On the heels of Jay-Z releasing "4:44" last week, Public Enemy released "Nothing is Quick In the Desert" officially yesterday. I checked it out on Monday via their Bandcamp page (which is now taken down) and I was pleasantly surprised by this album. To me it really sounds like an updated "wall of sound" sound that the Bomb Squad is known for. Also I did get at chance to checkout Jay's album as well. Its definitely nothing like his last few albums content wise, but it is an album I did enjoy.
Reviewing these albums isn't the crux or point of this blog though. Over the past year there have been releases from De La Soul, Common, A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg and MC Eiht along with the two aforementioned releases. And they all for the most part have been critically acclaimed. I'm throwing sales and streams out of this discussion because in this day and age I don't think they hold as much weight. De La got a grammy nomination, ATQC picked up where they left off, Common had one of his strongest lyrical performances on a studio album in a minute, and Primo and Eiht gave us an album that was 20 years in the making. Personally I don't think that being "old" in Hip Hop shouldn't mean anything anymore. Hip Hop is always gonna be dominated by the younger generations, and I'm cool with that. Life is always gonna be a young person's game so all you can do is leave it for them in a great shape. Now this is not to down the Kendricks and the Drakes of the world, and for the record I've heard a lot of the newer artist out now and I like them as well, but what I've learned is that you're still capable of making music that can connect no matter the age. What I don't like is a 40 year old rapper trying to make music for the young 20-something crowd. Leave that the Vince Staples (no knock, Vince Staples is one of the best young rappers out now. Much respect on his knowledge of Hip Hop history, especially on the west coast), Migos, Lil Yachty and all them. Realize there is a niche market out there and focus on that. If that brings in some of the demographic you're not trying to reach, then that is a win as well. All I'm really saying is let the culture age. Every other genre of music has. Hip Hop is one of the most used and most valued by corporate America, but it is least valued by the very people who started it. P.E., Jay, ATCQ, and De La knows what's up though.