Since its conception in 1979 with the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, hip hop has dramatically changed from the days of the Fresh Prince, to a mega-culture that took over the nineties, and finally to the culture of violence, bling, and womanizing that it is infamous for today. And, while the mainstream sensationalists that consume the genre appear to some as the death of hip hop – namely, Nas, who dropped an album in 2006 titled, “Hip Hop is Dead -” some aren’t quite yet ready to start digging the grave.
Devin Cole, a third-year political science student from Tampa, is one of those people. He doesn’t believe that hip hop is dead, he just thinks that it may have lost its direction, and he despises the fact that the meaningful songs from yesteryear have been completely replaced by the swagger-saturated anthems of present-day.
Paul Porter, the co-founder of Industry Ears and former music programmer for BET and Radio One, also agrees that hip hop is still alive, just not quite kicking; however, his concern for the future of music has inspired him to found Industry Ears, a non-profit organization that strives to ensure well-balance media – which couldn’t be more appropriate in a time where conglomerates run a major portion of all media outlets, convincing the public of what they like to hear.
As it stands, it seems more important for people to consider things for themselves, rather than worrying about the health of hip hop; art lives in the people.