HipHop has always been an iconic genre- it’s responsible for giving us legends like Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G, Jay Z and Nas. With time hip-hop has evolved depending on the generation and what’s going on in the world. It’s safe to say that this is the most interesting time ever, and it’s great to see hip-hop’s finest take a stand, just like Eminem did in the BET freestyle last year. Hip-hop has been known for breaking the boundaries and speaking out- it has been an outlet to discuss racism, the government and health, but where is this powerful genre going to take us next?
As the world is going through the most political, social and economical crisis’, there have been many messages of hope, positivity and words of advice spread through rap. Whether it’s Jay Z explaining the importance of good credit or Logic focusing on spreading anti suicide messages, 2017 saw a surge of impact across the globe through the wisdom of hip-hop. Last year, we noticed that the younger generation of rappers have taken part in focusing the public eye on all of the worlds wounds- Dave’s ‘Question Time’ track sparked many conversations on social media. We think it’s great to see young musicians taking such a dominant stance on issues that affects us all, especially after the Brexit referendum back in 2016. The question is, what will the new era of hip-hop change?
There are two sides to everything and with the good comes the not so useful. Although we all love turning up in the club and party bangers are essential for reminding us that life isn’t all that bad- we must admit that not all the voices of 2017 have been impactful. Nevertheless, we think that the new generation of hip-hop will help shine the light and may become more influential than ever before. Joyner Lucas released the incredibly powerful ‘I’m Not Racist’ with an equally astounding video to discuss the impact that Trump and his “Make America Great Again” mentality has caused in the US. Even Kodak Black released a video for ‘Tunnel Vision’ that had a very intense narrative that some may find uncomfortable to watch.
The power of social media has a huge part to play in hip-hop today- as it’s not only a way for rappers to start conversations, but it’s also a powerful way to see whats affecting those outside of their world. We’re all finally able to see what’s happening all over the globe, even if it’s not publicised by the news. One of the most recent examples of the impact of social media is the Libyan slave trade. As this wasn’t fully covered by news stations at the beginning, artists and people of influence were sharing the videos of the disgusting acts happening and encouraged others to do the same.
Hip-hop in 2017 had a message of protest and that’s how it always should be. How else would we witness the rawest emotions in the most poetic form? Every verse has a story; whether it be the journey of coming from nothing and turning it into something, or exploring the more conscious side – the power of hip-hop allows us all to be heard!