Keeping Up: A Conversation on Contemporary Hip-Hop

This blog is coming hot off the presses, and is inspired by a conversation I had last night about hip-hop and who’s bringing it lyrically and production-wise. So pardon the stream of consciousness type feel of this, and lets jump right into it. Music is an ever evolving thing, and as time goes on, the sound changes. I remember a time when one did not have to scour the internet looking for innovative emcees, and it often takes a lot of energy just to keep up to who is out. I have to admit that, at this time, I tend to favor the older stuff. In last night’s convo, there were a couple of names thrown around that I wasn’t familiar with.

We hip hop heads of a certain age can be stuck in our ways, and not so welcoming of newer talent. Back in the late 90’s early 2000’s I would constantly dig for the artists that I liked or had something original to say. Now, unless I am really impressed, I don’t check for new emcees like back then.  I do like Jay Electronica though. That Roots album is awesome, even though I got no chance to review it. What I realized is that I need to get caught up with my hip-hop a lil’ something. So, I gotta realize that in all likelihood, Kool G. Rap is not going to come back out and go plat. *hears folks in the crowd whispering, “Who’s the old guy with the gold teeth and the lisp?”*

Because of this, I will need your help. Yes, you, fellow hip-hop head. Who do you think is bringing it lyrically in today’s game? It can be commercial, underground, across the pond, emo-rap, whatever. If you think they saying something, let me know. I really need to update my Zune, (Yes, I said Zune. #MicrosoftStan) I can’t keep running Das Efx and Poor Righteous Teachers and thinking I’m gonna be current with the culture.I’m waiting to hear from y’all. Peace!

-Marc W. Polite

P.S. I may get my Backpacker card revoked for this, but I have to say that Nicki Minaj did her thing on “Monster” *ducks*


  1. I would have to agree with you. It becomes increasingly more difficult each year to adjust hip hops current direction. I was just bumping “Life After…” by Biggie this morning. The art of storytelling is lost. The overall feel isn’t what it used to be. I think it has less to do bitter old heads like us and more to do with the quality of lyrics and music. Jay Electronica is my current favorite. Kanye is up there for me, but he refuses to let his genius speak for itself. After recently seeing the likes of KRS, Slick Rick, Tribe, and Wu on stage at Rock The Bells, it is safe to say the hip hops golden days are long gone.

  2. I agree with you. Those days are gone, and they are not coming back. All we can do nowadays is keep up with some of the new acts of the day that bring something to the table, without comparing them to Golden Era hip hop. It’s not fair to them at all. I feel like the new acts will never compare, and as time goes on, I am less and less able to relate to the hip hop scene as a whole.

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