How the evolution of rap took a downfall



Both Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G were famous rappers in the 1990s.

Christopher Sarenana and Rosa Lemus

Rappers like Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G, Eminem and Nas have shaped the hip-hop industry and have made it what it is today. In this era of hip-hop rappers like 6ix9ine and Lil Pump, it has changed the way rap is seen but not in a good way.

Hip-hop used to be a way to express what can’t be expressed through just talking. It was used to talk about problems in the world or even personal problems the artist were going through. Now, this new generation of “soundcloud” rappers have proven that you can get away with having mediocre lyrics, catchy beats and hooks. They’ve normalized the trend of face tattoos, drug usage and outrageous hair colors and patterns. This lifestyle is portrayed as the only way to become popular nowadays.

Many people allow rappers like 6ix9ine and Lil Pump to get away with saying racial slurs, promoting gang violence and drugs in their music. A big part of their songs is repeating the hook or verse multiple times. They don’t seem to care about the content they produce and yet due to this generation’s lack of appreciation for lyrics, these songs become popular. With that, they influence a new generation of rappers to get big off of the same tactics. With the influence of these new age rappers, Gen-Z and some millennials want to pursue a hobby and even a career in soundcloud rapping.

 There have been many talented rappers that have had to work hard to master their craft like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Logic. Powerhouses like these have created a platform of advocacy, by venting about social and political messages to the world within a song. Being able to create imagery that relates to the situation or event, is an empowering feeling. Being able to make a change in the world and have others preach that same message, is an inspiring one too.

This new generation of rappers have been releasing song after song in order to make hits, but they lack an overall message. All they rap about is money, drugs and materialistic things. It seems like they’re only pursuing music for money and internet fame and not so much being respected in the hip-hop industry.  

As J. Cole has voiced his opinion against “mumble rap” in his song “1985,” mumble rap is destroying the reputation of hip-hop. A lot of these “soundcloud” rappers don’t respect the artists that came before them and often start feuds with them. Previous generations of rappers studied the greats that came before them, but these new age rappers grew up on hip-hop that was more pop. Due to that lyrical matter isn’t a high priority but beats catchy.

With this rise to fame so quickly they often run into legal problems or their past comes to haunt them. 6ix9ine had recently gone to court for charges he had earlier for sexual acts with a minor back in 2015 and was let off with 4 years probation as the prosecutors were pushing for one to three years of jail and registration as a sex offender.  Lil Pump ran into legal problems as well for driving without a valid license in August and was also charged with a gun charge for firing a weapon inside his house in Miami earlier this year.

This is not the way hip-hop should be represented today. There are much more talented new age rappers like Joyner Lucas, YBN Cordae and Joey Bada$$ who follow the principles of what hip-hop is to the culture. Hip-hop does go through trends but doesn’t differ from the original sound too much. They stick with rhyme schemes, syllables and flows. The scary thing is, people thought that hip-hop was going to die out in the 90’s. As of today, it is the number one genre in the country. It was believed that mumble rap was going to be a trend but with current superstars collaborating with them, it’s hard to see it dying out anytime soon.