I was listening to Nasir’s interview today when he said something that kind of inspired this blog.
“I came up in a great era so I’m always going to live with that. That’s always going to live inside of me….It’s still relevant today more than it’s ever been.”
Really Nas? You are telling me that when people are out at the club they want that “Nasty” joint to come on so the ladies lose their sh*t, and let dudes surf that #SlutWave? Because it’s not happening. This is all part of what I call the #OldHeadSyndrome that is going on in rap right now. Hip-Hop culture is as global and relevant as ever. Nas is correct about that. The particular hip-hop music he is making? Not so much. There is this disconnect in hip-hop on what exactly is relevant in my opinion. People need to stop pretending like this “Nasty” song is something special, because it isn’t. I’m not saying it’s a bad song by any means. It just isn’t a particularly fresh or original song either. The problem lies with the people who want to pretend like it is. These are the same people who will tell you what “real” hip-hop is. However, that is not the point of this post. My point is this…
That head bump wave is out and that cook wave is in. Nas is right. He comes from a great era in Hip-Hop. He comes from a time where hip-hop represented a genre of music that just made you want to do the head bump. In the 90’s the best rap was the music that made you put on a tough guy face and nod your head. It was a historic time in hip-hop, and that was also when the sound that made me really become obsessed with the genre was created. But rap has evolved, and that is not what’s hot with the youngins right now. I’m not saying the type of music Nas makes is invalid, and it definitely still has value. But I still don’t want to hear a new Nas single in 2011 at the club when I’m trying to get some girls on my wee wee. So now I gotta hit point number two.
LET THESE YOUNG BOYS COOK! People need to stop d*ckriding artists like Nas. It’s 2011 and I want to hear rap music that makes me want to do a simulated cooking dance while simultaneously yelling “whooop” in a Rick Ross voice. That’s obviously being a little extreme, but you get my point. That is the sound that the young kids are identifying with right now. Ironically the younger generation is having the same exact experience with rap that people had in the 90’s, it’s just that the sound is different now. There is nothing wrong with that, and it’s corny when people say there is. I also want to clarify that “cooking” has nothing to do with Lil B. It’s already a rap for that guy. So I don’t want people to pretend like I’m saying Lil B is better than Nas. That is not the point I’m making. Rick Ross makes that “cooking” music. Waka Flocka and that whole Lex Luger sound is “cooking” music. This is the music that is relevant and making money. If that pisses you off well then I’m sorry, but that is the reality of the culture at this point.
This is the good news. I think it’s kind of morphing into being “lyrical” again. A sound that is really being championed by LA artists. Dom Kennedy’s “Grind’N” is really the antithesis of what a rap song should be in 2011. Artists like Skeme and Casey Veggies seem to be representing the movement with songs like “I Can’t Lose” & “Ridin’ Round Town“. I gotta throw Jarren Benton into the mix as well. Even though he is from Atlanta he is a prime example of how you can make music with that “cook” sound while also being lyrical. I know this music hasn’t penetrated the mainstream platforms yet, but trust me, it will.
Hip-Hop is in a great place. The business is utterly f*cked, but this rap sh*t is too much of a problem to be stopped at this point. If we want the genre to evolve, we can’t hold onto the past. The “head bump” style of rap will always be a pinnacle part of hip-hop history. I just think it’s time we acknowledge that the “cooking” style is what’s making history right now. Swag!!!