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Is Hip Hop Dead

Posted on February 27, 2007 by

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I've heard alot of talk on message boards, in magazines and on TV about hip hop breathing its last breaths, succumbing to the new alternative/rock fusion overtaking mainstream music. Sadly, the latter part of the two is probably true, but when you take into account the material dealt with by these two very different genres, its easy to understand why a radio station and regulatory commissions would much rather have whiny teens banging and crashing their instruments and droning on and on about love, as opposed to the 'straight-from-the-street' art form that deals mostly with daily life for the inner city project dwellers. Some may see this as a bad thing, because air-time obviously means paycheques, which for the most part, help these hip hoppers and rappers put their cd's in stores (and give them a chance to rap about rollin on dubs and ride dirty).

This is a major dilemma confronting the entire urban music industry right now, as the music and subject does sell, they're eternally at the mercy of such critics as the CRTC (in canada) and the FCC (in the U.S.A), not to mention the individual radio stations that choose which content will keep their audience tuned in through the commercial breaks. The artists themsleves could conform to the regulations and change their music to a subject that doesnt deal with their daily life and the daily lives of about 6 million other people in North America, and be branded a sell out; or they could take their music underground, which is not an economically viable option. Either way, hip hop as an art form will never die, as it's the only thing besides crack and heroin that the kids can turn to, to provide a momentary escape from their daily lives.

The all-new hip hopically infused action packed, star studded, musically interactive, street fighting game, Def Jam: Icon, is set for release in mid March through Def Jam Records subsidiary company, Def Jam Interactive in partnership with video game giant, EA sports. The game deals mostly with the 'up-n-comings' of a starry-eyed hip hopper, coming from right from the streets to make it to the big leagues. 'Icon' also gives some big name cameo's from such superstar artists as Big Boi of Outkast and Ludacris. Its yet to be determined whether they're someone whose ass you shall kick, or if they merely provide some comic relief in the form of music in the background. Either way, it'll be worth a laugh or two.

As an interesting spin on what would seem to be an already overdone video game genre, the player chooses the soundtrack best-suited for a particular scenario, which ultimately decides the outcome....that and the big ass fire hydrant laying right in front of you. The rhythm of the music does affect how quickly and smoothly your character moves, so deciding which track may go a step further than which ones sounds the best. Keep your fingers crossed that the boy got game.

- Jooba (HHR)

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Reaction Comments

Comment by djnme, on 17th June 2007

Hip hop is definetly not dead in my opinion. It is just a lot different now days. One example there are a lot of dope rappers that do not get enough credit and there wack rappers who are selling bucket loads. There still are a lot of dope lyricists out there, but you have to look harder to find them. Kids these days are not brought up on artists like krs-1 or public enemy. Instead they listen to g-unit or dipset. Nothing against either, but all im saying there are not many tracks coming out that are inspiring.

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