The Evolution of Hip Hop

The Evolution of Hip Hop

From where it began, to where it is now.
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So my best friend and I were talking the other day about music and we were saying what rap albums we couldn’t wait to drop this year. He was saying how he couldn’t wait for Drake’s new album to come out and I was saying how I’m more excited to see what Kanye West’s album had to offer. Then we started talking about the old rap songs we used to listen to and how rap has changed so much over the years. But the question that I know a lot of hip hop fans ask is “has it changed for the better”?

Me personally, I like a lot of the new school rappers that this generation has to offer such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Wale, etc. I’ll admit there are some rappers that I’m not particularly fans of like Young Thug or Chief Keef but they do have a few good songs that make them mainstream. Every time I hear a Young Thug song I actually like I feel like a fat person who is cheating on a diet. I’m not supposed to like it because he is a bad rapper but the beat is so good I just can’t help but listen and jam out to it. And that’s how I think hip hop has changed throughout the years. In this generation of rap, we care so much about hearing a good beat that we could care less about the actual lyrics that we hear. This is a big factor in how hip hop music has changed over the years.

You see hip hop started in the early 80s and the point of hip hop was to tell a message from the people of the streets and the struggles they had to endure. Although there were hip hop songs that you could jam out and dance to, hip hop was supposed to be a way that inner city black people were able to convey their story of struggle in a lyrical fun way.

Around the late 80s and early 90s, that’s when I feel hip hop started to change into rap music. While there were still some songs that told stories about the “black struggle”, a lot of rappers started to incorporate selling drugs, committing crimes and degrading women in those lyrics as well. Even though there were a lot of people that opposed to this new form of rap: there were a lot of other people who praised it so much that this became the new form of what is considered “hip hop”.

Now I know what some people might say, “I only listen to rap music if it’s giving a good message”. Then others might say, “I just want to turn up at a party”. But in my opinion, why can’t we just like both? The way I look at music is it’s all about the time, place, and mood. For example, I love J. Cole as a rapper and I think he is one of the most underrated rappers of our time. But to be honest, I can’t really turn up to him at the club or a party. It’s not because he doesn’t make great music, it’s because in his style of rapping he tries to give a message in a lyrical way that it makes it hard for me to dance to.

When I’m at home or in the car relaxing, I can listen to him because I can sit down and actually analyze what he is saying. When I’m at a party I want to listen to 2 Chainz or jam out to some Future. I listen to rap music with a message when I’m at home. I’ll admit, it does disappoint me that in this generation that rappers don’t even make more meaningful songs like they use too, but it doesn’t make me want to stop listening to rap altogether.

So to answer the question of “has rap music gotten worse”, it’s more of a yes and no answer from me. Yes, because rappers tend to rely on their beats more than their actual lyrics and no because this new form of rapping has opened up the doors to other styles of rap music that we never even thought were possible for the genre. So you hip hop fans can say what you want about rap music, but if you need me I’ll be listening to some Kanye West. Peace!

Cover Image Credit: hubpages.com

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Board Games Are More Important Than You Think They Are

They've become a defining part of my family.

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Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a family game night? Or your friends would come over and you'd open the game cabinet and play at least three different games together?

Maybe it's just me, but those are some of my best memories from my childhood. My family loves games, board games, and electronic games.

Of course, as I got older, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Wii became more and more popular. That meant that the game cabinet was opened less and less, collecting dust.

Thankfully, I live in New Jersey near the shore and Hurricane Sandy left my family with no power for five days. Sure, it was scary not having power and walking around my neighborhood seeing fallen trees or roof shingles, but we were inland enough to not have had any flood water damage.

No power also meant no PlayStation or Wii games. The gaming cabinet was opened again, this time with vigor. Now, four years later, and I still think about sitting in the dark with a flashlight playing Scrabble with my family.

That was also the week I learned how to play Yahtzee and dominated my dad in every game. My sister constantly was looking for someone to play her to Battleship. We exhausted Rummikub.

The game was already a family favorite, and that's including extended family. Family barbeques had been ending with late night games of Rummikub for at least a year by the time Sandy hit.

We were ready to strategize and crunch numbers, but after day three, we never wanted to a number ever again.

This semester, there's been a surge of board game love again in my family. My sister bought Jenga, which we are currently trying to exhaust ourselves with. My favorite board game also had a comeback: Life.

I loved this game so much that I had the SpongeBob version as a kid. I would play it with my best friend, just the two of us, playing game after game of Bikini Bottom themed Life. Now, I have a car full of "kids" that I've started to make pets in my head. I can handle having five pretend dogs, but not five pretend kids.

I don't know what it is about board games, but my family has always had an affinity for them. We've gone through our cycles of playing video games and card games, but we always come back to the classics. Maybe it's more a defining part of my family than I originally thought.

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