11.11.2009

What’s Next For Hip-Hop? The End Of Its American Colonization

by Cedric Muhammad

With all due respect to Lil’ Wayne’s imminent departure from us – while a tragedy for his family and boost to the story line for the second season of my third favorite show, ‘Tiny and Toya’ on BET – it is hardly a crisis for Hip-Hop, as a culture or industry.

Unfortunately, it only earns an honorable mention on Hip-Hop’s long incarceration report. Despite headlines now, just ask Slick Rick and Shyne how soon we forget about you.

Hopefully T.I. and Wayne emerge from prison ready to lead a world of young people.

No, we have to move beyond celebrity worship and gossip to figure out this one.

So, put on your futurist hat. Get your Nostradamus on. Pull your crystal ball out. Cast lots if you will. If you like ouija boards, fine. What the hell, they are not for me, but this is Hip-Hop – anything goes.

Let’s look at the future together to find out where we are headed, as an industry and culture. As always we need to know that next big thing.

While some may disagree, I feel the music is in good hands with the South as caretaker. I, for one, like the basic formula – hypnotic beats, melodic choruses, old flows and new slang each month.

I don’t expect this to change any time soon. The Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Texas corridor will continue to run this, with toleration of periodic bursts of hotness from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

I sit in D.C. – the top of the South - and enjoy it all with the option of a go-go remix.

So I don’t look to a revolution in sound just yet.

In addition the day of the music crew as planet and satellite is over. No more eras of threes - whether Wu-Tang, Death Row, and Bad Boy on one hand, or Ruff Ryder, Cash Money, and Roc-A-Fella on the other.

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