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"Hip Hop was born in the early 1970s amongst poverty and gang violence in the South Bronx. In the beginning of Hip Hop DJing, MCing, graffiti writing, and break dancing were used as a way to channel the energy of the youth in a more positive wayâ€¦. Thirty years later things have changed, the game is more serious. There is a lot more money involved, there is a lot more at stake, some say it is dead. If so, who killed it?" (YouTube 2)
In this essay I will look at the growth of Hip Hop as an art form, from its origins in New York through to its transition into the world wide phenomenon we are familiar with today. My main focus will be to explore and understand why so many people seem to be asking the question 'is Hip Hop dead?'.
In order to answer the question 'is Hip Hop dead?' it is first necessary to define my understanding of the question. In this essay I will be evaluating the health of Hip Hop, not in terms of its popularity or the money it generates but in terms of its health as an art form: is it still a thriving, growing, developing form or has it stagnated under the weight of its own success?
I will be looking at the artistic growth of Hip Hop as well as the effect that commercialisation has had. My essay charts the decline of the 'rawness' that was at the core of Hip Hop in its early phase of development in New York City, when it was recognised and respected for it's 'in the moment' personal creativity, where the dancing would bounce off the music, the music off the rapping, and the rapping from the sounds of the streets.
2 The Origins of Hip Hop
Hip Hop is an art form that "includes rapping rap music, graffiti writing, particular dance styles (including break dancing), specific attire, and a specialized language and vocabulary". (Droppin science p224)
To master an art in Hip Hop required a creative and expressive skill, whether it be a physical expression, rhythmical lyrics, vocal percussion, playing with the many aspects of music or graffiti art.
Hip Hop is also a cultural movement which grew and developed primarily amongst poor black kids in the streets of the South Bronx, New York City, in the mid to late 1970s. These were young Afro-American kids, descended from slaves bought over from Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries who lived in poor social conditions: broken families, poverty, poor education, lack of any job opportunities and much radical prejudice, and police prejudice. They lived in black ghettos where violence, and death were common.
In the same way as their recent ancestors had been enslaved and made to work the plantations of the Southern states in places such as Mississippi and Alabama, they also felt enslaved in a system which seemed to offer them no way out.
'America condoned the "peculiar institution" of slavery from 1619 up until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which abolished "slavery and involuntary servitude" on December 18, 1865.' (Bruno, Anthony (no date) [online]).
When slavery was abolished in 1865 (Bruno, Anthony (no date) [online]), and the slaves were suddenly freed, the necessity to work and earn money to survive led them to emigrate to the richer Northern states of America, to cities such as Washington, Chicago and New York, where jobs were available, however low paid.
As well as a large number of Africans moving to the Northern Cities, so did many Latinos who had originally emigrated from Mexico, and Puerto. The same attraction of a better life and a chance to make money spurred on their movement North. The Afro-Americans and Latino youth that grew up in the streets of these Northern cities, were the originators of Hip Hop.
However, although Latino groups, particularly in New York, made a huge contribution to Hip Hop, there is no doubt that the main influences on Hip Hop came from the African American population.
Lack of education and strong prejudice against African Americans led to the being stuck with the 'dead end', poorly paid jobs and these conditions led to a high level of crime and violence, particularly involvement of drug dealing. To many there seemed no choice, it was either poverty or crime.
It is the frustration and anger created by these conditions, especially the lack of any opportunities to improve their situation, that gave rise to the birth of Hip Hop.
Hip Hop became that way out, and the music and rhythms of their ancestors were reborn within Hip Hop.
The 'ancient African tribal rhythms and musical traditions' travelled with the slaves and remained an important part of the life of an African slave in America, and "after 300 years of slavery in the so called Land of the Free the sounds of Old Africa became the new sounds of black America. Rapping, the rhythmic use of spoken or semi-sung lyrics grew from its roots in the tribal chants and the plantation work songs to become, an integral part of black resistance to an oppressive white society." (The roots of Hip Hop, online)
Hip Hop, like its direct ancestor, the Blues, were both born out of social deprivation and the determination to use the experience in a positive way, and to escape the clutches of poverty.
