nOvaSlimmer has some wise words about the state of hip-hop:
Arrogance in Hip-Hop isn’t new but it’s only worthwhile when it’s accompanied by humor, intelligence, vocabulary and talent….
Most of them don’t have an actual story to tell. They wanna be rich and famous, period. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I happen to have at least a sliver of respect for someone that goes “I just wanna make you dance and have fun” as opposed to someone that makes the same style of music and suddenly becomes Confucius when discussing it. They have it backwards. Story should proceed music all the time, not the other way around.
On the point about progression, I’m also at odds with how they interpret it. Progress to them has nothing to do with artist evolution; it simply means deferring to the white mainstream by having GaGa on your record and gaining more exposure, which potentially means more sales. Again, there’s nothing wrong with branching out and appealing to a wider audience and experimenting with Pop sounds, but don’t call it progress. Don’t say you’re doing something different when everyone else is doing the same thing.
I don’t have a ton to add to this. I would disagree, at least a bit with the sentiments in the last paragraph. Infiltrating popular music may not be progress for hip-hop, it may even be a devolution. But in a larger context, I tend to think it’s progress for popular music, in terms of how it influences the role of verses, production, etc. To paraphrase Tony Kusher, the world only spins forward. Rappers will be citizens.