If you’re even slightly invested in hip-hop culture, you’re well aware of the old school vs. new school debate. The argument has raged on for what feels like years, with the latest group of successful, teen and early 20-something artists the target of the previous generation’s musical standards.
I feel as though they should be able to do music but it shouldn’t be considered rap or hip-hop, it should have it’s own category...
Just days removed from Charles Hamilton saying that trap music “doesn’t take too much talent,” it seems as though the desire for newer artists to be stylistically separated from their more traditional forefathers is reaching critical mass.
Lil Yachty doesn’t even consider himself a rapper, and yet he was selected for this year's XXL Freshman class. Aside from XXL's need to sell advertising and garner clicks, the opportunity further proves that in 2016, vibe and style carry more weight among the mainstream crowd than content and lyrical skill.
Agree or disagree, it’s easy to grasp the thought process behind this sentiment. Emcees that have been honing their craft by traditional hip-hop standards for years are justifiably frustrated by the sudden and overwhelming success of often literally inaudible artists mumbling over dope beats. And yet, hip-hop has always been about inclusion, not exclusion; there should be a place in rap for every iteration of the art form.
So, where do we go from here? Only time will tell if this is just a passing stylistic fad, or the legitimate birth of a new sub-genre, but all we know for sure is that there's never been a more exciting time to be a part of this beautiful culture.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube