Music History

Published on February 23rd, 2018 | by Alan Cross


Has science explained the generation gap between old-school hip-hop and modern rap?

Every generation believes that their music is the best music of all time. Younger fans don’t get/care about the music of their parents and older siblings. In turn, older folk can’t understand why today’s music isn’t as good as it was when they were young.

If you’ve been following the evolution of hip-hop, rap and R&B, you’ll know that there’s a great divide between the old-school generation and the fans of modern rap. The genre has been around long enough for it to develop its own generation gaps.

It’s just like the fights we’ve seen in the rock world, the country community and the jazz scene for decades.

Has science finally explained these conflicts? From UPROXX:

Musical genres, however, evolve over time, and almost none more so than hip-hop. There’s a prevalent theory in some rap fan circles that rap experiences a tectonic shift every 7 years with a groundbreaking album that changes the trajectory of the genre as a whole.

With every shift comes another wave of old-head grousing about the death of the culture or bemoaning the current “state of hip-hop” as watered-down or sold out for corporate interest — never mind the preponderance of conspicuous consumption that forms the foundation of many of rap’s biggest hits even predating “My Adidas.”

Now, the internet is so lousy with “Rappers Then Vs. Rappers Now”-style memes, Kodak Black was able to subtly subvert the theme on his own Instagram to hilarious effect.

Real Shit B Goin On .. None Of Dat Hopscotch Shit

A post shared by Heart Break Kodak (@kodakblack) on

More from UPROXX:

However, the above-mentioned study does tell us something important: Why these older pioneers and their fans are so damned grumpy about rap’s changing sound. Simply put, due to the fact that hip-hop no longer relies on dusty funk, soul, and jazz samples over crackling beat breaks, and instead builds on churning bass, eerie synths, and thundering 808 drum kits, that rap’s older fans take such issue with younger rappers.

Keep reading.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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