Thats All Folks

The Graffiti Writin' on the Wall: Is Hip-Hop’s Time Up?

“For those who pose lyrical/ but really ain’t true/ Their times limited/ hard rocks, too” – “Times Up”, OC

A long time ago, on a rooftop in a place called the South Bronx, a group of Hip-Hop wise men were sitting around listening to “Rappers Delight” when they had a vision. One day, the culture that they loved would become so ratchet that it would destroy itself. The year they predicted – 2012…

If you believe all the hype about the Mayan calendar and the world coming to an end this month, you are probably not reading this article. Chances are, you are either hiding under your bed, or at the mall maxin’ out your credit cards. Because if the world is gonna blow up anyway, why worry?

Truth be told, people have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of time. However, most end-time prophecies are not referring to the destruction of a planet but the destruction of a “system.”

Nile Valley Contributions_coverAs Dr. Anthony Browder wrote in his book, Nile Valley Contribution to Civilization, one of the most important lessons that history teaches us is that no civilization lasts forever. He discussed how internal weaknesses made the great 3,000-year-old civilization of Egypt (Kemet) vulnerable for conquest by the Persians, who were conquered by the Greeks, who were conquered by the Romans, who were later conquered by the “barbarians” (Vandals, Visigoths, etc.) The list goes on.

The Bible is also full of Apocalyptic predictions.

In the Book of Daniel, Daniel is said to have translated the “handwriting on the wall” to warn King Belshazzar of his demise, because his deeds had been “weighed in the balance” and “found wanting.” Also, the Book of Revelation predicted a final battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil, preceding the fall of the Roman Empire.

There have been many other end-time predictions from Nostradamus to Rev. Harold Camping, the radio minister who predicted that the world was supposed to end last year.

Whether you believe in end-time prophecies or not, one thing is certain. There is a universal truth that everything in the physical universe with a beginning will have an ending.

Commercial Hip-Hop is not exempt.

There has to be a point where the culture has regressed so much that it will make the listener so intellectually comatose, that he will not be smart enough to download a song off of iTunes.
Seems like we are almost at that point.

So, it’s not a question of when the commercial version of Hip-Hop that is destroying the culture will end, but how.

I used to believe that some conscious, lyrical super rapper leading an army of real Hip-Hop fans would rise out of the North and banish all the Ratchet rappers to a small town just outside the Atlanta city limits. But, based on the complacency of those who claim to want a return to the good ol’ days of lyrically complex rhymes, that probably ain’t gonna happen.

The real rap revolution may be lead by the proverbial ”lumpen proletariat.” All over the Internet, there are videos of real gangsters threatening to shut down fake radio gangstas who have made millions of dollars perpetratin’ the fraud. If this continues, no venue on the planet will book a rap concert if the owners think that there is a possibility that some drama might pop off. So commercial Hip-Hop may be destroyed by its own self-destructive tendencies.

Or maybe, the cries of parents and community activists who have expressed concerns over lyrics for years will finally get through the thick skulls of record executives who will be more than happy to throw your favorite ratchet rapper under the bus the moment he becomes an economic liability.

Nicki Minaj_The-Re-Up-coverPerhaps people will just stop listening to it. Although, rap artists may refuse to grow up and leave Hip-Hop Neverland, their fanbases are maturing. The teenager who bought Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter in 2004 is an adult now. And, thanks to the Kanye Wests of the rap world using intellectually stimulating words like “Illuminati” over the last three years, some of their fans were actually inspired to pick up a book, if only to see what all the hoopla was about. Also, retailers like Target and Best Buy have already read the writing on the wall, and have either understocked or refused to carry Nicki Minaj’s latest CD for fear of wasting shelf space on an artist who has overstayed her welcome.

I believe that the end will come because of the faith of the Truth Speakers, whether they be writers or rappers. Those who still believe that even the rapper who spits the most ig’nant nonsense on the radio or the hardest thug on the block is not incorrigible. And, it will only take one right word of wisdom to lead him towards the light of Truth.

Like Puff Daddy said on “Victory,” “The sun don’t shine forever.” Fortunately, darkness doesn’t last forever, either…

Writer’s Note:
This marks the end of the “This Ain’t Hip Hop” weekly series for 2012. The column will return in 2013 – if the world doesn’t end.

TRUTH_Minista_Paul_ScottTRUTH Minista Paul Scott’s weekly column is “This Ain’t Hip Hop,” a column for intelligent Hip Hop headz.

