The holy trinity of hip hop has fallen apart years ago. At least in Europe, breakdance, rap and graffiti artists only come together when meeting by accident at some convention or festival. And that is sad!
This trinity was somehow able to really create a sense of community and to set hip hop apart from musical genres, make it stand out as a culture. Today, hip hop is mostly used to refer to rap, meaning exclusively the music and not the other aspects making up this singular culture. Therefore, hip hop has lost a lot of meaning and what it once stood for.
The point is not that everything was better back in the 80s. But after this decade, hip hop has lost much of it’s appeal. Gangsta rap made it hard to identify with the artists and to relate to the lyrics on a personal level. Of course, lyrics about life in the hood and how shitty it is to be hard up are somehow universal. But there are some limits that make it impossible to really identify with gangsta rap, the bling and the lyrics involved.
Kid Cudi and Lil’ Wayne somehow changed the game and took it, in a way, closer to back then where it all started from. They are open to other musical styles and apparently don’t feel the need to live up to some alpha male stereotype. Sure, Lil’ Wayne and Kid Cudi express confidence about their skills as rappers in their lyrics but that is perfectly fine. It’s just that they don’t have to drop names and diss people in order to get some attention.
It would be desirable that more genuine artists make their entrance and get the attention they deserve. Someone one can relate to, able to bring the three elements of hip hop closer together again. And no, an 80s revival is not really what i hope for. Since that was also the time when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five set a mark in bad taste:
Accordingly, it’s not about “purple power” gestures and dressing up like some glam rockers. It’s more about breaking it down, getting rid of the overstated gangster images, making rap a part of hip hop again!