Konvict Muzik co-founder Akon has shared his thoughts on the state of hip-hop and broken down its long-standing ability to influence other genres of music.
Akon sees hip-hop as an undying aspect of music that has maintained its stance through the course of time.
“One thing about hip-hop, it’ll begin to stand alone, a movement by itself. It was just a hardcore drum beat bass line and that’s all you saw. Then, it started to slowly travel into the funk era, and it took over that whole funk era, and that’s when the West Coast came and brought that whole vibe to it so it just slowly came in effect at that part of it. Then as you started to realize that the West Coast was being effected by hip-hop and started bringing the whole funk feel to it, back on the East Coast it was completely now starting to be slowly accepted by the Jamaicans, and before you know it the traditional reggae one drop started becoming dancehall, and Jamaicans was really rappin’. It influenced that because dancehall didn’t come about until hip-hop. So it ejected itself into that. Then as all that was combined, then it started to become more musical.” (All Hip Hop)
The label founder also pointed out how hip-hop has also infiltrated the rock arena.
“We even infected a little bit of the rock. When you stop and look at these clashes, you got a lot of these rock bands that’s actually rapping over these hardcore heavy metal tracks. As long as there is music playing, hip-hop is going to find it’s way into it. So I don’t think it’s going no where or going anywhere no time soon. It’s literally a virus, it’ll effect that you put in front of it.” (All Hip Hop)
Despite often being categorized as pop, Black Eyed Peas‘ frontman Will.i.am recently affirmed his contributions to hip-hop.
“If there’s anyone that’s the personification of hip-hop, I’m probably the most hip-hop n*gga out of all these hip-hop n*ggas. But hip-hop editorial and blogs and even some of the hip-hop fans don’t see it that way, which is cool,” he said in an interview. “I’m going to win. I’m going to win and win bigger than all these n*ggas are winning…Hip-Hop is limiting itself and that also goes for editorially. Magazines and websites are the gatekeepers of what people think hip-hop is, but they actually end up limiting what hip-hop can be…If Nas calls me for another track, I can do that. But at the same time, if Usher calls me I can do [an ‘OMG’] as well. Songs like ‘OMG’ are international hits, not just hits on American urban radio. I’m talking about the f*cking world!” (VIBE)
In May, rap veteran Nas gave his observations on hip-hop’s highs and lows.
“It died several times, but I do believe in the heartbeat of it right now,” Nas said in an interview. “There are a lot of new artists, and artists that have been around, who are kicking a** right now. I just wanted to give a boost to people and to myself, to push people to go harder. It’s a different world now.” (Wall Street Journal)
Check out a recent Akon interview below: