Hip-hop lost the beat

I don’t know a lot about hip hop’s roots, and I really could care less. It began 30 to 40 years ago, and it definitely meant something.

I refuse to look up a text book or a history on hip hop to prove that it meant something, but I will state a very clear and direct case: The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A, Tupac, the Fresh Prince, Dr. Dre, even Rage Against the Machine, if you count their hip hop influence. These weren’t just stars of a lost era; they were inspirations. They had soul.

Crunk, gangsta rap and Kanye West ate hip hop’s soul and extricated it as the worst musical era we have ever witnessed. Maybe if Kanye wasn’t too busy “driving around town looking for the best spot for the drunk and hot girls” he would learn how to write an actual song. When Tupac said, “We’ve gotta make changes,” I honestly doubt he thought we should give disasters such as Kanye West or the Black Eyed Peas our nod of approval. Where Tupac was concerned with the state and lives of African Americans, modern rap “artists” are categorized as money hungry idiots, striving to boost their egos just a little bit more on the VMAs.

But alas, I must bring you to a point of interest, because if you have the ability to read this, you probably don’t listen to modern day hip hop (I can’t type in Ebonics). There is hope in this cloud of over-used beats and blatantly degrading rhymes (to both English and women). I have found one artist that holds true to the original spirit of hip hop: Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, a hip hop duo hailing from England.

The easiest song to get into is “Thou Shalt Always Kill,” with its odd mix of electronica and pounding beats, it throws a mesh of morals and pop culture into one song, singing, “Thou shalt not pimp my ride, thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster, thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness, thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.” One song, “Developments,” has Scroobius Pip trying to one-up Mos Def for rhyming the alphabet by rhyming the periodic table.

The reason I pick Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, as opposed to many other underground hip hop artists with dignity, is because they recognize what the scene has become: “soulless music, artless lyrics, goalless movements, heartless gimmicks.” If that’s the big life, then I’m not willing to listen.