Sinclair: Quality over quantity needed in hip-hop

Isaac Sinclair

Hip-hop has come a long way since its birth in the Bronx in 1973. Just last year, hip-hop became the most popular genre in America for the first time ever. Hip-hop has become a global superpower.

But the state of hip-hop, an ever altering landscape, has been altered in certain ways that are unhealthy to both the musicians and consumers. There are many things wrong with hip-hop right now, and an equal amount that are right, but I want to focus on the overload of cheap music that hurts the standard we hold artists to, and our decision to stomach it.

Artists are putting out an unprecedented amount of music. Part of this is because of the accessibility to technology that we have and the ability of streaming platforms, which make it easy to release and consume music.

But consumers are putting an immense amount of pressure for more, and more and more new music from artists, and artists, especially Soundcloud rappers and bad rappers with loud beats, are releasing more music than ever.

Last year, Future released two full length albums and a collaboration album with Young Thug. Overall, that is 52 songs released in just one year. I applaud his work ethic, but this is an excess of mediocre and static music.

Artists making this much music at once aren’t pushing the genre anywhere or exploring new sounds. Instead, we end up with 52 songs that have that metallic, generic trap sound that Future has done, and will do, for his entire career.

And it isn’t just Future. Other artists do the same thing, like Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump and Lil Yachty. They find a loud beat, write a catchy hook and just do that over and over again. There is no originality here. There isn’t even an attempt to make their own sound or blaze their own path.

It is lazy and bad for hip-hop.

And we, as consumers, are eating it up.

Since when did we decide that “Gucci Gang” was a good song? I mean, seriously people, that is a dumb and terrible song. Lil Pump says “gucci gang” 53 times in that song.

What a lyricist.

We need to demand more from hip-hop, even if that means being a little more patient. We cannot say song like “Gucci Gang” are good, or even acceptable. Hip-hop as an art form deserves, no, demands, better than that.

And so do we.

There are artists who are delivering us high quality content, and even if they make us wait a little bit longer for it, it is worth it. The wait means they are putting the necessary time and effort in their craft, which means a better final product for us.

Look at Kendrick Lamar. His most recent album “Damn.”, is incredible. It won a Pulitzer Prize, the first rap album to ever do that. It took him nearly two years to create and release “Damn.” and look what that time produced.

We shouldn’t demand mediocre to bad songs every six months. We should expect that artists give us the best product they possibly can, and artists should feel like we will be patience enough to wait until their new music is ready so they have the time and freedom to create the best possible music they can.