Hip Hop

(Past, Present, and Future)
By: Ron “Mr. Kane” Alexander

Ron “Mr. Kane” Alexander

Alright, let’s take a trip to the past; let’s say about several decades ago. Way back when “actual” Hip Hop slowly presented itself to the entire world.

The year of 1979, does that year ring a bell? The Sugar Hill Gang (Rappers Delight).

I being 28 years of age was also born that year, which even more convinces me persuasively of being a “Hip Hop Baby”! Inside my mothers womb, I chill just awaiting to step foot into the world, as in forced to rock back and forth to the tunes of Sugar Hill gang.

My mother always told me that was one of her favorite songs! By the time I was old enough to quote the lyrics that are when I realized the fun, excitement and creativity of the “New Art Form”. To actually witness kids from the streets, the slums, speak and express their minds in such clever ways, and different styles, to me personally had to be one of the best things to ever happen to music. Don’t get me wrong, this art form was in the making since the mid 70’s, with Kats like “”DJ Kool Herc”, and several other (DJ’s) from the Bronx new York would throw block parties and gatherings, to which people started telling street tales in a poetic form. A few years after “Sugar Hill Gang” blew up, you had other Kats like “Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five” (1982’s The Message) to expand Hip Hops horizons. Grandmaster Flash started to shift focus towards the “socioeconomic” struggles of inner city America.

Then you had “Schooly D” (to whom most say was the original pioneer of Gangsta Rap) who chose to talk about things that other rappers chose not to express at the time. Now, while all of this was in the making, I was in the process of getting “skills’ right (Ha!). There were so many “up ‘n coming” artists such as Melle Mell, Kool Moe D. M.C. Lyte, Big Daddy Kane and many more on the rise to where Hip Hop started to become more of a force. Not to forget the “Raza” pioneers of rap music as well, which we’ll get to in a minute! In the late 1980’s, Queens group by the name of “Run DMC”, had a large contribution in giving the culture crossover appeal. With jams such as “Rock This Way”, with guest appearance by “Aerosmith”, “My Addidas”, and various other songs extremely help give them crossover success.

Around this time, Hip Hop was mostly being presented to the world as an “East Coast Thing”... (Eventually, that changed). After Run DMC, you had young stars (new legends) on the rise, such as “L.L. Cool J”, “KRS One”, “Marley Marl” and the Juice crew, Eric.B and “Rakim” along with so many more. And this new list of emcees was considered the “new era” after grandmaster flash, Melle Mell, Sugar Hill Gang and the rest. Once the new era kicked in, so did different beats, lyrics and styles. This, is around the time everyone felt like the “Best of the Best” attitude, was what it was all about. (B-Boys)...Drum in Boss was a quite common sound that was used in songs around the time. 808’s and 909’s, sampling and drum machines, is pretty much what was in! This format started to occur from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. At the same time, Hip Hop took a spread, way on the opposite side of the country! That’s when the world realized it was not just an east Coast thing. In the late 80’s, while East Coast Rap was fairly established, out Wet in California, you had “Ruthless records” on the rise.

A Super group, by the name of N.W.A. (Dr.Dre, Ice Cube, Mc Ren, Eazy.E and D.J Yella) quickly became a force of enforcing straight Gansta Rap! Which really introduced rap music from an entirely different stand point, well “grimier” stand point, Gun talk, “hustling, and so on became the shift of once again, a new era in the making? The West Coast road the wave, and some acts came and went.

Then you had Kats like “Kid Frost”, which established cholo rap for La Raza. You also had Cubano Angelino rappers, such as “B real, “Sen Dog” and “DJ Muggs”, who broke way above the rest as “Cypress Hill”. And that’s exactly when the entire world, was forced to look at Hip Hop as more of an “everybody” thing. Rather than being looked at as a “One Race”, one “Coast” type of thing. Hip Hop is for everyone!

The early 90’s, a West Coast label founded by “Suge Knight” called “Death Row records”, pretty much dominated everything. Acts such as Dr Dre (former N.W.A. member), Snoop Doggy Dog, and later on 2 Pac also, had the rap game on lock! But at the same time, you can’t count out legends like Ice Cube and D.J Quick along with plenty others who were making heavy noise.

West Coast Rap dominated everything from the airwaves, to videos, tape decks, compact discs and so on! At that point, Southern California. Was pretty much looking unstoppable! I can’t forget to mention, at this time, my skills were already poppin!
If you were to ask me (and various others), I would feel more than safe to say, that Rap / Hip Hop’s golden years were from ’88 to’98. That’s when the industry took the turn from being a multi-million dollar industry, to becoming a multi billion dollar industry. Also some of the biggest names and albums were produced around this time. For example, 2 Pac, Snoop Dogg, Bones Thugs ‘n harmony, Notorious B.I.G, Geto Boys, (who already accumulated their music before the others), No Limits’ Master P and his empire, Cash Money, Trick Daddy, DMX, Out Kast was already known ‘n blown bigger, Jermaine Dupri, The Brat and many more!

To me, I honestly think, that’s when rap music was Rap Music. But as you can see now, everything does come to change, and that is what basically happened when corporate America got full hands on this well appreciated art form. Now, it appears “Rap Music’ consists only (well mostly) of how much money you either have (or claim to have) and how your image looks. It seems like after 1998, things started to change. Don’t get me wrong, you still have great acts/ artists whom made major names for themselves, such as Eminem, 50 Cent (Which both fall under the legendary “still up’n running Dr Dre), Murder Inc, Nelly, UGK (who started in the early 90’s R.I.P. Pimp C) Slim Thug, Chamillionare and Paul Wall, Swisha House, Rap-a-lot (who’s been around since the late 80’s) Mike Jones, the H-Town (Houston Texas) movement, Ludacris, T.I, Lil Jon and Young Jeezy and many more. Rap/Hip Hop beyond the 90’s, then truly became a nationwide thing. But just as the East and West Coast had their shine, the South is having their shine right now!

But still, things are slowly shifting and rotating, record sales are declining, and technology is starting to become more and more advanced. The internet has become the new phenomenon on how to download music for you! And that, it is what has a major effort on recent sales right now. Then you get ring tones and I-pods, M-P-3 Players, and other devices taking over, to which is making it easier to access music without paying for an album.
The future for Hip Hop, at the moment, seems a little difficult to predict. But one thing I do know, as far as the business/industry side, there is going to have to be some “re-creating”. Right now, big names still continue to make noise, but doing it in a lot of different ways also, such as endorsement deals, clothing lines, and so on, to keep their names relevant! So for all you “Lil Wayne” and “Jay Z” lovers, and others, keep supporting your favorite artists to the fullest! The industry changes everyday, but the question is, are you going to change the industry?

Shout out

This is “Mr. Kane” (ConvictedArtist.com) thanks for your time. And be on the lookout for my music in the near future! (Tales Frum Da metro Section”, the album) I love music, and dedicate this column to others who love music. Now because the ride is now over (at least for now). Besides, gas is almost $5.00 a gallon, so we can’t cruise all day! But I will be back to pick you up late. Much love to my boy “Blue”, some to “Casper” and ConvictedArtist.com as a whole. Shout out to all my incarcerated brothers, stay strong and be Easy!
Mr. Kane 214 Dallas, Texas

Hip Hop of the Past

Hip Hop legends

History of Hip Hop

Hip hops past, present and future

previous next

History of Hip Hop