Rap is a music style with deep roots, unique traditions and cultural background. Emerging on the commercial scene less than thirty years ago, it hasn’t taken long for it to take over a big part of the music business. Nowadays, rap has its listeners, fans and performers all around the globe. People with different cultural understandings, religious beliefs, ethnical heritage listen to or perform rap music, live according to the hip hop culture. However, through the years, the hip hop culture and rap music in particular has reached very high levels of commercialism. As a result, rap has began to change in order to keep up with the immense rates of public interest. Many rap fans and artists claim that some of the new popular rap artists have “killed” hip hop, changing its content and sound, thus taking away its uniqueness. However, there is still a significant amount of new artists, who produce quality songs and help for the development and conservation of the essence of rap music.
What makes rap music so unique and popular? There are a lot of reasons for that. Rap is an extremely flexible music style, which allows a lot of space for improvisation and innovation. It is also one of the few music styles that can successfully use samples from songs of totally different styles and sounding. Based on the power of the words, rap is extremely expressive and covers a huge range of various themes, issues, emotions. This is why many people find rap music so close to themselves. A rap song can be socially directed, aggressive, relaxing, provoking; it can really be anything that the artist decides it to be.
However, there are some artists who exploit rap music and use it only as a product to sell. There is no emphasis on the sense of the lyrics, they are focused only on completely material things like money, cars, shiny watches, rims etc. There is also no emphasis on the quality of the musical part, which should only be appealing to the masses and be easy to remember. This results in the production of similar songs, with no contribution to the real rap music, which flood the radios and television. They dominate the commercial area and thus other hip hop artists who produce quality and diverse rap music receive less attention and recognition.
However, there is a positive side of the things, because there are many artists who stick to the real rap music and manage to produce quality songs and albums with significant commercial success. Some of the older rappers, the pioneers are still active and continue to produce the kind of rap, which so many people feel with their hearts and live with. So I guess that as long as there are the real artists, who preserve the real essence of rap music and hip hop culture, hip hop will never die.