Happy birthday to Hip-Hop! Perhaps the most popular genre of music today, Hip-Hop has been through an evolution that created some of the world’s best MCs, songs, sub-genres, clothing, and so much more. From the heart of where it originated, The Bronx, to the “dirty” South, to the West Coast, and even traveling international, Hip-Hop has stood the test of time. In this special article, we’ll be going briefly over the history of Hip-Hop, how it changed, and where it stands now.
From the turntables of DJ Kool Herc scratching records and introducing a new style in the South Bronx, to graffiti art on the subways, to breakdancing and beyond, the late 70s’ and early 80s in New York was the birthplace of Hip-Hop. With artists like Slick Rick, and Dougie. E. Fresh, Grandmaster Flash, KRS-ONE, the genre showcased DJ’s “scratching” records and blending songs, rappers with their rhymes and fashion that still is the backbone for today’s looks.
The late ’80s and '90s brought in more “hardcore” acts, such as N.W.A, Public Enemy, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and the Wu-Tang Clan. It was also a boom for more female artists. Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Missy Elliot were paving the way for more to come. Other groups like Gang Starr, Outkast, Del La Soul, and The Roots began to lay their foundations that would last decades. Label studios were also on the rise. Def Jam, Bad Boy, Rukus, and Death Row were churning out hits non-stop. Sadly, it was also bringing gang violence, drugs, and misogyny into the music. Record labels were pressured to either change lyrics or create some sort of warning for young listeners. But that didn’t deter artists from expressing themselves.
The 2000s, to some, was perhaps the peak of the genre. 50 Cent and G-Unit, Eminem, Ja Rule, and Murda Inc, Roc-A-Fela and the Diplomats, D-Block, DMX and Ruff Ryders, Nelly, T.I., Mos Def, Talib Kwali, Kanye West, the introduction of “backpack hip-hop” with acts like Lupe Fiasco, Little Brother, MF Doom, and others. Fast forward to the present, and we have Megan Thee Stallion, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Tobe Nwigwe, Nicki Minaj, and Run The Jewels topping the charts. As of now, Hip-Hop is the number one music genre in the world. Not only a giant in music, but Hip-Hop has also inspired so much. Clothing lines, television, movies, and even video games. (STILL waiting on remastered versions of Def Jam: Fight for NY and NFL Street!)
Question: When did you first fall in love with Hip-Hop? For me, it was when I heard Common’s The Light. While well are that LL Cool J was serenading the ladies with his lyrics (Hey, Lover, I Need Love, Doin It Well…bangers), it was Common that really made me listen and appreciate lyricism. While I got down with Ice Cube, Jadakiss, and Redman who were raw (but also lyrical), artists such as Common, Guru, Black Thought, and GZA made me truly appreciate the craft.
That’s it for me, fam! Now, I know that I left some artists and sub-genres out, but it's literally too many to list! Tell me when you first fell in love with Hip-Hop (special props to the movie, Brown Sugar, for that quote.) and drop your favorite rapper in the comments. Till next time, fellow blerds!
Since the late 80s, the Predator franchise has had some highs and lows. From Arnold Swarzanegger first tangled with the alien hunter, the films have tried to hang in there with some success. But, after the last outing, The Predator, fans were wondering if the movies would ever return to glory. Well, despite doubts from critice, Prey did what previous films failed to do; make a great Predator film! Before i continue, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The film's setting is in colonial times and is centered around the Commanche Tribe. The movie's main character Naru (played by Amber Midthunder) is training to become a hunter. But to the chagrin of her brother Taabe (Dakota Beavers) and others, they think she will be better suited as a healer. Determined, Naur is set to prove the naysayers wrong, and earn her right to become a hunter. Skilled in tracking and eager to prove herself, Naru attempts to earn respect while hunting a mountain lion that injured one of their tribe. While hunting the lion, a familiar creature arrives. Using technology that is futuristic (the iconic invisible camouflage) but using slightly primitive weapons, the Predator begins his savage hunt. Searching for the most dangerous game, the Predator kills lions, wolves, and bears and eventually sets its sights on the Commanche tribe. While Naru sees it, no one believes her, so Naru sets out to get proof of this new creature. One by one, the Predator picks off the hunters in a brutal fashion. However, Naru and her brother also have to deal with French pelters, who want to use them for bait to lure the Predator out. Ultimately, Naru will have to overcome her fear and use her skills to stand a chance.
Man, when I say I didn't expect anything from this movie, I mean it! After Alien vs Predator, I was convinced that we wouldn't get a truly good Predator movie. I'm glad that I was wrong! Prey has that same feeling of dread and suspense that the first Predator had. Even with "primitive" weapons that were still advanced, compared to the Commanche's, the Predator still shows why it's a force to be reckoned with. Director Dan Trachtenberg captured the vibe of "hunt or be hunted", the visceral violence that's connected to the Predator films, and the callbacks to earlier movies are appreciated. What's more, the film's main character, Naru, shows how to overcome the odds, when everyone counts you out. No one in her entire tribe thought she could be a hunter. Even some of her brother's friends underestimated her until she ran the fade with them! She threw hands with them, the French pelt collectors who captured her, and during the final confrontation, it's surprisingly well done! Fox and Hulu, take a bow. I'm giving Prey an 8 out of 10 That's it for me, till next time fellow blerds!