3 The Development of Hip Hop
YouTube Video 1 briefly shows an interview with a man on the streets of the Bronx, shot in 1986. He talks about how the music programs in the schools of New York would often 'cut out' because of budget problems, and the only way for the kids in the schools to get music lessons would be to pay for them outside of school, which many could not afford. Hip Hop was a new form invented by the kids who struggled with money, and the place they would learn from was on the streets. They used the pieces of music from their roots, their blood, music influences such as blues, gospel and jazz to create a new genre. The genres which their ancestors would have known during the slave trade back in the South of America. A time of similar misery, and expression of the same pain and sorrow in their souls was being called out. For them there were many similarities with their ancestors.
Hip Hop was something the youth could get excited about, and have a passion for. It was something that no amount of money or person could get in their way and stop them. And over the few years, whilst not only was Hip Hop gradually developing as a music, dance and art form, so was their range of listeners. More and more people outside of New York were becoming familiar with the genre, and soon an identity had been created for these youths. They had become what they had longed for, a 'something' which was making an impact. Not only were the youth creating the music, dancing to the music but they were living the Hip Hop genre as a way of life. But not at the time were they aware of the size of impact they were going to have on the rest of the world. (YouTube 1, Dropping science 230)
It was the disco DJs in the clubs where the roots of the Hip Hop music style began. An interest grew of paying attention to the 'blending' of one track into the next one, as opposed to finishing one and the starting another. The DJs began 'matching tempos to make a smooth transition'. The reaction from the crowds was nothing but excitement as they became witness to gradual build up beats and phases would suddenly put you into a whole new track. (P 12 The rap attack)
At a similar time as DJs finding a new and exciting craze in paying attention with and playing around with the beats and tempos of tracks, originally MCing referred to today as rapping was being developed in the streets of the Bronx. Rapping is one of the main elements which had always been at the heart of the Hip Hop genre. It was seen as a skill of 'rhythmic talking over a funk beat." (P8 The rap attack)
Let's Work Together
It was not long until these new styled DJs and Rap artists would come together and put the two talents together for everyone around to hear. One of the first DJs to explore this collision was 'DJ Kool Herc' in 1975, who is often referred to today as a 'godfather' of Hip Hop. Another popular DJ at this time was 'Love Bag Starski', and was known as the first to refer to this new found culture as 'Hip Hop'.
With the fast development of rap in the early 80s, rap music records where being played everywhere around America. However in the Bronx the listeners were still excited about the beats of the records and soon became obsessed with what was known as 'the break' of the records, where the lyrics of a track would stop and all that could be heard were the strong beats and rhythms from the drums. (P14 The rap attack) These breaks in the records would be what the listeners would be waiting for, and the dancers to 'do their thing'.
This response led DJ's to open up their creativity as DJ's. From just playing records from start to finish, they would use the breaks as their bass and play around with cutting, repeating, layering, using turntables, extending parts of the records however they wished and felt at the time. Their time of developing a creative identity came. Suddenly the chances of hearing one copy of a James Brown record did not exist. (P14 The rap attack)
Around 1973, the new craze of longer lengths of the breaks was reflected in the longer length of improvised moves of the dancers. Soon a new name 'break-dancer' was what these dancers started to call themselves, or b-boys and b-girls for short. "The kids who were into the breaks started calling themselves B-Boys and the wild, acrobatic style of dancing which accompanied the playing of the breaks became known as breaking. The better Bronx DJs like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash started mixing two copies of the same record to make the breaks last longer;" (The roots of Hip Hop, online) This was when the 'dancers would be creating the moves that inspired the lay down of Hip Hop dance.' (online, 'Hip Hop History')
Bringing it Back to the Streets
The vocal percussion called 'beatboxing', is known to have grown originally as an 'urban form'. The 'beat box' drum machines used to create the breaking that the more established MC and DJ artists were using, could not be afforded by the majority of the Hip Hop creators on the streets. Therefore if the breaks could not be made for them, then they would make the breaks themselves through the skill of beatboxing. These soon established 'beatboxers' were 'imitating drum sounds and beat patterns using the lips, tongue, mouth, throat, and voice. It's summed up with the image of a guy in a hoodie with his hands cupped over his mouth spitting and making wonderful noises.' ('The Real History of Beatboxing: Part 2')
Hip Hop Dance
The gangs of the Bronx strongly influenced the development of the Hip Hop dance style. The gang experience and forced 'hard' and 'strong' persona they was almost required to be taken seriously among the streets can been seen of an influence in the dance of Hip Hop. More specifically the dance style 'uprocking'. Before gangs were going into battle, it was known that they would perform a particular dance in order to get the adrenaline running and bring an aggressive nature to the surface. The gang members would carry out movements that would resemble actions that would take place in moments of violence with an enemy. The dance would consist of kicks and 'strikes between the dancers'. (P229 Droppin' Science)
In the early days, Hip Hop dance was an outwardly body expression specific to that person and their feelings spurred on from the beats and rhythms in the music being heard. The style has adopted a large range of different skills which have developed over time. The dance includes "breaking, popping, locking, and free styling, while its movements indulge jumps, breakages, and rotations. Such elements make this dance style amazingly explosive and truly informal." (Hip Hop Dancing)
Hip Hop dance has received a renowned respect for being a genre which demands such a high level of personal creativity. Just like the musicians, the dancers develop their own identity to how they dance, and they cannot be wrong.
