Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am didn’t hold back his views on today’s Hip-Hop scene, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
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During the candid chat, which centered on music and technology, the hitmaker revealed he didn’t hold today’s in Hip-Hop in the same regard as efforts from yesteryear.
He stated that “everybody could do it” and that “it doesn’t take much f*cking skill right now to make Hip-Hop. It’s become the lowest-hanging fruit.”
Elaborating, he added:
“It’s no longer about Rakim-level, Nas-level, not the deep, metaphorical simile sh*t. Out of respect for the Nas’ of the world, let’s not call it Hip-Hop.”
Perhaps Will’s frustration is another reason why his group have returned to their original Hip-Hop sound with the recently released LP ‘Masters Of The Sun.’
More critically praised than a commercial success, the sentiment of being jarred by today’s rap is shared by bandmate Taboo. On jazzy jam ‘New Wave,’ he calls out mumble rappers with the lyrics:
What the f*ck they be rhymin’ ’bout these days/They be mumblin’ like “What the f*ck did he say?” /So please speak clear and enunciate/Don’t be all up in my ear and irritate.”
Even with artists such as J.Cole, Nas and The Peas themselves, there does seems to be a lack of conscious rap in the industry at the moment. Indeed, while it’s not imperative for all acts to skew introspective or socially reflective, it seems that many a Hip-Hop artist is selling more of their imagery and backstory than lyrical content which is of course what the genre was originally known and appreciated for. A little balance won’t hurt no one.