In the 1940″s and 50″s Rock and Roll music emerged form the underground black music scene and it wasn’t long until everyone realized it was a force to be reckoned with and wanted a piece of the pie. By the 1960’s Rock and Roll had started to cross cultural boundaries and transformed into just Rock music with many identifiable subgenres including Blues Rock, Country Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Glam Rock and more. By the late 70’s and into the 80’s even more subgenres emerged like Punk Rock and Heavy Metal. From the 1990’s through today even more genres like Alternative Rock, Grunge, and Indie Rock have emerged and have become permanent staples under the Rock music umbrella.
Much like Rock and Roll music Hip Hop emerged out of the underground black music scene and slowly but surly started to take over. From its humble beginnings in the Bronx in the 1970’s Hip Hop has always been the catalyst for what is hot and trendy at the time. Always changing with the times and introducing many different aspects of the culture to main stream audiences Hip Hop has never had the pleasure of being stagnate. So why after almost 40 years later hasn’t Hip Hop subgenres evolved like its predecessor Rock and Roll? Why, especially in a time where everyone is being celebrated for their differences, does Hip Hop keep everyone under the same umbrella instead of giving everyone their own umbrella to shine under?
In 2017 artist such as Big Sean, Lil Uzi Vert, J Cole, xxxtentation, and Migos are all thrown together under the guise of Rappers and Hip Hop artist. When certain artist go against what is normally perceived to be real Hip Hop, the culture wants to disown them, even though we know that Rap and Hip Hop is the only place for them to exist. This ultimately causes a discourse amongst the old heads and the new heads. The old heads want everything to stay the same 1+1= Hip Hop if you will. On the flip side of the that the new heads have figured out 1+1 can equal 3 and there is more than one way to express yourself with Hip Hop than previously thought.
Hip Hop has a self defense mechanism that helps keep people out, so that it wont get gentrified in the way Rock and Roll and R&B was. In retrospect it does nothing but keep its artist in a certain box. In 2017 it is time to brake that box open and accept everyone’s art on the level they present it. It is time for hip hop subgenres like Hip Rock, Trap music, Trap Soul, Conscious Rap, Turn Up Music, Mumble Rap, well maybe not by that name, but we must open up to the different levels that it is on because they all help shape the overall Culture. Hip Hop would not be what it is now, positive or negative, without all of these different variables.
Once we open up and positively recognize each other differences in Hip Hop the pointless arguments about what is and what isn’t will end, and we will be able to tackle other more important issues. Even more prevalent the bashing and hating on each other will cease when we are able to fully understand what lane that person is in and give credit where credit is due. Hip Hop has never been just one thing and over the years it has transformed into more than anyone thought it would be. Its time for Hip Hop to spread its wings and fully become what it has always had the potential to be, which is an all inclusive art form that correctly depicts all aspects of the black experience.