5 Hip-Hop Trends That Need to End

Hip-Hop music and culture is over 40 years old, and, in four decades, its reach has grown from block parties in the South Bronx of New York to all seven continents around the globe.  And just like anything that is more than a flash in the pan, endurance was essential if rap expected to survive the test of time.  And it has proven its resilience over and over again.  However, some changes and trends that Hip-Hop has become a part of are more harmful than helpful.  Yes, they do help keep DJ Kool Herc’s creation in the headlines and on top of the charts… But at what expense?  And how do they help continue to push rap forward so that it will be around to inspire future generations? has come up with a list of disturbing trends in rap that need to be addressed.  If they go unchecked, these self-destructive tendencies will continue to harm a culture that has helped so many.  And that is the last thing that anybody wants, especially those people (myself included) who are proof positive that Hip-Hop can change lives for the better.

5). Self-Declared Classics: Rap is very competitive, and so confidence is essential.  Yet, to declare your own work a classic, that’s presumptuous even by Hip-Hop standards.  It not only gives a project lofty expectations, but also seemingly restricts the artists whoiggy-azalea-new-classic-cover put that status on their own work.  Because after you reach the top, or put yourself there, there’s only one way to go.  And especially for new rappers who do that, it could potentially stall a career just as its getting started because the song or album becomes bigger than the artist (or the project flops).  The people are who ultimately determine the affect of an artist’s work, and while Hip-Hop legends do have some material that’s widely regarded as “classic” under their belts, it’s the entire body of work that have made them iconic.  Not just a single release.  There’s another name for that and it’s “one-hit wonder.”

4). Biting: Biting rhymes in Hip-Hop isn’t anything new, but, nonetheless, it is still something that’s  been going on a long time and is counterproductive to the authenticity that Hip-Hop prides itself on.  And while in a few cases it’s perceived as paying homage, like with Jay Z’s “What More Can I Say”: I’m not a biter, I’m a writer / For myself, and others / I say a B.I.G. verse, I’m only bigging up my brother.  In many others, it’s seen as nothing more than theft and artistic laze.  Fortunately, with the issue of recycling rhymes recently brought up via Drake using Rappin’ 4-Tay’s lyrics and then reportedly paying him $100,000, biters are now being held accountable for being “overly” inspired by others.  Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come if rappers continue to steal from each other.  Or, best case scenario, they just stop doing it.

3). Calling Yourself God: Similar to biting, Hip-Hop’s references to religion have been around for a long time.  And expressing one’s faith or belief in a higher power through Hip-Hop is great (e.g. Rakim’s references to the Five Percent Nation and its ideology, Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” record,   Malice becoming No Malice, etc.).  But, in some instances, rappers referring to themselves as God with no context other than to be provocative or to brag does nothing more that put forth an affront to many people’s deeply-held beliefs and /or make an emcee look really stupid.  A few cases in point – Lil B on “Look Like Jesus” (I’m God / I look like Jesus / And I’m coming with that motherf***ing heater) and A$AP Ferg on A$AP Mob’s “Persian Wine (Young Trap Lord, might die on a cross / Gold link chain swing down to my balls).  Considering many  people regard Jesus as a peaceful savior and that lots of religious organizations have its members take a vow of poverty, those two lyrics are not only potentially very offensive, but also make no sense at all.

2). Face Tattoos: To be fair, a “bad” tattoo is subjective, and so what some might perceive that way could be viewed as “good” by others and/or it has the ability to be covered up.  But based on what has been seen, there are definitely questionable choices that have been made by a number of rappers – especially the ones who get ink on their face.  And while it is true that someone like Game will2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors - Arrivals probably never have to go to a job interview, the tattoo on his face that has changed three-times might limit his chances for business deals.  And I want to be clear: I’m in no way singling Game out, but using those artwork choices as an example of how if Hip-Hop expects to produce moguls beyond just entertainment, rappers who are face tattoo recipients might want to consider getting them removed before entering an environment that could have people in it who have never even heard a rap record.

 1). “Culture Vultures”: Recently, Hip-Hop has been receiving a lot of attention from people within it accusing the powers that be of trying to exploit rap and disconnect it from its essence as well as glorify ignorance.  From Damon Dash criticizing Lyor Cohen to Chuck D having a war of words with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg to Wes Jackson calling out MTV for their coverage of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, it is clear that Hip-Hop is at a crossroads.  Perhaps, now more than ever, it is important for rap, its trail blazers, and its power to be recognized so that its history doesn’t get distorted.  Everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, etc., has a place in Hip-Hop!  But if there is no balance and credit isn’t given where it’s due, it puts the integrity of it all in jeopardy and that is unacceptable.

