4th August 2019
The growing popularity in “Turn-Up Rap” “Trap” or whatever you want to call it, has been established over the last couple of years in Hip-Hop. The wrath of the “Soundcloud Rappers” has alienated consumers of Hip-Hop and Rap believing that the genre is being watered down or losing its potency; but i’ll have to respectfully decline this notion. The pool of talent within the genre has grown exponentially, meaning new artists from all subcultures are fighting to gain popularity amongst the avid listening fanbase, highlighting that the introduction of “mumble” rap has only made the industry over-saturated rather than changing its identity and values altogether. Music is similar to food in the way that the majority of western society consumes a variety of food amongst thousands of potential choices, yet somehow, someway, they always get what they desire: the Hip-Hop industry is no different.
If you’re looking for lyrical rap full of substance, you can find it. If you want microwave Turn-Up rap, you can find it. However; what’s drawn me to add my own opinion to this this argument is the current music landscape in 2019. For instance, when a group like TDE continue to epitomise lyrical rap still existing in the culture, supported by more recent members of the collective like REASON, how could anyone say lyrical rap no longer exists.
Furthermore, the Griselda boys (who signed to Eminem’s Shady Records in 2018) is full of narcotic peddling, Medellin dreaming, New York narrators. Lead forward by Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine, combining jazzy slow beats with vivid lyricism about their hood tales. Their sound can’t be put to justice through words but if I had to, I’d say it sounds like some New York Black Mafia s**t.
The Dreamville squad are the third and final group that definitively argue for the mainstay of lyrical rap, with their latest release “Revenge of the Dreamers 3” projecting a personal story in lyrically emotive stanzas, reflecting more of the substantial tone of music. J Cole’s entourage presented us with a beautifully eclectic album, featuring a variety of cultures and sonics, that ultimately made something that I would argue holds more credit than any of Cole’s solo releases, but that’s a discussion for another day. Alongside Cole; J.I.D. from Atlanta and Cozz from Compton also carried the project elegantly, two artists that should be on your Hip-Hop radar if you’re unfamiliar.
Honourable mentions to other current artists holding down the scene go to Domo Genesis, Maxo Kream, DirtySanchez47 and I would mention Freddie Gibbs, but a small mention doesn’t do his work justice so as my fourth honourable mention Stro.
I could go on for longer but I’m sure you get the gist of it, point being that lyrical rap never left.