This is a question that has been eating away at me for a while now. Yet the question is not as straight forward as it might suggest. There was a time when Hip Hops standard bearers were also at its forefront. When the most skillful and charismatic MCs in the game were the major players. When any new artists wanting to join those at the top had to be something special.
How can a group heralded so great by so many still have such a dismal record for units sold? How can the group that backed Jay-Z so superbly for his much-celebrated Unplugged session still be operating this far below the radar?
We’ve all heard the throbbing drum patterns, the galactic chords, and of course the exotically chopped vocal samples. But J Dilla’s overwhelming impact on hip-hop music is not only based on the groundbreaking material he left behind.
I am not talking about the new Q-Tip album (which is great by the way), I am talking about the era Hip Hop’s in right now. Hip Hop is dead? Hip Hop sucks? The future looks bad for Hip Hop? There’s no hope for Hip Hop anymore? No: we are now experiencing the rebirth of a damn great genre.