I can’t speak for anyone but myself when I say this but, I am so happy hip-hop music is getting older. I LOVE the fact that a lot of my favorite rappers are at least 28 years old and the guys that are 40 and up are still as nice as they were when I first heard them if not better. The art-form and the culture is growing not only in race but in age. Hip-Hop is just over 40 and now you don’t have to be 13 t0 25 to survive in the spotlight and make an impact on the culture. True, there has always been an adult behind these kids that were making it happen but the difference now is, it’s not seen as a mandatory key to success. We all develop mentally and find out what we want to do with our lives at different times. It’s never about when that time comes, it’s all about what you do after you come to the realization.
What I don’t like about the game right now is the generation gap that is seemingly starting to widen unless handouts are the topic of discussion. Now cases like this are never about “everyone” and “always” but, I do feel a slight majority has this issue.
My personal view of why this is happening is because there is little to NO RESPECT for the O.G’s from the new age. This is a problem and a problem only in hip-hop. For some reason the motto is “these old ni**as got to go” but, the O.G’s are the reason why you can do, what you do, the way you do it. Barriers have been broken, records have been sold, milestones have been achieved to not only make them successful but also for the new breed to come along to meet and exceed the accomplishments. No one stays on top forever but, your pedigree should always be a catalyst of respect amongst your peers and the new comers in the game.
Why do the new cats Choose to Burn The OG’s with the Torch? That’s sad. In this new era the word “relevant” is killing our culture. It’s a killer because you got cats that have little to no pedigree, resume or impact trying to tell you they’re the hottest thing going or ever and then you have people reinforcing that nonsense in media outlets. That causes a totally jaded view of someone who paved the way for a new artist with the question of “But What Are They Doing Right Now???” The answer is enjoying the fruits of their labor after giving you a style and a lane over the last decade or longer, while you were in gym class pretending to be them in the video you saw to impress the girl you like.
Eminem summed it up best in his Shady Cypher verse.
What the fawk is this clusterfawk of busters
A Bunch of Buster Douglas’s
Motherfawkers is one hit wonders
One swing and you’re crowned
Knocked one out the park
One catchy jingle and now
You think you fawking with me cause you sold like 300 thou?!?!
If the aspect of “music not selling anymore” is legit, ALL of you new Rappers have to realized that you will NEVER be bigger than the artist that came before you. That’s just logic speaking right there. You can’t ever say you are a bigger artist than Eminem if you never can go Diamond twice. That 300K you moved in a month he did in a few hours. It would be smart of you to reach out to Em or his team and be mentored. He’s selling at least 2 million in this “non music buying era”.
Nipsey Hussle has the best rap marketing plan going right now and he gets tremendous respect from OG’s and he reciprocates. His success is not based on him trying to “Move Snoop and them to the side so he can shine” and because of that they have assisted in strengthening his road to success.
Some of you have it so wrong. No one with 10 million or more records sold will EVER become irrelevant. If anything they will become immortal. If you want the same level of status and respect you need to get some game and take some pages out of their book to really see how you can even be remembered when the 10th, 15th, or 20th anniversary of anything you dropped comes around.
We live in a time where The 20 year old kid and the 34 year old man has a fan starving for hip-hop music that makes sense and applies to their life. The time of “I’m too old to be listening to hip-hop” is over thanks to artist like Jay-Z who didn’t release his first album until 26, which at that time was deemed terribly late to be getting started. Jay was destined to rap well into his 30’s just to have a 10 year anniversary of his first album and because of that hip-hop benefited.
The O.G and pioneer LL Cool J dropping an album at 40 and having hit records also made this possible. He like a few others proved there is no expiration date or age cap to succeed, support and be apart of hip-hop and rap music.
Look at other genres: Did you hear Lady Gaga saying Madonna old a$$ need to give it up? Do you ever hear about Imagine Dragons calling Blink 182 irrelevant? Is Taylor Swift calling Dolly Parton an “old washed up h*e”? NO! I’ll throw it out there. Maybe it is the media, the personalities and some of the other blog sites who build the tension for the “he say she say” and “who’s relevant” talk. What artist have to do when that happens is pay homage and show respect. Doesn’t matter how you personally feel. You can show love and acknowledge without being disrespectful or putting a spin on a situation.
When I turned 30, I didn’t want to stop listening to hip-hop. I’m an 80’s baby. I literally grew up and came of age during rap music’s peak. I don’t want to have to stop listening because I’m a grown man. I still get excited when Nas, Jay, Eminem, Mobb Deep, Fabolous, Joe Budden, Ludacris and T.I drop projects. I love the fact Childish Gambino, Danny Brown, Jarren Benton, Smoke DZA, Curren$y, and my new favorite Rapper Action Bronson are all 30 plus and are finally getting exposure to extend their careers for another 10 maybe even 20 years. If Hip-Hop is ever going to have a 100th Birthday, it’s going to be because everyone of every age has something in the music they can appreciate and relate to. We MUST. RESPECT. The OG’s!