Many listeners believe Hip-Hop is no longer a voice for the Black community. They think artists have used the craft to get out of the hood and join an exclusive club — filled with nice cars, iced out jewelry and attractive women; with few homes worldwide. Underground rappers use their music to convey the struggle with issues of their communities. Once signed, they focus on the party scene and getting high and acquiring fancier items. Point is, people assume artists have “sold-out” when they become mainstream. Examples are Jay-Z and Kanye West: both artists have rapped about different worldviews. From selling drugs to dropping out of college, to speaking on slavery and flaws in the system. Listeners do not understand how record labels work.

When an artist joins popular labels such as Def Jam and Sony, their music has to appeal to bigger audiences. The sound changes and beats incorporate other genres. Competition is an important part of capitalism. Record labels are always trying to gain royalties and recognition.  Although Jhene Aiko is not a rap artist, her pet peeve is “being told not to change”. This is  prevalent at meet and greets for any artist, because longtime fans are concerned about image shift.  Change is inevitable and growth is necessary to become a better singer or to excel in any profession.

What I am trying to say is, Hip-Hop is not dead. There are just new trends in the music industry to make more money and expand fan bases. An artist will always exist to satisfy your taste. It just takes time to find them.

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