Resurgence of “Old School” Hip-Hop

They're gone but their music is making a comeback! Photo Courtesy: TupacAmaruShakur
They’re gone but their music is making a comeback! Photo Courtesy: TupacAmaruShakur

By Ethan Harmon

If you’re like me, then you’ve been getting tired of the mainstream hip-hop scene. The likes of 2Chainz, Drake, Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, amongst others, have been polluting the genre with a façade of “hard,” rich, fame-ridden “badasses.” Listening to song after song with similar beats, and eerily similar lyrics about partying, cars, money, frivolous spending and annoying misogyny has literally driven me to not listen to radio anymore and find solace in my iPod. But, from the looks of it, the “old school” rap game is making its comeback. And that will put a smile on my face.

The reason older rap artists have an absurd amount of respect, with a massive following, is due to the content of their lyrics, the originality of the topics and the amount of effort that was put into the beats and hooks for every song. Sure, there were songs about “money, clothes and hoes,” but a lot of songs came from the heart. The Notorious BIG, Tupac, Wu-Tang Clan and Nas all spoke from their minds and hearts, commenting about the ill treatment of minorities, the tough lives growing up in rough neighborhoods and how they struggled to make something out of themselves. It was great, inspirational and an absolute blast to listen to.

And now, Eminem, Childish Gambino, Dizzy Wright, Nas, Hopsin and a bunch of underground artists are looking to put the heart back into hip-hop. These indie, underground and for a few, mainstream artists are staying true to their art and craft and writing the songs that they want to write, speaking about what they feel they need to rap about. No more “I have money, look at how cool I am” flooding the genre (though, I’m sure that will stick around). It’s back to the roots of hip-hop, and back to the idea of speaking from the heart and mind, speaking to the world and giving a message.

So, I’m hopeful. I think that these artists can redeem rap and bring it back to where it should be. I think that hip-hop will make its comeback, instead of staying in a stagnant state of, well, whatever the hell it is now. So, cross your fingers with me, and let’s see what these artists can do. Let’s see hip-hop come back.