Dance genres such as ballet, demands a specifically noticeable technical ability which normally requires years of intense training. Hip Hop however enables an openness that most genres do not, a freedom to move however you wish. The only requirement which can be seen is an understanding and respect as a creative culture. (Hip Hop Dancing)
What made Hip Hop dance so interesting when being performed in the Bronx was the ability to see such a range of new moves, new ideas, new ways of expressing.
However with Hip Hop dance today, in the music videos created in the money making world, how often do we see a range of creativity? In my opinion hardly ever. Sure the choreography might involve different steps, but it will almost definitely involve a focus on female dancers, carrying out a version of 'booty-shaking', torso popping and hair flicking. Moves which emphasises the woman figure and create a more sexual orientated atmosphere. There is no denying that the attention to the movement of the â€¦bum.. does not link back to moves that would have been found in African history, but Hip Hop in its original day was not all about just that. Just like how many more times can a Hip Hop artist swear in a song, how many more times can a Hip Hop dancer booty-shake? Not much more.
Booty-shaking that existed originally as one of many Hip Hop moves has been taken and pushed forward to be portrayed as what Hip Hop dance is. The money making corporate world knows that 'sex sells', and to them the more 'sexy' moves the better.
Graffiti is another of the main expressive elements that made up the Hip Hop culture. "Graffiti represented the visual, emceeing and DJ produced the music, and B-Boying was the dance. In the early days of hip-hop, all of these elements were deeply intertwined." (graffiti and Hip Hop, online)
Graffiti was normally an expression of the political activists in Hip Hop, people who wanted to mark their territory. Graffiti would be found all around the city, particularly on subways. People suddenly did not have to visit the Hispanic parts of the city to become face to face with the Hip Hop culture that was emerging, as graffiti was bought to them, a permanent reminded of the current sub-culture that was growing around them. The were adamant for their previously silent voices to be heard. Not long did "graffiti progress from a scribbled tag (nickname) or club name on the wall to an elaborate art form emblazoned with Magic Marker and spray paint over every available surface of the subway trains and buildings. "(P15 The rap attack)
Another element of Hip Hop that separates itself from other genres is how originally it would be performed in the form of a 'battle', whether it be rapping or break dancing. One side (or sometimes more) would go against another, and each side would take turns to show what they had to offer with a sort of 'you think your better than us, prove it' attitude. This competitive nature stood "at the heart of Hip Hop.
Not only did it help displace violence and drugs such as heroin, but it also fostered an attitude of creating from limited materials." (P15 The rap attack). These young black men wanted to prove themselves to the world, and with these 'battles' they were suddenly given a chance.
I was ironic that these battles only ended up supporting the views of much of white America that "young African American males are threatening," and that this then further "restricted their entry into the mainstream service economy as well as other areas of mainstream life." (P229 Droppin' Science)
4 The Social Impact of Hip Hop
The most noticeable impact Hip Hop had on the community was the decrease conflict between the many established gangs that existed. "It was within The Bronx and, to a lesser extent, Harlem that black youths developed their own alternative to the gang warfare that had risen from the dead in the late 1960s to dominate and divide neighbourhoods north of Central Park." (P12 The rap attack)
The 'Savage Seven' was the name given to the first known gang that took on the streets of the Bronx. 'This group of teenagers laid the groundwork for a surge of street gang activity that would overwhelm the Bronx for the next six years'.
One of the most well-known and influential originators of Hip Hop along with Eric B. and Rakim was Afrika Bambaataa, (more specifically in break-beat dee-jaying) is seen today the 'Godfather' of Hip Hop Culture.