What do you think?  Are there other trends that need to stop?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

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  • “…and /or make an emcee look really stupid. A few cases in point – Lil B..” lil b is stupid and sooo wack, he not even a rela rapper since he can not rhyme on beat so this article fails because you mentioned his name.

  • Dointer

    The top of that list should be “WACK RAPPERS”. I was chillin with some of my younger friends the other day who are all in with the new hip hop movement and I put on some old Big L. We got about 2 minutes into it and they wanted it changed, one even went so far as to say ” it gives me a headache”……..

    I cant be mad at them, its whats getting pushed towards now, such a shame there will be a whole generation coming through who dont hold lyricism/flow/content to any value……..

    • Immortal

      I agree with you, but wouldn’t this be like “passing the torch” in a sense? It’s definitely not the same as when my parents were passing on the 60’s and the 70’s music onto me, and then I see the “new” “hot” stars of today and can get with the beats, but can’t stand most lyrically. It’s like they’re missing something that was there in the old days.

      • Dointer

        It just seems people (not all) are more interested in receiving an instant sort of stimulation from it now, all those short slowed down vocal samples, dancing like your “Turnt up” , twerking etc.

        Rather than giving mcing the credit of being an extremely advanced use of language. Punchlines, metaphors, story telling etc. From my experiences with my friends who are all of a sudden into hip hop, thats my evaluation on what is missing.

      • Immortal

        But it’s site like this one that devalue what being an MC is. Back in the day you earned that title and it was MC. AHH will say EmCee and I’m like WTF is that? You’re 100% correct. There is very little class in many of todays rappers, little of actual substance behind their “rhymes” and every time someone comes out it’s a “movement”. It should be a bowel movement considering what’s coming out.

      • Dointer

        The Hip Hop Bowel movement. Damn, you hit that nail on the head with a fuckin oversized sledgehammer.

  • Immortal

    A couple of catagories that should be in there are “manufactured” rappers. It’s old when you see everyone’s a thug, everyone has killed more people in their own town of 10 that Al Queda has worldwide, they’ve sold more birdies, bricks, tons, of whatever, and those that are “keeping it real or 100”. The hell is that? Not every black person I know lives or has lived in the hood, hell some I know have never seen one other than on tv, so who are they keeping it real for? Those I know in the hood don’t want to stay there, so we’re supposed to move back in? Isn’t that a backwards mentality? Fake beefs and violence through social media. Ok 50 is there anyone else you want to “ether”? Floyd and TI are you two done being children with the “I slept with this girl and naw I slept with that one”? Didn’t we get past that in middle school? If you have an issue with someone last I checked AS A MAN, you go to that person and talk to them about it PERSONALY, and if talking doesn’t solve it, then you let your hands do the work, but both live to see another day. Not with todays rappers. Can’t go anywhere without 100 additional dudes to do the work that YOU should be doing, or someone “managing” your social media sites. And I just thought of this one. The cheapening of our women in rap. I didn’t say Hip Hop for a reason. Nikki and those like her do not represent what I call and know as Hip Hop. Nothing about them is part of the four fundamentals, and save for their bodies, we wouldn’t care who they are. Now we are running around with fake this and fake that, a realm that we didn’t know about 10yrs ago. It was mostly dominated by another culture but not frequented by us. And our women are all strippers, hoes, and THOTS(?) and we’re ok with that? So we can’t have another Jean Grey, Rah Digga, Latifa, MC Lyte, and other strong women? I believe that not only are the outlets, the record industry, but ourselves are dumbing down rap, and forgetting (unless you’re more or less underground) Hip Hop.

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    • atlantahiphopshop

      The sheep are sticking together and attacking the wolf. The non-talented support the non-talented. The bandwagon mentality is my issue. The hype beast.

  • Markus

    I think the hip hop uniform needs to change. Skinny jeans hanging just above the knees, not walking but waddling everywhere ass out. How that’s still popular is crazy to me.

    • Immortal

      These so called “thugs” in rap glorify going to jail/prision as cool, so the sheep follow suit. Funny thing is most of these “thugs” haven’t done any hard time in Max/ Super Max let alone Gen Pop and I seriously doubt they wore sagging pants in there being the meaning behind them

      • meteor

        the original meaning for sagging pants was the fact the poorer population got hand-me-down clothes or clothes straight from the salvation army, and when you get arrested they take your belt, causing them to sag since you’re not wearing fitted clothes. also in prison it made more sense to get bigger sizes. easier to hide contraband and/or bundle up underneath to make some body armor from shanks. have you ever been to prison? or do you just parrot disinformation you’ve read on some random websites? sagging had nothing to do with saying you’re sexually available to other men in prison, people believe the dumbest shit.

