New York, the city of dreams and the home of hip-hop? You can’t argue that New York is responsible for creating the genre that is Rap today and also supplying the most deep supply of rappers that any region or area has produced. I mean where do you start, you had KRS-One, LL Cool J, Rakim and other pioneers. Then you transitioned into Big Daddy Kane, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pun and the superstars Nas, Jay-Z, and Notorious B.I.G.. Finally Jay-Z and Nas went into the next generation of New York hip-hop and found another MC to accompany them in 50 Cent. However, now hip-hop’s most prestigious apartment complex is up for rent and the search for a new tenant has not been easy. And by not being easy I mean it’s 2014 and it’s been roughly ten years since the last, great, new New York act has come upon.
So the Landscape of hip-hop has gone like this: New York dominated the 80’s, New York and the West dominated the 90’s, The South and Midwest (Chicago & Detroit) dominated the 2000’s, and so far early in the 2000’s teen years, it’s been the West and The South’s game. However, the teen years have proven far more spread out then the decades before as most of the regions have bolstered somewhat of a renaissance in mixing old talent with new. It looks like this:
South: a. Old Talent (still relevant): Young Jeezy, T.I., Lil Wayne, Rick Ross
– b. New Talent (serious possible torch carriers): Future, Big KRIT, J. Cole
West: a. Old Talent: Game
– b. New Talent: Kendrick Lamar, the rest of TDE, Tyler & Earl
Midwest: a. Old Talent: Kanye West, Eminem
– b. New Talent: Chance The Rapper, Big Sean
New York: a. Old Talent: Jay-Z, Nas
– b. New talent: [
So if you notice from the list above one region is missing a new talent, New York. In this “new renaissance” in hip-hop, New York is the one region that is seriously missing that guy that’s saying “I’m putting New York on the map.” I mean from a commercial success/ good rapper, A$AP Rocky would normally fill in that void. However, he and the rest of A$AP Mob have stated that they don’t carry the typical New York sound citing that their main influence is that of the South. You can’t carry New York rap if your not carrying it’s sound. Then in 2012, many of us, including myself, fell victim to rapper by the name of Joey Bada$$. While he does carry the New York sound, and has the bars/flow/swagger that could warrant him putting New York on his back, he has failed to blow up and struggles with creating a sound that can carry outside of New York. There is also French Mon…. nah, there is not need for an explanation on why he can’t cary it. Today, many are putting the crown on a rapper named Troy Ave. While Troy Ave does have the confidence and co-sings (Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and somewhat 50 Cent), he lacks the bars, flow, and music making ability that the greats before him have showed. And then the list goes on of potentials that haven’t made that step yet from Action Bronson to The Underachievers to Smoke DZA and more.
It’s going to be interesting to see if New York can bring itself into the 2010’s decade of rap history. It’s been four years into the decade and Jay-Z still carries the city basically has a retired veteran. It’s time for New York, who started it all, to stand up and make it’s imprint into the game because all of the other regions are not slowing anytime soon. Personally, there are a couple of artist that I’ve taken a interest in from New York. I still have faith in Joey Bada$$ so watch out for him. Flatbush Zombies are a hit song away from really shaking the pot of hip-hop. And Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire is a real interesting guy that you should check out.
So Where do you see New York rap heading into the future? Comment Below!