Recently there has been a video floating around called 'Mic Check - The Idiocy of Mumble Rappers' by Team Back Pack. The video goes on to explain some important facts about hip-hop such as; hip hop started in 1973 (which is a year not a day, but who am I to be a stickler for facts.) or that the Father of Hip-Hop is DJ Cool Herc. But one very big fallacy that the video states is that artist like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert are not MCs, in the sense that they do not spit hot 16 bars or complicated multi-syllable rhymes that took hours to think of. But why does this type of music get such a bad rap from the hip-hop community?
Hip-hops origins started in the streets namely the block parties. The block party was where people gathered in the streets to party and dance and birthed the genre of Hip-hop. The feeling that you get when a hip-hop track is put on, so hip-hop is a feelin. But back to the video and its stance on some of the up and coming rappers not being hip-hop. In the early stages of hip-hop the MC was more of a hype man than a lyrical genius, and was not the focal point of records that we know today. As seen on the NetFlix movie 'The Get Down' the MC would shout lyrics such as 'Let Me Hear Everybody Say Ho..., which is the same style that the video is knocking. One major fact that the video leaves out is that Hip-Hops first #1 hit was "Rapture" that was made by a group called Blondie, who since the songs release has gotten numerous acknowledgements from MCs such as KRS-One for its importance to hip-hop. Another fact is that no song is more recognizable and has more influence on the creation of hip-hop than the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper Delight". Which comparing the styles of songs that Lil Uzi Vert has made is the same feeling that the Sugar Hill Gang tried to give you on "Rappers Delight". So to say that Lil Uzi Vert is not hip-hop are they saying that The Sugar Hill Gang also is not hip-hop?
There definitely is a reason why some of the older generation is feeling a disconnect from this new and up-and-coming generation of hip-hop. One reason is that in the grand scheme of music genres hip-hop is still learning how to age. Hip-hop has for the most part always been a young man sport, so now that there are generations of hip hop there is now a learning curve for how does hip-hop age. How do we bridge the generational gaps that are developing in the hip-hop community? I agree that Lil Yachty did not help himself by saying that "Nigggas is not doing spin moves on cardbord boxes any more" (i.e. b-boyin), but sense hip-hop has always been about the MCs music being a product of their reality maybe b-boyin is something that is not apart of his reality. That doesn't mean he is stupid, but just ignorant to the fact that b-boyin still goes on to this day. A solution to this problem would be for the hip-hop community to educate Lil Yachty on hip-hop and the important elements of hip-hop such as b-boyin or graffiti writin instead of knockin him.
Another argument is that Lil Yachty doesn't know 5 songs from 2Pac or Biggie. Is this soo much a crime, that he doesn't deserve to be apart of hip-hop? In our everyday lives we all have jobs, but can any of us say that we know the top 5 in our field or industry? For example, who is the top fry cook in the world? Can you name the top Call Center representative in the world? Can we personally walk bye someone's work and know that this was done by one of the best in our industry? My guess is no, so why is a rapper who also doesn't seen as a bad person. Again it is our job to not only educate the younger generation, but to also educate ourselves and ask the same things of ourselves.
This video states what many people in the hip-hop community are feeling, namely the generational gap that exists in hip-hop. But what this video fails to state is the responsibility of the hip-hop community to not only state facts, but to educate. Educate ourselves as well as educate the younger generation and to further open up the dialog between the two generations. Because one genre that failed to bridge this gap similarly to hip-hop was Disco, And we all know what happened to Disco. So the next time you go knockin a hip-hop artist like Lil Yachty or Lil Uzi Vert I challenge you to open up the dialogue and listen to a song or two both old and new.