When it was announced that hip-hop surpassed rock as the most popular genre in the US in 2017, there weren’t any long faces. No complaints of overpopulation, no upward noses, or anything negative for that matter.
Here we are, less than a year later, and what was once seen as a feat has become a fear. Particularly for mogul billionaire and Bad Boy CEO, Sean “Puffy” Combs.
The 48-year-old Grammy-winner took to his Instagram today to give his unsolicited (though respected) take on the state of hip-hop today, stating it’s “too much” rapping right now and that he fears the genre is getting “diluted.”
It’s almost as if hip-hop’s eventual claim as the mot consumed genre was a tell sign to the number of artist that would flood the industry because of it.
There is truth to what Diddy is alluding to: you don’t want the standards lowering and the barrier of entry too accessible. Look at what happened to jazz music, the last thing you want is hip-hop being gentrified and watered down for mass consumption.
Diddy was vouching for integrity.
On the other hand, some of the most innovative and genre-bending music has come from the doors being as open as they are now. To evolve to what we have in a Young Thug or even a Young M.A., and to say we’ve gone backwards is just false.
Anyone can be an artist these days. The majority of our smartphones can produce an entire album. Instead of discouraging artists, ensure that they are putting out their best product.
If artists like Lil B and Riff Raff can still tour, then they have a place in rap. As long as we ensure that artist can get their product out to the people willing to listen to it, then the game is going to be alright.