Today, we will continue defending the authenticity of the unique musical culture called hip hop. We will continue the discussion, which has been strongly opposed by those indoctrinated fans of the music in its present form who view the original “rules” as outdated and irrelevant, by advancing the idea that there has also been a decline in hip hop's once aesthetic sound.
Up until now, the focus has been on a shift in the overall mindset of the rap community by which lyrical technique no longer dictates success and veracity is overlooked, to the point where the term “MC” is no longer restricted. However, the production formula has also sadly taken a turn for the worst because of stricter copyright laws and the influence of a couple key players, not simply a violation of the music's distinct code of ethics.
Similar to the compromised integrity of rappers of the millennium, which became epidemic when the West Coast's theme of gang violence emerged and spread, lending itself to such violations, the musical lapse also traveled a split course. Also analogous is the dual role of Southern rap forefather, Master P, whose place in history has made him a major conduit through which hip hop took its plunge into super-stardom.
Just as Master P was determined to "outshine” Puffy in the arena of describing his elaborate lifestyle, his sound was inspired by Dr. Dre's classic album, The Chronic. He took both on as his own and carried them into the limelight in the events recapped in "Explaining The Fall Of Hip Hop."
In order to illustrate this claim, we must look back to the genesis of hip hop, which actually consists of four elements: break-dancing, graffiti, MC-ing, and DJ-ing. As respected pioneer, Chuck D, remembers, “...rap was originally not music, it was rap over music.” What he meant was simple. There were no early hip hop bands. The unmistakable sound that was heard throughout city streets and grew as the signature of the rap phenomenon was borrowed.
In the beginning, break-dancing was being guided by the funk/disco offspring, characterized by heavy synthesizers and either live drums or 808 drum machines, which became the signature of rap dinosaurs like Grandmaster Flash and had already hit California (remember that). The element of rap was practiced over more renowned records, usually from the funk genre, whose classic drum breaks were isolated by Djs and became the backbone of all rap production.