Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.
Hip-Hop isn’t dead..but it’s dying… I think it caught A.I.D.S. from unprotected sex with B.I.G. and Puffy….
I know the title of this post sounds a bit like blasphemy but let me explain. I would first like to note that Notorious B.I.G. is/was one of the best who’s ever played the “rap game”…easily on most everyone’s TOP 5. I can remember back when I first heard his voice on Heavy D and the Boys – “a bunch of niggas” …I knew then that whoever that dude was…he was gonna do BIG things.
In 1992 when B.I.G. followed Sean “puffy” Combs from uptown to the newly created Bad Boy Records… I waited patiently to see what would happen. What I saw I didn’t realize at the time was the beginning of the end for what I love about hip-hop. Don’t get me wrong,it had NOTHING to do with B.I.G.’s ability as a lyricist ,not even. It has everything to do with the direction they ( B.I.G. and Puffy) but mostly Puffy, took hip-hop in. Let me explain…Up until that point..Hip -hop has pretty much been about lyrical content,what you had to say FAR outweighed what you actually had. Most artist were hungry ESPECIALLY west coast artists who at the moment just before B.I.G.’s rise OWNED hip-hop,why? In my opinion its because hip-hop was still “fresh” and “new” on the west coast…and THEY were hungry. Then along came B.I.G. with ‘ready to Die” to single handedly wrest hip-hop from the jherri curl soaked mitts of the west coast and essentially brought hip-hop back home and in the process he simultaneously put BAD BOY records on the map,made Puffy look like a genius,and started hip-hop on a road to ruin. How u say. 2 words… Music videos. I believe it was video content that was the catalyst to the tsunami of shitty rap music we’re being drowned in today, because maybe i’m wrong but it seems that those bad Boy videos with the yachts and helicopters and stretch lexus’s raised the bar visually..but lowered the bar lyrically.It became not so much what you had to say..but how you looked saying it. Frankly put..THIS was the precursor to the “bling bling” era of hip-hop..and NOBODY disputes that ruined the beauty that is/was lyrical content. Coincidently this video by notorious B.I.G. actually kinda chronicles what I mean.. the visuals went from hungry and humble to boisterous and ostentatious, see for yourself….
Let me say this again I LOVE B.I.G. What I don’t love is how his hunger to be “great” at any cost allowed him, as some may,to be used as a pawn in Puffy’s ultimate game of conquest. Before B.I.G. was murdered it was true rumored he himself wanted to distance himself from Puffy and Bad Boy. Was this the reason he was murdered? That’s a completely different story. I’m sure there will be some people who violently disagree with me and to that I leave to you a quote from BIG himself…” fuck all you hoes…get a grip” nah..but seriously tho…what are your thoughts?