He can be reached at info@nowarningshotsfired.com, on his website, NoWarningShotsFired.com, or on Twitter (@truthminista).

  • hoeyuno

    hip hop is good. I think it does need the panzy ass tight pants of the mainstream to stay alive but there is plenty of that so the art will remain. so my question is if there wasn’t a mainstream multi million dollar industry in rap music would our precious underground rock steady crew reppin mofos still dedicate there lives to reppin hip hop culture???

  • Opposite Of Everyone

    hip-hop started out as it is today; party rhymes. “i said hip-hop, a hip-hip a hip-hop, a hip-hop you don’t stop” / “like a lime to a lemon, a lemon to a lime” / “i said 1,2,3,4, party people what you waitin for” “somebody say ho…” etc etc. Complex raps didn’t start til the 3rd wave of hip-hop with Kool Moe Doe, Ultra and Cool J. I guess it’s just come full circle…. but is that what’s really supposed to happen with evolution ??

    • MiiUziWeighsATon

      Hip hop didnt start out like that, that’s just what got put out first….you had alot of lyrical dudes like Kool Moe Dee and his clique the Treacherous Three, Cold Crush, and other than them who were spitting……Sugar Hill Gang was a group built by the label…Rappers Delight was ghostwritten…them 3 niggaz wasnt even MCs…rapping was a street thing way before that first commercial song that was more disco than hip hop

      • Opposite Of Everyone

        incorrect. i’m talking way before treacherous 3. #73-#79 was pure party rhymes and no lyrical skill worth mentioning tbf. Straight nursery rhymes. I’ve got the evidence on tape !! Furthermore Cold Crush were blatant party rhymers.

    • johnblacksad

      “throw your hands up in the air,
      and wave’em like you…”

  • darius jones

    Hip Hop is in peoples blood. Mainstream rap is dead. There will always be someone waiting to bring back real rap once it is not as popular. The comeback will be just like the beginning. Hip Hop is dying along with other forms of consumerism. The average consumer has become educated but the labels and rappers have not.

  • Gulley

    I agree with most of what you said, except the part where you subliminally pin the responsibility for the rise of commercial rap on the South. I am from Texas and I know my musical history. Especially how DJ Premier who is also from Texas helped shape the sound of late 1980’s early 90’s NEW YORK hiphop! I also know how the D.O.C is originally from Dallas, TX and he wrote huge portions of not only the first NWA albums but The Chronic!!! Fast Foward to the present and you will lose all credibility on the subject at hand if you say or believe groups like OutKast, UGK, The Geto Boys, Eightball & MJG to name a few, are not hiphop. If you believe in the truth like you say then stop sounding like the black version of Dubbya(Bush 2), The reason NY is struggling with hiphop and commercial rap plagues us is not the South!! Maybe its the artist that refuse to learn a lesson. Shout out to Talib, Yasin Bey, and Jean Grae, real NY HipHop! Maybe you should whole-heartedly support them instead of French Montana, Diddy and the rest of those new clowns on the block!

    • Alf Capone

      the played a huge role in the downfall and small role in the rise tho my dude

  • water_ur_seeds

    aslong as i can still buy the hip hop i want, im good, i dont want maintstream jusitn beiber look a likes buying it… graffiti is still massive though, in europe it is anyways, uk, france, holland and over in asia, i know alot of crews in america still killing it to…

    • atle fjeldstad

      Yeah man!

  • Brilliant Article! Majority of America are sheep so those who are wise just maintain until the catastrophe happens.

  • atle fjeldstad

    This hiphop is dead shit needs to stop! I keep seeing spitters pop up all the time! Writers keep writing! Breakers, Dj`s and all the underground artists are playing around the globe! Look at the battle scene, Norway and Sweden got their own battle leagues, so i`m guessing most countries got`em.. Hiphop is good! We keep hiphop alive! Unlike this blog….

  • Aaron Davis

    This guy has been trying to push this idea for awhile now & it’s not only overused but not even that credible. Yes, mainstream hip-hop has been shitty for the last couple years but music evolves & has it’s ups and downs like any other genre of music. We seen the dance hip-hop, gangsta-rap, conscious rap,political rap, trap music etc. all be used as different avenues for artists in the mainstream & underground. Right now, hip-hop is in a tough spot because the trap music sound is in right now & labels dnt wanna abandon that formula for success. It is almost impossible to sell records w/jus spitting some deep concious shit. U have to go hip-pop for some records in order for u to sell & thats the formula for success.