What Hip-Hop Needs in 2014
With 51 weeks left to go in the year that'll be gone before we know it, there's ample time for some truly exciting shit to go down in the genre known for keeping it poppin', booty poppin', but I digress. While some guys'll try to mimic Beyoncè and independently drop an album paired with visuals, while others will try their chances at collaborating with a country artist, there are a few things that need to actually happen in order for this be a hip-hop year for the books. It'll take an effort from everyone with the genre's best interests at heart to make it happen, so let's see exactly What Hip-Hop Needs in 2014.
Someone Who Can Actually Twerk: With no disrespect to Miley Cyrus and all she's done for the culture of twerk, she simply doesn't have an ass big enough to rightfully represent what it means. Somebody with ass needs to take the twerk crown back. We need a young Black, Puerto Rican, or Latina with hypnotizing hip movement to take reinvent the way we think of twerking, the jirating, robust, popping of the flesh surrounding the glutes that'll make the squarest of dudes exchange the brand new hundred he's been holding onto for 100 dirty George Washingtons.
New Kendrick Lamar album: With Kanye, Jay, Em and Drake releasing LPs in 2013, a vacuum of executively produced bars is created for our upcoming trip around the Sun. And the only man remotely capable of filling that void with one album (hopefully clad with Dre instrumentals) is King Kendrick Lamar. Though it's certain we'll get solid projects from young'ns like Joey Bada$$ or even K Dot's labelmate Schoolboy Q, nothing is more promising nor marketable than the most anticipated follow-up album since 50's The Massacre.
A New Diddy-Bop: Maybe the 2013 launch of Puffy Combs' (can we still call him that?) network Revolt TV will be essential to the culture as it matures but we can't be the only ones who'd opt for another Making the Band, or Cassie-esque damsel to dominate the time we spend sitting in front of screens. There was something about in-house brawls between band mates and missions to get sugar cookies that defined rap in the early millennium that just doesn't exist anymore. Unfortunately, on top of establishing himself as a hip-hop pioneer, you can also count on the Diddle-meister (that was one of his monikers for a while too, right?) to engage in a new venture every couple years. For the sake of the genre, Diddy, give us some nationally televised humiliation in 2014!
Some Grammy-Oscar Eligible Artists: Though 2013 saw--or didn't see--Andre 3000 star as Jimi Hendrix in John Ridley's All is by My Side the amount of rappers we've seen on the big screen has decreased as of late. T.I. in Takers was three years ago and before that, it had been almost a decade since DMX was first paired with Steven Seagal for the action packed Exit Wounds. And as cool as they were Drake and Kanye's cameos in Anchorman 2 weren't enough. With top-notch personalities like Tyler, the Creator, Schoolboy Q, and Mac Miller entertaining us sonically, it'd improve both their checkbooks and movie nights out with our significant others if these guys dropped the mic and picked up a script.
Massive Tour: The Under the Influence Tour of 2013 did an awesome job of combining Hip-Hop's best acts with A$AP Rocky, B.o.B., and Wiz Khalifa all rocking the stage for 48 nights throughout the country and the Yeezus tour paired two of the game's greats. But let's challenge our favorite MCs to come together for something even better than that with the upcoming year. Like a traveling Woodstock including but not limited to artists from G.O.O.D., MMG, Young Money, and TDE rocking one al fresco venue at a time -cause the tour would have to be a festival, amirite? A show like this would legitimize hip-hop as the new rock-n-roll, which we all believe but need a little more evidence to confirm.
A TDE Compilation Album: There's been lots of mention of the LA based Top Dawg Entertainment on this list and that's because, simply, they're hot. Last time a label was this hot, Kanye was fresh off of Watch the Throne, Big Sean had just dropped on of best debuts of recent time, and Pusha T was gaining momentum after acclaimed mixtape Fear of God. That led to Cruel Summer which was full of the artistry that culminates in the genre every couple years. With styles in the group that appeal to the high, socially conscious gangster in us all, the album would easily set a standard for other labels to pursue for the near future. We're all fiending for another "Money Trees" verse from Jay Rock.
A More Conscious Voice: It's no secret that the majority of Hip-Hop's fanbase in this country are disparaged educationally and financially. Along with having the power to tell their audience to what to wear and what clothes to use, these media magistrates have the power to inform their fans on what's really happening out there. From becoming more involved in politics to going out and improving themselves via education, our country's impoverished hip-hop audience could use some real eye-opening from the guy's whose lectures could be more influential than a History professors. Let's hope guys like Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore--who should create the socially conscious, salt-pepper duo KendrickLemore--continue what is essentially activism in the year of the Horse.
Eradication of the Hatin': The negativity often surrounding Rap came from all angles last year, creating an hostile atmosphere pretty much everywhere you looked. Macklemore and Miley were cut no slack for being white, the libel against Yeezy came to false statements saying he was more important than Nelson Mandela, and the hate (a.k.a. jealousy) for Drake and his way with the ladies multiplied even though he dropped some of the hardest verses of the year. This one is as much for the fans as it is the radio jocks and pundits claiming hip-hop is losing its identity. To the "traditionalists," we say keep calm and realize the genre is evolving into the phenomenon the original MCs hoped it would become. Embrace what is becoming, which might mean watching White girls rap about gay marriage in leather jogging pants, or get left behind.
The Rumored Outkast Reunion at Coachella: We've all heard about it, but the decomposing of those plans is comparable to the devastation Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, or lack thereof is going to create. With it being six years since the best duo in Hip-Hop history last touched a stage together, we'd pretty much do anything to see it again--"I'll suck yo' dick if you let me see Outkast perform again." Anyone whose been to a solo Big Boi show is undoubtedly happy to see him in the flesh flawlessly performing tracks like "Skew It on the Bar-B" and "Bombs Over Baghdad" but we all succumb to a little inner death when doesn't follow with 3000's galactic flow. Talk about an instant classic that'd immediately be inscribed in the history books, this needs to be done for the culture. A "Beats, Rhymes & Life" type of documentary would rightfully be in the cards, as well.
The 3rd Hit of The Chronic: It'll be 15 years since Dr. Dre dropped "2001" in late November of this year. That means the young Mexican girl conceived to "Fuck You" will be celebrating her quinceanera this year and there's a chance that a new Dre beat won't be featured for the parents to dance to at anytime during the night. For shame, Dre! Seriously though, it's what the game needs. Right now, Kanye is running away with the best producer title a little to easily and he needs some veteran fire under his ass just to keep him going for the Gold or whatever precious metal he may be pursuing. Further, with the talent that'd be spitting over the maestro's gems including Kendrick, Em, and 50 (all on the same album, oh shit!), we might not need to hear a new album for the next 15 years. With songs out now boasting that it "feels like the chronic", it'd be a necessary reminder of how the bomb really hits your ass. And for the Dr.'s sake, he could peacefully pacify the pundits pestering him with shit like this for the last decade or so. We can't wait much longer for the doctor's order...
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