Rap is continuing to evolve, and now the new age of rap is bringing something completely different to the table.
I’ve always been a rap ‘purist’ in a way. I love listening to the mind boggling lyrical whims of Phife Dawg, the punchlines of old Weezy, the realness of Pusha T, the story telling of Biggie Smalls. To me, rap has always been about the lyrics, and the beat comes afterwards.
The beauty of music is that it’s up to interpretation, opinion, and people enjoy different parts of it. Many people listen to rap for the production side of it, which is totally fine because that in itself is also an art, but for me the thought behind each an every line of rap is just more attractive.
Which is why I was at first devastated when hearing the new style of rap. Not to say this new era of rap completely dismisses lyrics, it’s just that it seems to have taken a back seat to other factors like a rappers’ sound and style, along with production. This was a huge kick in the balls for me.
It was also evident when the number one song in the world, “Panda” by Desiigner, really was just one verse repeated over and over again.
My era of rap seemed to be thinning out, with Kanye West and Chance The Rapper seemingly the last big names standing in lyrical rap. When I first played guys like Young Thug, Lil Uzi, Lil Yachty, I hated everything about it.
That was until I listened to it a few more times. There’s no denying Lil Yachty and those like him (if there is any) will soon reign towards the top. To those who are rap “purists” like me, I urge you to listen to the song “1 NIGHT” by Lil Yachty.
It’s not Phife Dawg, it’s not Kanye, it’s not Pac…but it doesn’t have to be. Catchiness has overtaken lyrics, and there’s no way to escape that.
Future eased us into it a little, as his new sound still really possessed innate lyrical ability. That being said, we will still see the Joey Bada$$es and the Chance The Rappers who will rely on their lyrical wit, but it seems like there’s more of a place for rappers who rely on sound and culture.
There’s no more running, so let’s live with it. We can go back and listen to our lyrical favorites, but it’s time to make room for the new wave of rappers who are changing the game in their own way.