Grammy-winning rapper Common recently said corporations are responsible for the hip-hop’s current condition.
From Common’s perspective, hip-hop has lost its power to breed leaders.
It’s sad, because hip hop does not have the same impact today that it did when I was coming up,” Common said in an interview. “I think about my daughter and hip-hop has no real impact on her lifestyle. I remember wearing medallions and finding out about Farrakhan and that movement because Chuck D talked about it. Hip-Hop had a big relevance on life. When the corporations took over music, the music lost its soul. Music used to be artist driven and pure. I always thought hip-hop artists were leaders. Big Daddy Kane would say this is what I’m about. KRS would say this is who I’m about. NWA would do the same. If the music does not feel good to your spirit, you can’t make a connection. I listen to old Bran Nubian or Tribe Called Quest or John Coltrane. It’s different for the youth today. My daughter is 12 and I don’t know if Nicki Minaj is going to have the same impact on her life as KRS had on mine.” (Honey Mag)
Rapper David Banner recently said hip-hop was losing its essence.
“People don’t even mix and master records anymore,” Banner said in a blog post. “They don’t care about the quality of music anymore and it’s turning it into sh*t and it’s our fault. All these blog sites and magazines are doing the same thing with the bullsh*t politics. The media ain’t sh*t, they only care about screwing each other. It ain’t about how good you can rap anymore. Dope beats? What happened to that? Now it’s all about what features a rapper is going to have or who he’s having sex with. But we allowed it to happen and it’s our fault. Don’t blame it on no regions or anybody. Blame it on yourself for not liking better music, the magazines and blogs need to put out better information.” (VIBE)
Earlier this month, Common talked about returning to hip-hop’s “roots” on his new LP.
“Well the new album is called The Believer and I’m working on it,” Com explained in an interview. “It’s really just in the beginning stages but I been cooking up with No ID and Kanye West and my man Y-Not, who produced some of my earlier music. It’s really just essential boom bap hip-hop. I think I’m at a place where I wanna do some boom bap, raw sounding hip-hop that’s inspiring. I think that’s what people wanna hear. It’s gonna have some scratches, flows and everything because there aren’t too many rules to hip-hop. You think about what hip-hop brought that was so new was that it wasn’t really any rules to hip-hop. When I listen to Chuck D on ‘Rebel Without a Pause,’ he had like four verses on that song. It wasn’t about, like, ‘Okay, we gonna do 16 bars with an eight bar chorus.’ It was just like this is what I have to say and I’m gonna say it and it came out that way. They let it be natural and be raw and that’s what I want to have happen with my new album.” (XXL Mag)
The project will reportedly come out this fall.
“It’s ‘good’ music,” he said. “The themes are street music and elevation, things that I feel like I always embody when I rap. But here there’s new situations, new solutions.” As far as production goes, Common says he’s working with No I.D. and Kanye West, both of which have produced a couple of his previous albums — “Be” and “Finding Forever,” “Resurrection” and “One Day It’ll All Make Sense” respectively. “I’m striving to get it out in the fall,” he said, adding that fans can expect a single by late summer or early fall. (Billboard)
Check out a recent Common interview below: