Monday, April 21, 2014

Hip-Hop Controversies

Hip-Hop Controversies;  Free Write

Dr. Tricia Rose believes that hip-hop is not dead it lives underground. Unlike Nas a rapper that has a song titled Hip-Hop is dead. After reading Dr. Roses interview with time magazine and conducting my own research I would have to agree with her. I too believe hip-hop is not dead and that it's lives underground.

     Dr. Tricia Rose uses great adjectives and examples to make her observations and beliefs as clear to us as she possibly can. She made sure to let us know that hip-hop NOW is commercially made. Some rappers now make music based off what will sell and what is IN. This reminded me of representation at a cost. Some rappers deliberately change their music to sell records. Therefore they are misrepresenting at a cost. This cost is what’s making hip-hop dead. According to Dr. Rose the rappers that are faithfully representing what they believe are the rappers that are underground. These faithful and passionate rappers are not commercially exploited. I say exploited because they are rapping for the love and not necessarily the money.

Dr. Tricia Rose said Jay-Z  “acknowledged that he's "dumbed his music down" so that he can sell records”.  I did some research and have posted 2 Jay-Z songs. 

Big Pimpin (1997)

Part II (2013) 

Back in 1997 Jay- Z rapping about "pimpin" and not giving his heart to anyone. He was no where near wanting a relationship or thinking about one. The rapping in this song is a little faster and he has other rappers featured on this song. In 2013 Jay-Z is married to Beyonce and they have one child together. His rapping has now changed and so has the content. Jay-Z uses his songs to tell his life stories. All of his songs tell a story including Part II which is about love

I'm not sure exactly what Jay-Z meant about "dumbing down" but this makes me believe that Hip-Hop has changed. I believe when Jay-Z said he "dumbed down" his music he was talking about the way he presented it. He used to rap faster and more harsh when he first came out but that's changed. He still collaborates with rappers but he also collaborates with other genres of music. Jay-Zs music is more commercial now because you can not only rap to his songs, you can also sing to them. Jay-Z can always bring back the Jay-Z he was when he first came out and when hip-hop wasn't "dead" but that's not IN.

--------- I spoke to my brother who is true Jay-Z fan about this topic and he explained to me what Jay-Z meant about dumbing down his music. As being a true Jay-Z fan the first thing my brother said was Jay-Z talks about his life and keeps it 100. He said he speaks about reality. Take a look at the songs.  




What are your thoughts on these two songs?

Do you agree that hip- hop isn't dead?

 Do you think that the change is rappers lives have effected their music? 


  1. I think Jay Z is one of the few talented rappers that are mainstream and played on the radio along with Kanye. I was saddened to read how Jay Z claims to be "dumbing" down, for I have respect for his lyrics and talent. I like how you posted some songs by him!

  2. I liked your relevance to jay z and how you really took the initiative to learn about his music and what he really meant, I was surprised by Jay z claiming to dumb down, and I think even rap artists are acknowledging what is going on in the hip hop world.

  3. You made a really interesting point in your blog which led me to the following thought: We know that there is a push in the pop industry to keep it light, airy, shallow, and singable. It makes me wonder whether Jay-Z's just done fighting that image - he's been making music for how long now? - of being this "Big Pimp" that he was when he was younger. I was thinking that it may even be a push to take the youth away from Jay-Z now that he's a hubby and a dad married to the MOST PERFECT MOST SUPER MEGA AWESOME FOXY HOT WOMAN IN THE WORLD. *fangirling*

  4. to answer your question I dont think hip-hop is dead, has it changed? Of course.

    When you spoke of Jay-Z dumbing down his music, I wouldnt think dumbing down would mean him speaking the truth, and bringing out him personal life in his music. I would think the dumbing down would be all these rappers talking about sex, and drugs. That term confuses me. But his music definitely changed and for the better. I enjoy the positivity.