Lyrical/Substantial Hip Hop is still alive and well…
It never left the underground.
Elzhi has been dropping heat.
Phonte just dropped a thought provoking album about aging as a black man.
Talib Kweli dropped an album with Anderson.Paak on the lead single, and
Royce da 5’9″ has been making waves with PRhyme.
I just think the common view is skewed because you don’t hear much of it on the radio.
Some of the big name rappers have starting blending the new age hip hop sound with themes a little more complicated than typical radio songs tend to offer.
Kendrick Lamar did this with his DAMN. album, by working with Mike Will, but disguising messages behind club beats.
J. Cole just dropped an album paying homage to the carefree drug culture being celebrated today, but really emphasizing the long term harm it can cause. Instead of just preaching it, he put it over beats and rhyme patterns that people under 25 are used to.
And contrary to popular “old head” belief, mainstream rappers like Drake, Cardi B, and Nicki Minaj are showing that you can still be lyrical and get the radio plays. They may not blow minds with their subject matter, but they are very coherent and know how to use their rap voices to get their lyrics heard.
And if you get tired of hearing the same 3 songs over and over and want to discover new lyrical music, Dr. Dre’s The Pharmacy on Apple Music is really good at breaking new songs by old favorites. And we can’t forget about Joe Budden’s Podcast.
And of course you could just comment on my Facebook page or chitchat with me in person to find some new songs to vibe to as well!!! (shameless plug!)