With 16 to 20-year-old rap superstars currently dominating the music industry, making hip hop the most listened to genre in the world (surpassing even rock & roll), it’s hard to deny that the younger generation is making waves.
This new wave of hip hop, full of auto tune, filthy 808’s and triplet flows is taking over. Older styles of hip hop, focused on lyrics and message, are dying out. While some still manage to be quite successful, J. Cole for example, this new generation’s style is here to stay. But, this has upset older fans of the genre, those who were around for the glory days of Tupac and Biggie. It’s easy to understand why!
With artists like Lil Yachty saying he, “Honestly couldn't name five songs” by the aforementioned, and highly revered, Tupac and Biggie. From the perspective of someone who maybe grew up during hip hops early evolutions, it is clear to see why they view such a statement negatively. That said, Lil Yachty himself claimed that he was in fact, not a rapper.
Labeling himself simply, an artist who makes music, an artist who doesn't wish to be confined within a genre, despite clearly wearing the genre’s influence on his sleeve.
Another “rapper” who was called out in the past and again somewhat recently is Post Malone. Post Malone is an artist whose entire career has been plagued by accusations of cultural appropriation and, again, disrespects hip hop. He says he is just an artist and doesn't want to be put into the box of hip hop, despite making music in that genre.
My question is, what is so wrong with not wanting to be put into a box? People claim it’s just plain disrespect, but in my opinion its revolution. Genres change, influences change, that doesn't make it worse or better, it doesn't disrespect those that came before; it is simply a desire to create something new.