The Aging of Hip Hop

Posted on September 27, 2011 by

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Hip Hop is aging. I don’t mean the artform, I mean our favorite rappers, fans, and consumers. The marketplace is aging. We spend less money on music, music magazines, concerts, clubs, merchandise, etc, yet have become exceptionally more opinionated on the quality of what’s available to us. Have we become our parents?

The average age of the “hip hop generation” is between 35 and 40, and includes the folks who were in high school and college (ya know, the “go out and party” age) at the height of Jay Z, Biggie, WuTang, Mobb Deep, etc. Ya know, back when hip hop was “good.” Go on, say it! You know you want to…

But if you were 20 when Biggie’s “Hypnotize” came out (1996) and was the shit in the clubs, then today you are 35.  You’re old.  Sorry…old for hip hop and music.  Music is created for people who are 14-23 (your kids) and just as YOU didn’t like what YOUR parnets listened to for the most part, neither does this generation.  Besides, Jay Z is 42.  He looks like somebody’s Dad to the current generation of music fans.  Who wants to idolize somebody’s Dad.  Did you have 40 year old superstars hanging on the wall of YOUR bedroom when you were a teenager?  Doubtful…

By the time you hit your 30s, most people have a life: kids, car payments, mortgages, expenses, careers, credit card debt, etc.  We don’t have disposable income like the teen agers do.  THAT is why they are the target market.  Odd Future isn’t FOR you.  You do NOT have to understand them.  But keep bitching about them and how bizarre they are because the more you hate them, the more your kids will embrace them.  Lil B, Kreyshawn, Tyler, the skinny jeans wearing fad–NOT FOR YOU!  Remember how the older generation sucked their teeth and said “boy, pull them pants up!”  Yep, that’s you NOW!  hahahahahahahahaha

When Biggie came out, I was in my mid-30s.  I was from the generation before YOU.  I remember Cold Crush, Public Enemy, Run DMC….they were MY heroes.  So when Biggie and Jay Z came out talking about popping bottles, I was abhored.  I came up when music said something and made a difference.  It wasn’t about expersive cars, strippers, materialistic goods….it had substance.  And YOU told ME to shut the fuck up, because times changed.  Well, now I’m reminding YOU of this.  Times have changed.  Not better, not worse– just different.

All this to say, stop bitching about hip hop.  It’s not meant for you anymore.  You don’t go to the club, you don’t buy music, you don’t buy t-shirts or go to concerts anymore….it’s not FOR you.  Just be glad there are a handful of artists stuck in the timewarp with you so you have new shit to listen to.  Oh, and support it by buying it, before all you have left is NPR in the car….

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