Bambaataa, who was once himself not just a member but a leader of the Savage Seven, set up the group 'Zulu Nation', a Hip Hop group that spoke the message of "factology versus beliefs". (Zulu Nation website, online] 'Hip Hop History')
Zulu Nation spoke out of beliefs of 'right knowledge, right wisdom, right overstanding, right sound reasoning, to bring about right ways and actions." Bambaataa spoke out to the youths of Hip Hop with a message describing the importance of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. (Zulu Nation website) Zulu Nation effectively reached out to the large number of current gang members in the Bronx and show them a chance of an alternate path in life.
The African American youths were able to express their frustration and pain now in a way which did not require violence, instead of putting it on one another; they were putting it into Hip Hop. A peacemaking was established. (Dropping Science 213)
The school playgrounds, community parks and centres helped bring what were once gang enemies in the ghetto together. The former threatening gangs transformed into relatively harmonious, harmless 'crews', and the only battling they would have with one another was through the exciting new form of Hip Hop.
The gang lives many Afro-American youths had, was never hidden away and ignored in Hip Hop. Instead, the pain and suffering they experienced bought to the forefront of much of the rapping creativity, as a chance to express how they really felt and not be rejected by it became an seized opportunity for many to release their inside emotions.
An interesting description of the way Hip Hoppers reacted to media attention and the 'manipulation' is in the book 'Droppin' Science'. William Perkins interview with a filmmaker and author of that time Michael Holman describes how the Bronx youth had created a "cultural depth and confidence to talk back, when challenged by the media, staying loose," and reacting in a way which most likely spurred on even more attention to how strong the Hip Hop culture had grew to become, "they stayed fresh, they maintained that certain volatility that Hip Hop craves. No fear of the end of the world, just fear of being stuck: "If you became classifiable", Holman says, "you became all the things that kept you in check."" (P214 Droppin' Science)
Through Hip Hop's deeply personal and expressive nature, whether it be through words, movement or art we are bought face to face with the reality of the suffering of the African Americans were experiencing at that time. Hip Hop stood out as a form which spoke of stories of everyday life experiences in the streets. (Hip Hops evolution, online)
However any positive social impact from Hip Hop in the early days of its development was soon undone when the commercial pressures of the market started to take effect.
5 The Commercialisation of Hip Hop
"What does the term "commercial" mean?Â It can take on various meanings, but in essence that term is used to label artists who have alienated parts of the hip-hop culture in their work.Â "(Hip Hop Culture Essay)
There is no denying that commercialisation has helped to open up Hip Hop to the rest of the world. Originally Hip Hop was very much an Afro-American art form, however with the commercial world recognising and marketing the genre with music shows such as MTV, the audience range opened up not only to the whites of America, but the rest of the world. A world can now be said to be dominated by Hip Hop in a commercial sense, but perhaps no longer in an artistic sense.
However, many people believe that "commercial hip-hop has deteriorated from what so many emcees in the 80's tried to build - a culture of music, dance, creativity, and artistry that would give people not only something to bob their head to, but also an avenue to express themselves and deliver a positive message to their surroundings". (Droppin' Science)
For instance, the dancers we see on TV in Hip Hop music videos and on stage with Hip Hop artists today might look like Hip Hop dancers and be able to do Hip Hop dance, but do they really have artistic integrity and spontaneous thrill of the originals danced on the streets of New York? Well, they are not creating the moves; most likely the steps are taught for them to copy and perform. There is little creativity or 'realness' - they learn and perfect their moves in studios, not the streets or in the ghetto clubs - the 'realness' in that sense is not in Hip Hop anymore. (mrwiggles, online)
Also, Hip Hop music has become to rarely live anymore with many performers miming vocals to pre-recorded backing tracks.
Thinking on the spot, being under pressure, being unpredictable and 'real' in the moment as you 'do your thing', was one of the core skills originally associated with being a master of the form. How often today do we see the so called 'top Hip Hop artists' of today think on their feet? Music videos are recorded, re-recorded, played with, special effected, deleted, you name it. We are hardly given the chance to see Hip Hop being presented as one artist showing what they can do, with the microphone, with the floor.
