in the industry seem to have fallen from grace.