In the year of 1996, an influential hip-hop band called The Roots decided to express how they felt about the current state of mainstream rap. Even though this song was recorded nearly 20 years ago, I feel as though it can still be used for reference in today’s era. We should all be fully aware of how amazing and popular a lot of non-mainstream rappers are, and these artists are making a name for themselves without being signed to any label. However, in my opinion a lot of the mocked images in Hip-Hop involve exactly what The Roots were talking about. For one, The Roots had made several points in this classic song along with their famous subtitles to help them prove their points.
”Lost generation, fast paced nation
World population confront they frustration
The principles of true hip-hop have been forsaken
It’s all contractual and about money makin
Pretend-to-be cats don’t seem to know they limitation
Exact replication and false representation
You wanna be a man, then stand your own
To MC requires skills, I demand some shown
The lyrics are very true to me because in our generation, a lot of the youth imitate and are inspired by the images shown in Hip-Hop. Some rappers glorify accumulating wealth in a negative way and glorify selling drugs, yet some of them may just simply want to sell albums despite how false or imitated their image is . There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be intellectually lyrical in your music, but it is frustratingly sad when many rappers talk about the same things in their songs . This is why many people get very excited when someone different comes and can prove that they are very lyrical and not just good at saying catchy phrases or doing what is the norm. ”The true principles of Hip-Hop has been forsaking”, is a very debatable statement, but if you know the history and timeline of Hip Hop, then maybe it is not that incorrect. Bottom line, in my opinion even after all of these years…The Roots ”Never Do What They Do” may be a good reference song to artists who understand how powerful the message is.