The originators of Hip Hop did not just get involved in creativity and performance, they lived the Hip Hop lifestyle. But as soon as Hip Hop gained media attention and respect for its potential, it was not long until big business seized the opportunity to 'have a piece' and shape the artists style in a way which they felt would make money. Vanilla Ice is a clear example of an attempt to change Hip Hop into a more 'poppy' genre of music. Vanilla Ice was a white kid from Florida who was used to try and create a crossover between Hip Hop and pop music; a blatant and widely ridiculed attempt to manufacture a Hip Hop artist with mass appeal.
Gangs were still involved in Hip Hop as it grew, and some believe that there was more gang involvement than ever before. We call them the Hip Hop record labels. They may not call themselves gangs, but through the extreme competitiveness of the record companies to be bigger and better than anyone else, the rivalry backbone still remains.
The most famous and recognised record company rivalry is between the West Coast and East Coast. The West Coast record label 'Death Row' founded by Dr. Dre and Suge Knight verses the East Coast label, 'Bad Boy' founded by Puffy Combs.
The website 'Knowledgerush' says that "the rivalry intensified as Hip Hop continued to enter the mainstream in the United States and abroad; more money entered the industry and raised the stakes. The focal point soon came to a head with Tupac Shakur on the west coast and Notorious B.I.G." (Knowledgerush, online)
Tupac (West Coast) and Notorious B.I.G. (East Coast) were two talented rappers, who were friends and would occasionally see one another despite the competitiveness between their record labels. Both were murdered within six months of each in 1996 as part of feud between the East and West coast 'gangs'.
The obvious explanation behind the deaths of Tupac and Biggy is in the saying 'an eye for an eye', and was as a result of the rivalry between the record companies. However 'the most sinister theory fingers Knight for both murders', the founder of Death Row. (Hip-hop homicide, online) TAKE OUT??
When Tupac's body lay dead waiting for atomisation (autopsied), 'his infamous tattoos were fully displayed, including his signature phrase, thug life, in large letters in a semi-circle around his abdomen'. (Knowledgerush, online) Despite Hip Hops development into a world full of money, the artists of Hip Hop were still living the Hip Hop culture, Hip Hop still remained their life.
Many commentators were of the view that the feud between the East and West coast Hip Hop gangs and the deaths of Tupac and BIG were all primarily morivated by money. As the comedian Chris Rock said, 'when Tupac became worth more dead than alive, it was the end for him'. (Bigger and Blacker, Chris Rock).
Rivalry still exists today with Ja Rule verses DMX, Eminem verses Benzino and Jay-Z verses Nas. Not much has really changed.
Mentioning and 'dissing' of other gangs started to become a major lyrical theme within Hip Hop in the 1990s. "MCs began incorporating more varied and stylistic speech, and focused on introducing themselves, shouting out to friends in the audience, and boasting about their own skills, and criticizing their rivals." (Knowledgerush, online) Not surprisingly this would result in their rivals feeling 'disrespected' and seeking revenge.
These Hip Hop artists would never work and travel as individuals, they would go around in big groups including others from their record labels, calling it an 'entourage'. A direct link to the gangs that walked New York cannot help but be made. The bigger the entourage, the more of a successful impression they would make on the rest of the world.
A genre that was originally aimed to help the stop gang violence in New York, over time has transform into a genre which can not help but seem creating violence, and glorifying gun culture.
"Hip Hop identity is now a world-wide phenomenon, the cutting edge of global youth culture. The "gangsta" identity both represents the drama of the streets, but also the "merchandizing of the rhymes of violence" by profit hungry media companies. As KRS-1 and others tell it, the media companies promote the most outrageous stereotypes of "violent, vicious" Black youth while ignoring the rappers who represent the positive and political side of ghetto life." (Hip Hop Gangs)
Hand in hand with the commercialisation of Hip Hop came far more negative and misogynistic attitudes to women (or 'bitches' as they are widely referred to within Hip Hop). A video 'youtube3' discusses the use of women in these Hip Hop music videos. One interviewer expresses that 'women have become adornments, walking objects, portrayed as walking bling'. The numbers of girls in videos has increased over the years, going from maybe four or five to forty even fifty. These women are not dressed in a way that can argue this idea, as they are made to wear as little as possible, which most likely turns out to be very revealing underwear or swimwear. Surely the way these videos portray and use women, with the derogatory terms used to describe them questions womanhood today?
