The so called ‘Golden Era’ 90s Hip Hop VS Now is something that is regularly debated. Often in favour of the former. People want to talk about how the youth of today just don’t understand Hip Hop. I hear the arguments but to be honest I think it echoes that of the older generation moaning about Hip Hop when it was first developed. Or similarly the older generation before them complaining about this new ‘evil’ Rock music, or ‘devil music’ as some would have referred to it.
Golden age advocates will say Hip Hop used to be about digging for old vinyl to find those rare samples to build your music and how Hip Hop DJs used to have to display ‘genuine skill’ unlike the laptop DJs of today. But this to me is very much the same as the adults from the 80s and 90s complaining about how these Hip Hop kids don’t understand music because they sample others work rather than writing their own, or how they ‘talk’ over a drum beat rather than sing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loooooooove Hip Hop from the 90’s golden era. I’ve done my fair share of crate digging for vinyl and still know how to use an MPC2000XL, a machine that many golden age Hip Hop purists still think is the best thing since the first James Brown loop. I still got my ton of vinyl, still know how to cut and scratch on vinyl with 1210’s and know how to mix by ear rather than visual cues. But seriously…. Why are we still complaining about the new music technology and the kids of today? Just because the old technology was more difficult doesn’t make it better. Opening a tin of baked beans with a rock isn’t better than using a tin opener… I really don’t see what the problem is with using DJ software like Serato. Or sampling from wav files, or using midi mixdeck controllers… If people find them easier and they manage to get the same effect more power to them. All the fans really care about is how you make them feel and whether they enjoy the music or not. How it’s done or created is of far less importance.
The arrival of DJ and production software and midi mixdeck controllers is an inevitable progression. Much like the development of sleek mixers with smooth cross faders made especially for turntablist DJs. Can you imagine how things would have been if technology stayed the same and never progressed beyond the 70s? Half the amazing skills developed by the likes of the ‘Invisibl Skratch Piklz’ would never have been possible.
There are people that are either of the golden era or emulate that era and I got nothing but love and respect for them! I’ll still be there supporting them and parting with cash to see them at shows and hear their music. I still spit curmudgeonly bars with nostalgic whimsy for the old school too but I really don’t understand all the hate for today and today’s music industry blah, blah, blah… The only constant in life is change. Don’t like it? Go fuck off back to your coal mine hahaha (….kidding :P).
As far as music is concerned I still find tons of brand new stuff that I actually enjoy. Let’s stop whining that it’s not the 90’s anymore and let’s learn to accept that things change. Every era has good and bad music. There’s been throwaway music for tinny boppers since pop culture began. I love music from the 90’s, also from the 80’s, 70’s, 60’s…. Fuck there’s some shit from the 40’s I’ll shake my arse to! What up Glenn Miller and all the man dem??
BUT there’s 00’s shit I love to death and some of the new shit that comes out today is cool still…
An older Hip Hop fan I know made a very good point with regards to this 90s VS now debate. He argued that in some ways the new school is in fact closer to what Hip Hop was originally about than the 90’s…. His quote being “Hip Hop was started to move kids away from gangs and drugs and in many ways it was used in the 90s to glamorised them and appear macho. The current era is returning to a more open and fun centric attitude, more peace unity and having fun than mean mugging and having a gun.”- Big up to Mark ‘Badbelly’ Lang for that one!
Golden age advocates, I hear you and respect your view. But let’s try to be balanced about it and let’s try to avoid sounding like our conservative parents 🙂
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