“Fifty years down the line, you can start this
‘Cause we’ll be the old school artists” -KRS ONE

I work around kids who think that the music I listen to is wack because it’s old. In turn, I find most of their music to be nauseating, though not because it’s new. Just because it’s, well, wack. A few years ago, I got into a friendly back-and-forth over Odd Future. The song that prompted the animated discussion was THIS piece of shock art. Look, I can definitely respect these kids’ hustle. They are some young dudes, doing it in an independent way that I can appreciate (music, production, video, editing, etc.). That doesn’t mean I have to respect their music. Yeah, maybe it’s a product of teenage angst…but so was THIS.

I want young people to be successful, creative and independent. But I also want to enjoy what they create. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened often enough. Until recently. These young, talented kids with an independent spirit have been popping up all over the Hip Hop map…and I’m listening.
There have been plenty of young, new artists coming out over the years but when they’re on major labels, they’re doing what the labels want and not representing themselves. That’s why I love to support the independent artists, cuz it’s real. And isn’t that what hip hop is all about, Keeping It Real? Years ago you could do this, get away with being yourself on a major label. Case and point – Souls of Mischief was a group of teenagers signed to Jive Records, later laid the foundation for the independent hustle (kinda worked backwards) and all the while stayed true to themselves and created what they wanted. Respect.

This is an example of young people doing it right.

Fast forward almost 20 years…

This kid is 17 and puttin in work. He’s not going in on your average dime a dozen radio beats, he’s choosing beats that are a direct reflection of those that paved the way for him. Check out Joey Bada$$ and his crew Pro Era. This reminds me of the music that I was listening to in high school but it’s updated for the next generation.

And this young buck, Calez…
19 when he wrote and self produced this one. Some of the lyrics might be a bit misguided but so was much of the music I came up on. But check it, both had solid production that complimented the flows. I love the Native Tongue-esqe vibe in this joint right here.

And if you’re a Hip Hop head, how can you not like this…

Or this…

So good! This song received a whole lotta iPod love and headphones sessions in 2012.

I don’t want to be that cynical old dude that refuses to give props to the younger generation and what they create. It helps that there are still young folks out there that respect the architects and build on what they were given. You need to know where you came from to know where you’re going. Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” If you’re part of this Hip Hop culture you must learn the history. These young people that I tried to shine light on today have obviously done their homework and added their own flavor to what they were given. I gotta respect that!

Yo, this just in!
If you’re trying to come up in the Hip Hop game and you get a cosign from DJ Premier…
Man, Joey Bada$$ is on his way to bigger and better things.
Check out Joey and Premier on their recent collaborative effort.

Yeah, I can get with that.

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