With his Devil’s Playground debut album finally in stores, New York rapper Notar gives SOHH his opinion on what are hip-hop’s biggest weaknesses.
From Notar’s perspective, hip-hop still suffers from being overly materialistic and focused on a flashy lifestyle.
“The most evil element in hip-hop would have to be vanity, as far as money and the materialistic value of wrist watches and all of this bullsh*t,” Notar told SOHH. “People are losing their jobs, people are losing their houses and somehow the devil is still present in people’s minds making them think they have to brag about their money or having cars. I think that’s a very evil element in my opinion…Every artist has a right to be heard. Every artist that puts their heart and soul into the music, regardless of what the genre is, deserves to be heard.” (SOHH)
Recently, The LOX’s Styles P said hip-hop had lost its lyrical edge.
“Lyrics, I represent lyrics,” Styles said in an interview. “I think that’s a lost art but I think it’s coming back around. I think — I’m talking about the masses. It ain’t all about me. I’m just talking lyricism as a whole.” (Smash Block TV)
Last year, Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx hit up SOHH and said hip-hop currently lacks originality.
“I don’t know [what’s going on in hip-hop] but I know I’m going to be original,” Bubba told SOHH when asked about his take on the state of hip-hop. “Any music people hear from me, from this point forward in my career is going to be original. It’s going to be music that only I can make and if I get frustrated with what’s going on when I listen to hip-hop, it’s with carbon copies. I like Soulja Boy because what he did was original. I’m a big Ying Yang Twins fan but I get [mad] when I hear so many carbon copies of what the last person was doing because of it being successful. That’s when I get a little frustrated [with hip-hop] because I’m like, ‘We’re all individuals here.’ Every person that’s been born into this world was born as an individual with things that separate them from others. For me, that’s what music or just art, period, is about. It’s about making that translate, whatever is unique about you, it’s about making it translate.” (SOHH)
In November 2010, fellow Southern rapper David Banner said he believed hip-hop has lost touch with its fans.
“I just have a problem with the lack of balance,” he explains. “Everything about rap music now has everything to do with the music but the ability to rap. It’s who has this n*gga killed? Who is he beefing with? Does he have swag out the roof, shawty? No, it should be, dude, can you rap? Is the beat tight? … We have allowed corporate entities to reduce our music to a download,” he says. “Our kids now they don’t really believe they should pay for rap music. So there’s a bigger problem that we don’t see. They have now replaced the artist and the talent of the artist with general concepts like swag and being gangsta.” (VIBE)
Check out a past Notar interview below: