I’m passionate about music irrespective of genre and I have been referred to as a hip-hop connoisseur by friends; an attribute that I often like to shy away from because my knowledge of that genre is solely as a result of my collections. But lately hip-hop is losing its depth because of cheap beat making softwares and rarely will you see artist’s use live instrumentation when making a song.
It is call for originality and the underlying problem in today’s hip-hop is musical innovation. I’m sure some will agree with me that 70s and 80s hip-hop had more depth and perceptible sense. The current trend of sampling 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s funk, soul, and perhaps jazz music is lack of intellectual honesty by hip-hop producers. Yet, they get showered with accolades for slicing someone else’s work, mix it up with kicks and snares, and send it to artists to record their braggadocio lyrics over it. We live in a mirrored world indeed, where everything is in its opposite - a place where the non-talented ones get so much recognition and praise for their cheat formula.
Why should I listen to Jay-Z’s “Success” (featuring Nas) when I can easily play Larry Ellis & The Black Hammer ‘Funky Thing’ and I’m sure a good percentage of people are still unaware of the fact that No I.D. and Jermaine Dupri sampled ‘Funky Thing’. Jay-Z must have paid a few quid for the production but like the Yoruba’s will say “Ole Gbe, Ole Gba” (a thief is outwitted by another thief).
Larry Ellis & The Black Hammer - Funky Thing
Jay-Z - Success Ft. Nas
Spot the similarity? Oh, there is more and even monsieur Kanye West sampled Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On up”. They are all doing it and it won't come to an end soon at the rate that our generation is tilting towards the once revolutionary genre called Hip-Hop.
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up
Kanye West - Touch The Sky
Personally, I think now is the time to start collecting more funk, soul and jazz vinyls.