Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hip-Hop Generation

3:46 AM

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In an interview with BBC a few years ago, Kanye West declared that “rap is the new rock” and that he was the biggest rock star today. Whether or not you agree with Mr. West’s statement, it’s hard to deny the influence of Hip-Hop in our lives nowadays. Fast-paced, unfiltered, and aggressive, Hip-Hop has certainly become a lifestyle in itself. In Pitchfork’s list of the 100 best albums of the decade so far, three of the top five are Hip-Hop or Hip-Hop influenced (#4 – Channel Orange by Frank Ocean, #2 – good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar, and #1 – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West). I’m hesitant to declare things as “Golden Ages” ahead of their time, but with the large amount of critically acclaimed Hip-Hop albums this year alone, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we are living in a very important time for the genre.

Opposed to the general view of Hip-Hop being crass and immature, plenty of the genre's most important projects discuss strong social issues. N.W.A’s controversial album “Straight Outta Compton” was born out of anger against systematic racial oppression by police authorities. Kanye West’s song “Diamonds from Sierra Leone” brought the issue of blood diamonds into mainstream consciousness. Even locally, rappers like Gloc-9 spit about the plight of OFW’s in “Walang Natira” and LGBT issues in “Sirena”

Hip-Hop doesn’t have the respect that many other art forms enjoy. Being a contemporary music genre, it still carries that stigma of being “new and trending”, and therefore, not worth being taken seriously. People call it brainless and stupid, saying that it only consists of displays of wealth and depravity. Funnily enough, people were saying that about Rock n’ Roll back when it was starting out. People will say that music back in the day was better, but it’s always going to look better through rose-tinted glasses.

Every generation has its divide, separated by the distance that time creates between them. It’s a large canyon to cross, and takes an open mind to cross. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll be pining for the good ol’ days when I’m older or if I can like the new stuff (whatever it may be). Maybe in ten or twenty years we will see a greater appreciation for important Hip-Hop works being released today. Right now, Hip-Hop is at an all-time high, and you better open your eyes before you miss it.

What better way to catch up than to watch live performances from your favorite Hip-Hop artists?Head on to MTV Music Evolution's 2015's first edition on May 17, 7 p.m. at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park to watch performances by Gloc-9, Abra, and Naughty by Nature. 

Follow MTV Asia on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information on how to score tickets to the event!

Article by Mark
Photo of Abra courtesy of MTV Asia
Mark  aspires to be many things. He enjoys rainy days in airconditioned rooms. His favorite food is pizza. He also happens to be his own favorite painting subject. Mark spends too much time on the internet.


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