20 Older Rappers’ Complaints About Hip-Hop and Where It’s Headed
Hip-hop has blossomed from underground secrecy into being one of the most popular genres of music in the world. Many rap veterans who have witnessed this growth haven't always been on board with what they've seen. Internet platforms such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp have allowed any interested party to enter the rap space and potentially become a star, but for many of rap's forefathers that's exactly the problem.
From the rise of mumble rap and drill music to the inclusion of rappers in dresses, a lot has changed, and it's been hard for some older rappers to stomach. Rappers like KRS-One and Rakim, who began creating hip-hop in the genre's early days back in the late 1980s, have vehemently condemned the direction the genre has taken in recent years. Rakim and Eric B said in a Twitter rant back in 2018 that rap fans were witnessing the "devolution of their favorite genre." KRS-One took it one step further at a recent panel earlier this year.
"What people call rap or hip hop today is a disgrace to our culture," KRS-One said. "An absolute betrayal, disrespect and a disgrace. That gap you’re talking about is not even a gap; it’s traitors. It’s straight traitors because if you know what original hip hop is all about and you choose to do the opposite, you a traitor. There’s no way around that s**t."
As hip-hop celebrated its 50th birthday this past August, XXL has also taken some time to look back on the complaints of artists who have been around for multiple decades in the game. Here are 20 older rappers who have felt the need to tell the younger generation to get off their lawns.