Hey Siri, why can’t music today be like what it used to be?


I was in a discussion and the topic was music. Music evolved from a pastime to a full-on industry. But it feels like every artist that pops around nowadays doesn’t give the excitement that they used to.  The internet will say stuff such as the beats they use, but there’s a bigger picture. Two important facts to keep in mind is that on average, Americans use 4 hours of their day for music. In an article by Selwyn Duke, it’s said that there are times and places when music can remain the same for hundreds of years. It’s known that culture and music go hand in hand, so why can’t music today be what it used to be?

Music’s cultural impact is that it’s a representation of the times. What society “dug” a decade or two ago isn’t always popular. Much of music today speaks of all the pleasures in life, a good rich life. But the value is rooted in materialistic things when there was a time when artists such as The Greats of Hip Hop spoke of hardships they faced day to day, rather than the false realities many chases. Music back in the day was viewed as political rap. Many of the artists such as Nas, Pac, or even Ice Cube himself. What old hip hop was and what hip hop today have in common is each reflects the period of the people. 

Nas once stated Could you imagine what 50 Cent could be doing, Nas, Jay, Eminem, if we were the Jimmy Iovine’s? Could you imagine the power we’d have? I think that’s where we’re headed.” On Tim Westwood’s radio show “says “Hip Hop is dead because we as artists no longer have the power” After reading this statement I went into more research on the industry and it’s nothing but true. Many artists were held back because many corporations were scared that sales would plummet, never taking the chance for the artist to fully express themselves holding back their artist’s first amendment. 

He went on to say “When I say hip hop is dead [im] basically saying America is dead. There’s no political voice. Our music is dead, our commerce is dead. Everything in this society has already been done. It’s like a slingshot, where you throwback and it starts to lose speed and is about to fall down. That’s where we are as a country. What I mean by ‘hip hop is dead’ is that we are in a vulnerable state. If we don’t change we’re gonna disappear like Rome. I think hip hop could save America. Once hip-hoppers own hip hop, were our own politicians. We are our own government. We have something to say.” It’s a powerful statement because America has built itself into a modern roman empire. It’s never seen but as a country, we give money to countries that of course need it, but in turn, we starve our own country never giving back into the foundation of which built this country. 

 In a different interview, MTV interviews 2Pac. In this interview he is asked about his lyrics from ThugLife, Pac responds with ”I say ‘I live a thug’s life, feeling hopeless. One person might like the way it sounds but I’m doing it for the kids who really are living a thug life feeling hopeless. It’s my way to reach the kid. It’s going to sound glorious to someone not living that life.” Pac has mentioned before that his lyrics and verses are about struggling and overcoming. Pac and Nas are some of the Dons of Hip Hop heavily influencing many of today’s music. Much of their words have actions backed behind them. In the statement given by Pac, it proves that there were pure intentions when these MCs spoke and Nas’ statement further gives light to the fact that hip hop of today might never amount to any of the old school classics because the music industry simply isn’t owned by the music anymore.