While NY hip-hop has more or less been on the downturn for the past 10 years, The G-Unit/Diplomats movement preserved relevance for a few more years. As it stands today NY/East Coast is the least most productive region in hip-hop, and that's been the case for at least 8 years, and with a new generation of not only rappers but producers and fans will NY be remembered in the grand scheme of hip-hop? Those of us old enough to know, this art form started in the South Bronx. With each generation the story gets more convoluted. Then it became hip-hop started in the Bronx, anyone familiar with the BX knows the north Bronx and South Bronx are VERY different places. If you talk to a kid now, he'd more than likely know that hip-hop is from NYC, would he know the specific borough? Or the section of said borough? In 10 years it'll become hip-hop started on the "east coast".
But it's NYs fault, I've watched for years as NY elitist attitude has attempted to be the sole voice of policing within hip-hop. New York as a city doesn't have that allure anymore, it's become a hipster haven. Brooklyn isn't the same Brooklyn that produced Big Daddy Kane, BIG, Jay-Z, Mos Def, MC Lyte etc. Harlem barley exists unless you live in Grant. The Bronx hasn't produced a legit rap star since Big Pun almost 20 years ago. Queens has mainly had 2 areas that produced stars, Queensbridge, and Jamaica/Hollis. NY as a whole has not produced an elite class of MC/Rappers since the class of 98.
Every attempt to revamp NY has failed miserably. Remember the class of 04/05? Papoose, Maino, Saigon, Tru Life, Jae Millz, D.O.E., Uncle Murda, Cory Guns, JR Writer and a handful of other SMACK DVD ***** Ns. Provided 2 of the the artists with potential, Stack Bundles & Max B had their careers cut short on the opposite sides of gun violence. Bundles the victim, and Max a conspirator in a murder-robbery. Even if the narrative was changed, could those 2 do what BIG, Wu Tang and NaS did in 93-95 and revive the coast? With all due respect to both of them, hell muh****** no.
A$AP Mob has been able to survive because their music borrows many elements from other regions, a strategy BIG used on Life After Death, Jay-Z used to expand his fan base and become a force on Billboard charts. The Diplomats studied that blueprint as well and for a few years had a strong movement, before falling victim to bad business and infighting. But if there was ever anyone who came the closest to perfecting the craft it was 50 Cent, backed my Dr Dre production he assembled a team with a down south representative (Young Buck) and a short lived alliance with a west coast artist The Game, before the LAs reemergence, simply put 50 was onto something.
As it stands today, we have Troy Ave, Joey Bad*****, Action Bronson, Dave Ea$t, Bodega Bamz, Dark ATM and I'm sure a few other irrelevant cats. (Skyzoo, Torae etc make a quality brand of NY hip-hop but they will never pop enough to put the city back in the eye of the public). There was once a time when NY was the home to some of the best producers in the genre, that is maybe 30% of the problem. There's no DJ Mustard to revamp the classic sound while implementing a massive appeal. There's no Metro Boomin, the closest we had to a Lex Lugar was Araab Muzik, but I'm sure he's lost somewhere in one of his oversized fitteds.
I always said, it's gonna take LA to comeback before NY does, but the clock has been ticking for at the very least 4 or 5 years, and NY hasn't shown a sign of a pulse. Today, as it was 15 or so years ago, NY (and the west coast) doesn't look at the south as direct competition, which to me revolves around the fact that about 90% of black Americans family is from the south, and most still reside there. It's basically of of our country cousins and not a rival as we've treated the west.
Will NY ever make a comeback? Does hip-hop even need NY anymore? How much longer till NY becomes what Indiana is to the sport of basketball, a forgotten birthplace of an amazing art?
This is an idea I'm brainstorming for a feature piece in the publication I write for. Just what I came up with ob my train ride home from work.
Edited by Trill Nimley - 9/30/15 at 7:15am