Jay-Z’s latest album “4:44” dropped June 30th and people of all ages were excited about it. Social media was full of quotes from the project and quick reviews. Even before the project dropped people were trying to predict the producers and features he might have as well as what topics he would be addressing. It seems that when it comes to Jay, regardless of his age, we are always willing to listen. With hip-hop being considered a “young man’s game” I must contribute Jay’s ability to keep us interested in his music to his consistency. I don’t know that many other older MC’s would receive that much love and attention in 2017 but they should.
Here are 5 reasons why:
Hip-hop is almost 50 years old. From Sugarhill gang to the Migos the genre has grown and changed and so has its audience. This means that a lot of the fans of the culture in its original form aren’t millennials but 40-50yr olds who deserve projects geared towards them too. People who grew up on Rakim and Big daddy Kane can appreciate and relate to grown-up hip-hop.
The Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, has just released his first single with DJ Jazzy Jeff for over a decade.
If we are exposed to an artist with more life experience they are more likely to drop jewels. Even though mainstream rap is heavy on having a good time a lot of us are still here for real-life content that we can relate to and grow with. Old heads have been through the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of life. Some of us can not only relate, but learn from their music. Good artist paint pictures of the world around them and those with wisdom could really open hearts and minds to progress.
44 year old, Eminem, just dropped a cypher from the BET Hip-Hop Awards and everyone is paying attention because he’s using the platform he created from his career that started back in 1999 with the Slim Shady LP. Check the cypher below-
Having an older artist not only maintain in hip-hop but enter into the hip-hop industry may teach some of these younger artists to respect those that came before them. A lot of disrespect regarding legends who have spoken out about the direction of the culture has taken place over the years. It comes from not knowing history and feeling like older people are irrelevant to the culture because they aren’t the faces of it. What they don’t understand is one day they will be older and I’m sure they wouldn’t want their opinions about and contributions to the culture disregard by youngsters.
Most recently, Chance The Rapper has got into it with vet Joe Budden over claims from Chance that he “is the industry, now”. Check the player below, and shouts to Complex for covering this!
A lot of artists can go into the mainstream hip-hop game thinking “Get what you can while you can” and not thinking of the impact they play on the community and the culture they’re a part of. The sound in hip-hop changes so quickly, trends come and go and the popular artist today could fade into the background tomorrow. Though this is considered true, there are artists that continue to re-define and push the boundaries of the genre. For example, Jay-Z is 20yrs in the game still dropping albums that are highly anticipated and make big news and exposure to the culture. Seeing more of this from the established, well known and seasoned vets would inspire others to keep grinding and stay consistent in the face of adversity, as that is one of the main things slowing the culture- adversity.
Check “4:44” from Jay-Z in the player-
Being creative and expressing that creativity has no age limit. Even if you never become a famous rapper, singer, or performer you should never stop creating. Seeing people of all ages succeed in striving to produce and master their art is inspirational. We were created to create in multiple ways and we shouldn’t let anything stop that.
Here’s a clip of Jadakiss giving out parcels to the homeless. Stay humble.