Since its inception during the early 1970’s, hip-hop has grown into the most popular form of music in the world. Its influence reaches every walk of life, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. Traditionally, the musicians involved with the genre of hip-hop maintained a certain style, or sound that was unique, and completely different from any other art form. The practice of reciting spoken word over an instrumental (whether it be electronic, acoustic or otherwise), is how many would describe conventional hip-hop. However, as a result of the genre’s progression, its sound has evolved as well.
In recent years, the line between traditional hip-hop and other forms of music has been blurred to a certain extent. Artists such as Bryson Tiller, Raury, 6lack and Post Malone can be considered members of hip-hop, but they tend to incorporate a heavy dose of R&B and Alternative Rock into the music that they record. The aforementioned artists’ popularity with the general public continues to increase, thus creating a shift in the sound of hip-hop that we are accustomed to, and it eventually led us to the question:
“Are music genres disappearing?”
Initially, hip-hop music was predominantly practiced and accepted by minorities, specifically people of African-American or Hispanic ethnicity. But throughout the years, the diversity of both the genre’s musicians as well as its fan base has expanded. The culture was once exclusive to the people who embodied the struggle of growing up in impoverished, urban areas of America have now included an audience that varies in age and social class. For the young, Caucasian male musician who may have been exposed to the alternative rock bands of the 1980’s by their parents but has a passion for hip-hop; it is only natural that the music they produce could possibly be a mesh between the two.
Hip-Hop is an ever changing culture that has always moved the meter when it came to societal and musical norms. It is common belief that B.o.B., Kid Cudi and Andre 300 (just to name a few) have heavily influenced the new generation. Creatively, they have pushed the boundaries of what traditional hip-hop is supposed to sound like, and challenged the normal process of how artists record music. On the other hand, rappers like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole continue to stay true to the pure essence of the art form by placing emphasis on lyricism.
The up-and-coming artists of the future are expressing themselves in innovative ways that will force us to alter the way that we view and listen to music, and instead of thinking that music genres are disappearing; let’s focus on the fact that new genres are being created. As long as it maintains its quality and consistency, the future of hip-hop is promising, regardless of the change.