When it comes to hip hop, today’s audiences can often overlook the classics. Everyone’s heard of Tupac and Biggie, but other old heads like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Hieroglyphics, J Dilla and all the Soulquarians are left in the wind. Why is that?
Is it a lack of knowledge? Often. Ignorance? For sure. A complacent acceptance of societal “standards” and yearning to be “just like” the newest big thing and the popular kids on the lunch line? Abso, lutely. In addition to the deaths of some of the greatest (J Dilla Changed My Life), these issues bring rise to another, possibly greater one. Many of these amazing artists are not reaching an audience like they once did, in live shows and record sales, meaning their time in our earways could be coming to an end. And today’s radio is surely not helping.
With all the same nursery rhyme rap and cookie cutter pop tunes being spun, today’s generation of music is hurting our hip hop icons of the past. Niche stations like KCRW or some others in the big cities are trying to make a stand. And internet radio is a huge saviour in terms of exposure for lesser-loved gems. If it was up to us at Dabs Mag, you’d hear nothing but things like Stones Throw and DOOM all day on the radio. Instead of this monotonous material. Ya’ll don’t hear me though. MC’s get a little bit of love and think they hot. Sorry, just had to see how long we could take that.
This is our rallying cry to fight the power! Stop the leaching wound that is mediocrity from poisoning our musical sound waves and discover the weird. The bold. And the downright groovy.