As hip-hop continues to evolve with newcomers like Odd Future and Diggy Simmons approaching the forefront of the game, SOHH reached out to M.O.P.’s Billy Danze to get his take on rap’s current condition.
While Danze acknowledges the slew of lyricists entering the spotlight, he also said fellow rap vets like KRS-One and Pharoahe Monch are strengthening the game.
“With all due respect to all of the artists that are out there right now and that are coming into the game, I appreciate whatever they’re doing,” Danze told SOHH. “But when you’re talking about the state of hip-hop, it’s still stronger than ever. I just recently had a conversation with KRS-One, I’m always on the phone with Bumpy Knuckles, just got a track from Big Daddy Kane, always linking up with DJ Premier and everyone over at Duck Down, Pharoahe Monch just released an incredible album, that’s hip-hop. So as you can see, hip-hop is still strong. As far as hip-hop goes, hip-hop is good money. And again, this goes back to not just the fan but the way these artists are putting their music together. That’s why they can’t have their own fan base because they’re following what the last person did.” (SOHH)
Danze also explained the influence of hip-hop vets on today’s scene.
“If you want to listen to four people, you buy one person’s album and everybody’s happy. 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 shared his opinion on the state of rap.
“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 past M.O.P. interview below: