RAP: How has it evolved over the years, and what has driven this evolution… where is it going?

Contemporary music editor Alex M writes ...

Rap can be split into several eras depending on the time period of their release, eras like pre 2000’s /old school, Rap in the 2000’s and modern hip hop / mumble rap can all be differentiated and identified by the beat, style, writing(lyrics) and sound effects.

Hip hop during the early 2000s was moving towards more R and B styles with gang themes. Throughout Pre 2000s and in modern hip hop it has themes of “Hood Politics” , drug taking and sexual references .

For example, artists like Notorious Big , Jay Z, 50 cent , Migos and Snoop Dogg all sold drugs before they made it in Hip Hop. These personal experiences influenced their styles and songs throughout.

Modern Hip Hop and Uk Grime touches on these drug influences and violence that comes with drug activity is what some would say gives hip hop a bad name. However lots of these experiences and destruction is what inspires these rappers and is spoken about in their songs to be something to strive away from in order to make a good life for yourself and get out of the “hood” you grew up in.

To make money in clean ways and not have to work like everyone else is a common reference and motivates fans and artists throughout. In contrast to Gangsta rappers like the named above, rappers like Drake, Kanye West , Ne-Yo , lil Uzi Vert, Akon and The Weeknd have common references about women , failed relationships , heartbreak, dismissal of love and striving towards money and petty drugs to ease pain.

Their albums made more like pieces of art , structured and put together in order to tell stories about their lives, to be listened to for the first time in order to fully understand what the artist is trying to convey.

Kanye West has been one of Hip Hop’s modern developers after his Album Yeezus using an array of sci-fi sounds and beats to push rap in whatever way the artist wanted the music to sound regardless of traditional styles .

Drake recently has been rapping amongst Uk artists like Headie One, he has taken the flow and style of UK Artists and developed it into artistic lyrical works of art that can be listened to by widespread audiences as what he raps about can be common themes for most young people.

Mumble rap has had negative contexts throughout old school and classical rap fans as those fans cant relate , cant understand the lyrics or just don't associate with the types of drugs these rappers take and which often inspires the overall theme and sounds of the songs.

Rappers like Migos , Travis scott , Lil Pump , Lil uzi , Playboi carti , young thug , Future , 21 savage and XXX tentacion could be branched into this category by those who don't like them or have taken quick judgements on them without really listening to their full albums and knowing that these artists have also branched out into other genres within Rap and are actually some of the biggest names in modern hip hop who have made number one albums and songs .

These artists have been known to use similar sounds and beats in some cases , which gives older fans who cant relate or understand a reason to dislike them and categorise them as “Mumble rappers” however mumble rap is just a style that should be used for identifying songs not artists in my opinion. Drugs like Xanax , codeine , Weed and valuum have also inspired these sounds , when users take these drugs and listen to this music it fits the overall tone and feeling which could also be a reason why these artists have so much success to create music for only certain people can relate to .


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