I recognise that gender is a very key element to the Hip Hop culture in terms of it being a very much male-dominated world, females struggle to match the success levels as the men, and the degrading attitude women are faced with, however I believe to have looked into and covered that would have been a whole essay in itself. I just wish to mention that since Hip Hop has entered the commercial world it has developed into a male dominated genre which portrays women in a disrespectful, objectified and careless way. In its original day, there was never such a strong disregard for women in Hip Hop, and it can only be noticed that it began to have this misogyny opinion when the Hip Hop artist were working with the big music companies.
Hip Hop came out of a life people were forced to live in of poor healthcare, no money and no hope. Once they realised they could use the media and publicity in their favour to achieve longed for wealth and a chance for more in their lives, they used it so much, they exploited it. African Americans became corrupted by letting their aim and their search for money become their integrity in life. I cannot help but say 'be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it'.
As Hip Hop grew and the money in Hip Hop became bigger, more people wanted 'a piece of the action': managers, promoters, publicists, stylists and most importantly, producers and record companies.
Hip Hop (very much like Punk music) was originally an art form that had at its core its 'rawness' and openness - you needed no musical training to rap, no instruments to beatbox and no canvass to write graffiti. But now Hip Hop has succumbed to the celebrity culture, and without a major record label, who will want to package and market you, there is little chance of getting your music heard.
In the search for record sales, Hip Hop also seemed to lose its integrity and political purpose.
Hip Hop, in its early days, did not glorify and encourage violence, drugs and misogyny, it expressed the anger, frustration and suffering young black men were experiencing because of the poor social conditions and lack of opportunities available to them.
Today, Hip Hop lyrics and music videos seem to offer a constant diet of violence, drugs and misogyny - so much so that it almost becomes bland.
How sexist can you be? How many times can you swear in your record? How violent can you (pretend to) be? As Hip Hop artists competed with each other to write more and more extreme lyrics, it quickly became apparent that there was nowhere else to go - Hip Hop seems to have reached a stage where everything has already been done.
Like other mainstream artists, many rappers sold out and "kept their mind on their money and their money on their mind." (Hip Hop Gangs)
Today, many of Hip Hop's most successful artists are pretenders - well educated people, from privileged backgrounds some of whom studied performing arts before becoming Hip Hoppers. Kanye West and Young Jeezy are often mentioned in this way.
It seems to me that Hip Hop sold out. It reached a compromise with big business in which both sides used one another to get what they wanted. The record labels would use Hip Hop to generate vast sums of money for themselves, and a few Hip Hop youths would get what they had always wanted: money, recognition for their music and a respect from others.
In this essay I hope I have shown that in its early days Hip Hop had an integrity and truth rooted in the experiences of black ghetto youths in North American cities. It had an openness and accessibility - any one could participate, anyone could be creative.
I also hope I have shown how as Hip Hop grew it very quickly became consumed by the needs of the market and original, creative output was replaced with commercial product.
I believe that as a commercial enterprise Hip Hop is still very much alive, in fact it might be said to be bigger than ever, and the gangsta rap culture identity still lives on, not just within music but in fashion, language, film and television.
However as an art form I believe it is dead.
Hip Hop was an art form that existed out of curiosity, play and freedom. Today through the corporate process every little element has to be questioned and often changed to make the genre be put forward in the most marketable way. The creative control has been lost by being someone's money making product. In the music world it is very hard to not be a commercial product, and Hip Hop like many other genres has fallen into that existence.
I believe Hip Hop began to die when the real Hip Hoppers don't own Hip Hop anymore. Money took control. The music companies did not have the same interest in Hip Hop as the originators did, their interest was making money, not keeping Hip Hop alive in its purest form. People who did not know anything about real Hip Hop were suddenly having say as to how it would sound.
A realisation of this I believe has come to the minds of many, and I believe this can be proven by the many independent label companies that have been formed in the last five years. 'Artists have discovered that they lose creative control over their music when they sign on with major labels." (Hip Hop Culture Essay)
Hip Hop used to be a personal expression, where you created your own Hip Hop identity that was real to you. So surely it went wrong when someone else began to tell the creator what they could and could not do?
A personal emotional level is not in Hip Hop anymore.
However, the artistic death of Hip Hop will just free up space for something new to come along: a new music form, almost certainly influenced by Hip Hop, which will renew music's relevance to the world around. Just like how Hip Hop was seen in its earlier days.