Honors Hip-Hop: Dead or Alive Since the invention of the internet and POP (peer 2 peer) downloading all genres of music have become victims of free music downloads and suffered in record sales. However, why has hip-hop music seemingly taken an extra hit? According to Billboard Magazine, “since 2000, rap sales dropped 44%,and declined to 10% of all music sales, which, while still a commanding figure when compared to other genres, is a significant drop from the 13% of all music sales where rap music regularly placed. ”
The more Important statistic being Its 3% drop In all music sales since this represents hip-hops decline relative to other popular genres of music, It shows help- hop’s current struggle in the modern market. But is this the cause of a lack interest in the genre, or Just an effect of the vast availability of free music? Hip-hop as a genre has not lost Its audience Just the paying customers. The genre has 4 of the current top 10 and 10 of the top 20 on Billboard. Coma’s current top 100. Therefore, it is easy to determine its drop in sales is predominantly caused by the current trend of online downloading.
The sad truth is that it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon either. According to The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IF) report on digital music, “95% of music downloads continue to be illegal. ” Therefore, with most of its listeners being part of the tech- saws youth, hip-hop as Industry is weighed down by its loss of potential income. Now, even though the future forecast for hip-hop looks dismal, international efforts are being made to stop this trend. In Europe the EX. and France in particular Is even considering a three strike rule (Michael Santos).
Perhaps this Isn’t the answer either. Still some believe that with lower prices of the material, this downloading trend would reverse and result in consumers buying the better quality product (CDC) rather than download an Illegal pirated version. Many fans of current hip-hop criticize the popular rap of today. With the emergence of southern “gangs” rap and its eventual sub-genres, ex. Shrunk and snap music, hip-hop listeners have claimed that true hip-hop is dead. Even several artists make reference to this in their songs and more explicitly Nas with his 2006 album title “Hip Hop Is Dead”.
However, what make these new styles of music non hip-hop? Some claim capitalism has forced this genre to sway away from its political origins and more towards catchy meaningless hooks to make money; this however is nothing more than an ignorant statement. As David Drake says in The “Death” of Hip- Hop, “We can’t separate capitalism from the history of hip-hop as recorded music because capitalism was always there… Eric B and Racism were Paid in Full. Rappers were goanna ‘make money money make money money money. Comparably, rap is also pendent on youth culture making some aspects only conducive to certain regions. Therefore, political messages In rap, which was prevalent In the ass and also deemed “hip-hops golden age”, Is Just one sub-genre not a defining factor. When hip-hop first arose from its humble beginnings it showed only a few sides of its very dynamic 1 OFF be embracing it, because in the end, it is increasing the genre’s overall popularity. Rhine from there the listener can further his/her music education and choose their music to favor their own tastes.
Even writer and R;B enthusiast Aaron Fuchs Nas quoted in David Troop’s Rap Attack about his disdain for the “message rap,” arguing that it was “a capitulation to the adult norm who can’t accept the music on its own terms”. The main issue with Hip-Hop in general is that the average fan believes t is only one thing. What the average hip-hop fan needs to grasp is the idea that hip- hop is very adaptable to each region, and has spread globally because of it. While the rise of hip-hop in America may have stalled out, internationally it has spread like Nullified.
A recent international success was the album “Babel (33 guests in 33 engages)” It includes over 30 rappers each using his own mother tongue. Furthermore, with a genre spreading from one country to hundreds I would dare to say it is far from dead, and even brave enough to say hip-hop has Just started. With an increase in artists around the globe, upcoming artists are forced to step their game up. For every pop sensation rap artist there are still politically motivated artists. For example new break out artist Asher Roth has been embraced by the hip hop community after his first mix-tape was released, dubbed The Greenhouse Effect: Volume 1.
With such lines as, “l am back to where I began/Chilling watching CNN, thinking damn/We are damned, not again/ How is George bush not in Jail for treason/ But Clinton gets impeached for busting semen. ” While some artist Just produce ‘southern rap anthems” artists such as Asher Roth are on the rise and becoming a more politically motivated voice in a new age of rap. As David Drake put it, “Hip-hop as a genre is not dead, but perhaps hip-hop as a signifier is; we need to redefine the term, extend it, and make it more practical. ” The golden age of hip-hop is over and he new age needs to be embraced instead of attacked.