Remember what good rap was like? A decade ago in the early 90s when rap went through a golden age. An incredible number of talented lyricists started to come into the public eye, groups like a tribe called quest, public enemy, digable planets all put out unique, thoughtful albums with good lyrics and tight beats. These groups showed us all the potential rap had as an art form. Everything was well in the kingdom of rap, until a dark cloud started to descend on it.
At first this cloud seemed like a blessing, yet another style to be absorbed into the already diverse make up of rap. Gangsta rap was vibrant and real, groups like NWA where the Walter Cronkites of the ghetto, reporting the problems that faced them. And for a time this served an important purpose, to shed light on the violence the permeates the most impoverished neighborhoods in America. But then Dr Dre dropped the chronic and everything changed.
The success of the chronic caught the eye of the big record companies who started getting into the game. The combination of money and the gangster attitude spawned commercial rap. Now even the most talented lyricists where rapping about the heat they're packing and the Benz they own. Money was all that matter and all you heard about, to put it in the words of man who epitomizes this, puff daddy, "don't worry if i write rhymes, i write checks" And in the rush to escape the poverty of the ghetto and live the American dream the soul of rap was lost.
But rap never died, it just lost its vision. In the past couple years a backlash against this hollow excuse for an art form has spawned a new hope. Under the banner of Hip Hop, RAP HAS RETURNED
Maybe a severe lack of talented artists had left the rap community starving for quality music and ready to embrace anything that resembles it. Fortunately this is not the case, what we are experiencing right now is the second golden age of rap, an extension of the principles that made rap so great in the late 80s, early 90s. Tight beats intermingle with incredible flow and meaningful lyrics.
Just listen to The Gift of Gab, the way he delivers his words is incredible. Or the way Dan the Automater is able to create beats that maintain the essence of hip hop but at the same time are as complex as a symphony. Or look at the way the 4 MCs from Jurassic 5 work together to put on one of the best live shows you will ever see, they are the modern day Supremes. Rap never lost it roots, they were merely forgotten. We are living in one of the best times to appreciate rap. So forget what you thought about rap before now, because these are the glory days for lyricists.