Looking at the future of music it seems to be going in a direction that I favor, at least for what I guess we can call the underground music. Well, maybe underground mainstream music would be a better term for it. What is underground mainstream music? I thought you would never ask.
To me it’s the musicians that were underground in my youthful days. Now those artists still hold true to what they feel is the integrity of the culture, and by never stopping, they have reached mainstream status but never mainstream sales. Groups like the Roots, Talib Kweli, Common, Jadkiss, Styles P, KRS-One, etc. are seeing their music being heard by way more people than of the past. Mainly due to technology and most definitely their talent.
This has caused music to shift dramatically from separate genres to a melting pot of mixed genres. In the case of hip hop, which has always been a mixture of genres, it has now traveled the globe from the ghettos of America to the ghettos of the world. Just like it spread from the ghetto to the suburbs of America, worldwide it did the same thing furthering the melting pot.
Which brings me to the point of this post. The music of today is still as good as the music of the past it’s just no longer bound to the hardships of the oppressed. It has had a chance to be heard and understood by the more fortunate. At one point it was the black and latino culture that fueled hip hop until white people started really listening and decided they too had something to add. Hip hop, as it always does, started sampling. This time instead of records, it sampled culture. Adding a new twist every time it did so.
Now when I listen to music I see the more popular emcees branching out to singers to help aid in the picture they are painting. This is nothing new, but the way it’s being done is different. Years of the past, one could see that if a hip hop had a singer on the chorus, it was more than likely an artist from the R & B genre. Now it’s branching out into artists who bring something entirely different. Whether it’s jazz singers, alternative, rock, etc. it doesn’t matter and I personally love it.
Hip Hop has expanded it’s boundaries to anyone who can appreciate it’s contribution to the world and by doing so, has created yet another chamber to the culture. A culture that doesn’t care where you come from or how you sound. All that matters is whatever cultures combine to make a song, that song better be good. If it is, it is welcomed to the Hip Hop culture.