  • GQ

    6. “Hip Hop” Blogs reporting more bullshyt than ACTUAL HIP HOP *Coughs… AHH*

    7.Dumb ass bloggers who don’t know shyt * Coughs… ill seed*

    • J_buddha

      ha ha ha ha

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  • Killuminati

    Culture vultures ? Jumping on the dame band wagon I see

  • terrible2s

    Still being studied

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  • IROC

    Gangsta ,thug,rappers looking more gay from Snoop finger nails and skirt wearing to the rest of these corney no need to mention names hip hop done flip flop for real

    • LeCore Noah

      You are very right. It’s the power that be who are behind this blood sacrifice.

  • LeCore Noah

    Example, a store front business owner isn’t going to stop people from coming to support the business because of their complexion, impediments, sexual preferences, age etc…that would be selfish, stupid and plain out wrong and bad for business. But let’s get this correct, the blacks in ghettos of America are the founders and owners of the culture of hip-hop that we know of today. God is hip-hop’s sole creator because its way of living only requires a spiritual life experience. That explains why blacks describes the essence of their art as “soul music” whether it is rap, jazz, RnB, funk etc… Kool Herc (Clide Campbell) is certainly the chairman of the board. We do own hip-hop which was designed for the black have-nots and ghetto pharaohs. But we welcome others who appreciate and willing to support the culture and/or business just as long as it is positive and uplifting for the community and soulful.

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  • Number 3. Actually that’s a knowledge think, God made us in his image, his son is Jesus real name Yeshua. Africans have been around for more than 50,000 years (Olmecs) while Europeans around 6,000 years, the bible is actually African( Kemit) history so when a rapper says he’s god its because God made Africans to look like him, his image

    • If the rappers we’re in that mindset when they say it, i would agree with you. But majority of these rappers saying their God is them saying in the God of rap, essentially that they are an “entity” or being higher than everyone else.

      • Na just because they have the knowledge life doesn’t change, you’re still where your at with the lost ones, I didn’t like lil B – Look like Jesus — when I first heard it , but now I know the truth so I catch my self playing it haha

  • Number 4. Should include those lazy “remixes” people do, first off it’s not original, your spending money making videos of beats u jacked, they don’t change the hook, your a thief. If this went away a lot of wack rappers would fall with it

  • Hectik

    1. No more wearing skirts
    2. Say the word fag in raps, (its still funny)
    3. Stop cosigning gay shit
    4. Stop cosigning snitches, and fake gangstas
    5. Stop saying you know biggie and grew on tupac when u didnt

    • LethaWeapon-8550

      I’m with your list !!! whoever wrote this list seems a lil bitter and upset with the direction its going but the list they created is misconstrued and it caters to rappers who ppl are even checking for next!!!

  • xxthoughtxx

    hiphop is based on “vulturing” it stole its roots from Reggae,

  • Slaughtr

    The same repetitive ass beats, labeling r&b artist hip hop, payola, fake ass new jargon, fake ass A&R, no respect for the older MC’s, fake thuggin, saying hip hop stole from Reggae, and all the bs associated to what they now call the game.There is plenty more shyt but whatever.

  • John D Walker

    Stop calling this stuff that these boys are making today Hip Hop. It sounds more like Hip Pop. Bring back the DJ to the forefront. And can someone please teach these boys how to properly wear a decent fit. Niggaz are either looking gay (saggin pants, wearing skirts) , or looking straight bummy (slouching your clothes, no color coordination) .

  • AYOB

    Amen to hectic. The much more “real” list. So face tattoos are more serious than skirt rockers? I would definitely rather kick it with a face tattoo homie vs a skirt rocker

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  • Nikki

    As far as I’m concerned, the number 1 trend in hip hop that needs to end IMO is cooning. Cooning in hip hop is at an all time high. These so-called “new blacks” need to have a seat somewhere. And anybody upholding patriarchy and white supremacy can have seat right next to em.

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  • I would also include “battle rapping” which is IMO nothing more than hyper Poetry Slamming! I find nothing appealing or deep about it. These so-called battle rappers are akin to And-1 basketball players- not good enough to make real music or songs, but gimmicky enough toso call “battle”…

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