Hip-Hop is more than a genre of music – it’s therapy, an escape, a saving grace, a culture, a lifestyle. Hip-Hop is the most influential form of music that has ever been created and it has birthed the visionaries, movers, and shakers who have paved the way for the new generation. What’s interesting about Hip-Hop is that despite being so influential, it is the most hated and disrespected genre of music – by non-listeners and the new generation of rappers.
Personally, the disrespect and lack of regard some of these new rappers have for the pioneers who inspired their idols to start rapping is beyond disturbing and begs the question – why don’t we respect our legends? The answer could be millennials or a lack of knowledge, but I never understood how you can have such a lack of respect for people who created an art form you would’ve never discovered had it not been for their hustle and accomplishments.
Last year, Kendrick Lamar made a valid point when he spoke at the Forbes Under 30 Summit event about mumble rappers and the new generation of Hip-Hop. “Don’t go on your interviews and diss them and say you don’t like them and you don’t care for them” […] “That’s your opinion, that’s cool but you have to respect them. So talking down on the folks that inspired us to do this, it’d never be right. You dig what I’m saying? So at the end of the day as long as you be who you are but respect what got us here, that’s how you continue to evolve.”
We have too many rappers who have entered the game, without putting in much work might I add, that have no idea who laid the groundwork for them.
You may not be a Pac fan or a Nas follower, but you can’t deny that they, in addition to many others, have shaped this very culture. Even those who we idolized a decade ago had to bow down to the kings and queens who birthed this craft we’ve come to love (and hate). Whether you’re a “woke” rapper, a lyrical rapper, gangster rapper, etc. respect your art by respecting those who came before you.