News: Rakim Tells New Rappers To Wake-Up, "I Don't See A Lot Of Artistry Out There"

Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:13AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap pioneer Rakim recently weighed in his thoughts on the current state of hip-hop and why outside of artists like B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco, the game is in need of some renovation.

Rakim believes the lack of consciousness in artists' music is severely impacting hip-hop.

"It's hard," Rakim says. "The conscious level is definitely low and the substance of the music is so much lighter, but you have to understand the game is young in new places. It's still growing...We really need some of that consciousness, that fly on the wall that watches over us and comments. I like B.o.B. and Lupe Fiasco a lot, they're both exploring the music, but I don't see a lot of artistry out there." (The Guardian)

M.O.P.'s Billy Danze recently hit up SOHH and shared his outlook on the current state of rap.

"If you want to listen to four people, you buy one person's album and everybody's happy," Danze explained. "Fortunately, we were able to come into the game listening to Kool G Rap and Rakim, KRS-One, those guys that showed us it was cool to be different and cool to be creative and actually put you on to a record. Hip-Hop is always here. As long as M.O.P. is here, KRS-One, Rakim, all of us, we always got your back." (SOHH)

Recently, fellow New York rapper Prodigy said he was optimistic toward the rap game.

"It's in a good place man," P said referring to hip-hop. "Any time you've got a whole bunch of competitors it only steps up the quality of the sh*t that's out there. How are you going to shine and stand out with all this new sh*t that's happening, and all the heavy competition in the game? What's going to make you so special? So it makes you work harder to prove that you deserve what you've got, prove that you deserve your sh*t. You've got to earn what you've got. So that's how I see it. It just makes you work that much harder." (Complex)

Last month, Shyne applauded Drake, Kanye West and Lil Wayne's efforts to keep hip-hop relevant.

"I think the Drake kid has serious potential to go down in the history of rap," Shyne explained in an interview. "I definitely get inspired. He's not really a rapper. He's a musician, you dig? He sings and he makes great music. I'm inspired by what he does...Most of the people I interact with are honest people. They are who they are. Drake is a kid that says 'Listen, I'm not from the streets. I'm just making good music.' Kanye's a dude that doesn't try to be anything other than who he is. [Lil] Wayne is really off the block...All the kids I respect and admire are truthful people. I like the kid Lupe Fiasco. I think he's extraordinary. I'm really about truth, man. If you're being honest and you have integrity, I'm all for you." (Superstar Radio)

Check out a recent Rakim interview below:

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