What’s happening to rap music?

Raazhel Watkins, Staff Writer

Throughout the years, the culture and ideas behind making hip-hop and rap music has changed dramatically. In the past  rap used to be very lyrical and have a meaning, purpose, or even messages behind it.

Famous rappers like Tupac would rap about things that happened in their life or would rap about things going on in the community they lived in. The lyrics to a song had a meaning behind it and had a message for the world.

Nowadays music has a trend of having 808s and melodic beats that songs now heavily reside on. Newer artists such as Travis Scott or Lil Pump make their best music by creating flows, wavy sounds, catchy ad-libs and hooks that attract young people. There isn’t much meaning behind the songs, but their purpose now is to sound good.

It seems to be the trend now in the music industry for artists to have styles that are based in the fans interest. Yes, there is the money aspect and the fame that everyone in the business desperately wants, however, it seems to be a trend for some artists to put out music for their fans’ interest and not in theirs.

Exhibit A: Lil Uzi Vert’s career. Many kids don’t care about lyrics, they just want music to sound good and make them feel good, though feelings and expressions you get from music is a significant reason for why people make and listen to music.

That’s why most artists these days don’t put any meaning behind their music and they say whatever they want and as long as it’s catchy or has a certain sound to it, they’ll still make a lot of money.

J. Cole is one of the last few artists still in the business who raps and typically puts a meaning and messages behind his lyrics in his songs. However, due to this, J. Cole receives a tremendous amount of hate for making the music he wants to produce. In contrast to Lil Uzi Vert, where in some occasions, released music he didn’t want to produce for the sake of his fan and label’s interest.

J. Cole speaks his mind about life situations in his music and even tends to criticize certain newer artists for changing the culture of rap by not caring about lyrics. That is why he gets some hate but in my opinion I think it’s very much appropriate to have different types of artists in the rap business. I think having some rappers who focus on sound like Travis Scott and some rappers who care more about lyrics like J.Cole creates that balance within the rap industry. This also creates a wider variety of tastes for music fans.

There should not be a specific way music should be cultivated, this is something that the new generation and older generation artists  need to try to prove. Music is a form of art and emotion and can be expressed in any way that seems fitting to the individual and communities that share similar feelings toward the music.